At Bridgelea, we want our children to love computing. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be software engineers, video game designers, web developers or IT consultants or even if they are not in a Computing industry, be confident users of transferable ICT skills, as well as being able to keep themselves safe online in their daily lives. The computing curriculum has therefore been carefully designed so that our children develop their skills in all areas of computing. We want our children to remember their computing lessons and experiences in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with, using technology in the future to help make their lives easier!
The computing curriculum promotes curiosity and a passion for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient learners.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the computing national curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We use Purple Mash as a cohesive scheme of work addressing the statutory aspects of the National Curriculum, but in addition to this, taking the complex needs of our children at Bridgelea into account, the curriculum has been designed to go into extra depth with the teaching of E-Safety with strong links to PSHE, ensuring that when the children leave in Year 6, they know how to keep themselves safe and be responsible citizens when using ICT in their future lives.
As part of our E-Safety teaching at Bridgelea, we will teach dedicated units about ways to keep safe online, but it will also be part of every computing session where children are taught how to use computers safely. In addition to this, there will also be extra E-safety sessions taught through the PSHE and other curriculum areas, alongside dedicated drop down days each term to reinforce all of the lessons taught, to help ensure our students know how to keep themselves safe online.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, integrate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the computing curriculum.
Using Purple Mash covers a core curriculum of Computer Science (Programming and Coding), Information Technology (Data and Mutimedia) and Digital Literacy (E-safety). Through their computing lessons, children are also taught how to use their imagination and creativity, as well as being taught to be reflective with the programs they learn to design. They learn through their Digital Literacy experiences to understand the consequences of their actions online and furthermore, learn to co-operate and play games they have created with others, develop blogging skills and share work on message boards on Purple Mash , while understanding and applying how to keep themselves safe.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities that are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. In January 2020, Bridgelea Primary School had the chance to join forces and work with a local company, Digital Advantage on a community project named Digital Blast. This was an exciting opportunity for our Year 6 children to use and develop their IT skills to complete a project for the community meeting the needs of 5 important briefs: environment, health, fundraising, E-safety and International. The children were fully responsible for the content of the idea which meant developing and using creative thinking and teamwork to produce a brand and then market it and use social media to let the community find out all about it and get involved.
In October 2019, a complete audit of the computing curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the computing curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group developed to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
Computing subject specific skills, which we support children to develop, have been reviewed and shared with all stakeholders. These skills underpin all work in computing and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- Computer Science: Programming and Coding
- Helping children become confident in coding and programming for practical and creative purposes.
- Information and technology: Data and Multimedia
- Teaching children to be able to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively for a range of reasons, as well as being confident to communicate ideas across the curriculum using a range of ICT.
- Digital Literacy: E-safety
Providing opportunities to connect with others safely, while at the same time developing strategies to keep themselves safe in an ever increasing technological world. In addition to this, finding ways to help children to understand the needs to act within the law as well as how to act in an ethical, responsible way when using any form of device.
We encourage staff to teach a weekly computing lesson. These discrete lessons using Purple Mash provide a foundation for teaching, but wherever possible, opportunities are sought to teach Computing in a cross-curricular fashion to enhance learning and provide opportunities for children to practice, use and apply their IT skills. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to computing and that the subject matter can be revisited frequently, securing progression and securing retention. We believe that by crafting our curriculum in this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make, ensuring they can reap the benefits of the online world and minimise risk to themselves and others.
The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in computing are progressive and build year on year. Our staff use computing formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.