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We believe that a high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
At Beech Grove, we follow the comprehensive and carefully constructed Wessex planning produced by eLIM.
We want our learners to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. We want to empower them to be active participants in our digital world. This programme of study equips our pupils to be digital citizens, digital creators, digital communicators and digital investigators.
Computer Science requires children first of all to ‘think like computers’. They practise solving problems in subjects across the curriculum using the skills of algorithmic thinking (clear, step-by-step instructions), abstraction (focusing only on important information and ignoring everything else), decomposition (breaking problems down into logical steps), recognising patterns, generalisation (finding the key facts) and evaluation (seeing what has worked and what hasn’t worked).
Pupils have the opportunity to learn how to program using a range of software and devices, starting with programmable toys and iPad applications, moving onto Scratch, BBC Microbits and HTML by the end of year 6 to create animations, games, interactive toys and websites.
Digital Literacy involves ensuring children have confidence in how to use technology how to recognise and manage risks it may present. At the heart of our digital literacy provision is a comprehensive Online Safety curriculum which includes a termly assembly, half-termly lessons and regular cross-curricular learning.
Children learn about how key technologies such as how the Internet works and practise key skills such as effective use of search engines, typing and make regularly use of the school’s iPads, laptops and other technological devices routinely in their other studies.
Information Technology learning focuses on children’s ability to apply their knowledge creatively and productively. Children learn how to take photographs and videos, to use iPads to animate using programming and stop-motion and ultimately will learn to use photo editing tools. Productivity tools are also vital and although children will use a whole range of applications suited to their needs, we place a particular emphasis on embedding strong basic skills in four key areas which are fundamental parts of being IT-literate in today's world: making presentations (using Microsoft PowerPoint); word processing (using Microsoft Word); managing data on spreadsheets (using Microsoft Excel); and editing images (using Pixlr).
Computational thinking and online safety awareness are key parts of all our lessons and children have regular and frequent opportunities to use technology as part of their cross-curricular learning. Through successful learning in computing, we aim to ensure that children have confidence to tackle any number of computing challenges and to utilise it safety, responsibly, creatively and productively in their lives.