At Southwark Primary School, we want our children to understand the potential of technology and start to build computing skills for the future. We want them to become digital creators, using technology to support other areas of their work and lives, and also to understand the responsibilities of being digital consumers on their time, relationships and wellbeing. The digital workplace is continuously evolving. We want our children to grow up wanting to be a part of that as software engineers, video game designers, web developers or IT consultants. At Southwark, our Computing curriculum strives to develop resilient, reflective, creative and independent learners. It gives space for children to become ‘computational thinkers’, tackling complex problems, making mistakes and learning from them. It also engages our children, through the creative use of technology, to prepare pupils for the demands of the 21st century and the technological world that awaits them in the future. As well as the huge potential of technology, we teach our children to understand the challenges and problems it can create. We teach them to become good digital citizens, to know how to stay safe and keep others safe online, to be aware of the need to test out what and who they see and the importance of what they share in creating their own digital footprint.
The Computing Curriculum we follow is 'Teach Computing’. All learning objectives have been mapped to the National Centre for Computing Education’s taxonomy of ten strands, which ensures that units build on each other from one key stage to the next.
Progression across year groups within the Teach Computing Curriculum, ensures every year group learns through units within the same four themes, which combine the ten strands of the National Centre for Computing Education’s taxonomy. This approach allows us to use the spiral curriculum approach to progress skills and concepts from one-year group to the next. This style of curriculum design reduces the amount of knowledge lost through forgetting, as topics are revisited yearly with pupils being taught more complex content under the 10 strands taught. It also ensures that connections are made even if different teachers are teaching the units within a theme in consecutive years. The Teach Computing Curriculum builds on a set of pedagogical principles which are underpinned by the latest computing research, to demonstrate effective pedagogical strategies throughout. To remain up-to-date as research continues to develop, every aspect of the Teach Computing Curriculum is reviewed each year and changes are made as necessary The Teach Computing Curriculum is structured in units. For these units to be coherent, the lessons within a unit must be taught in order. However, across a year group, the units themselves do not need to be taught in order, with the exception of ‘Programming’ units, where concepts and skills rely on prior learning and experiences.
The Teach Computing Curriculum uses the National Centre for Computing Education’s computing taxonomy to ensure comprehensive coverage of the subject. This has been developed through a thorough review of the KS1–4 computing programme of study. All learning outcomes can be described through a high-level taxonomy of ten strands:
Algorithms — Be able to comprehend, design, create, and evaluate algorithms
Computer networks — Understand how networks can be used to retrieve and share information, and how they come with associated risks
Computer systems — Understand what a computer is, and how its constituent parts function together as a whole
Creating media — Select and create a range of media including text, images, sounds, and video
Data and information — Understand how data is stored, organised, and used to represent real-world artefacts and scenarios
Design and development — Understand the activities involved in planning, creating, and evaluating computing artefacts
Effective use of tools — Use software tools to support computing work
Impact of technology — Understand how individuals, systems, and society as a whole interact with computer systems
Programming — Create software to allow computers to solve problems
Safety and security — Understand risks when using technology, and how to protect individuals and systems. The taxonomy provides categories and an organised view of content to encapsulate the discipline of computing. Whilst all strands are present at all phases, they are not always taught explicitly
Online safety is an integral part of children's education in today's digital world and is embedded in their learning at school. We want all parents and children to have a solid understanding of the issues surrounding online safety so that they can use the internet and all digital media in a safe and secure way. At Southwark we teach online safety using Project EVOLVE. This toolkit is based on UKCIS framework “Education for a Connected World” (EFACW) that covers knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes across eight strands of our online lives from early years right through to eighteen. The Education for a Connected World framework describes the Digital knowledge and skills that children and young people should have the opportunity to develop at different ages and stages of their lives. Education for a Connected World is a tool for anyone who works with children and young people. It enables the development of teaching and learning as well as guidance to support children and young people to live knowledgeably, responsibly and safely in a digital world.
It focuses specifically on eight different aspects of online education:
1. Self-image and Identity
2. Online relationships
3. Online reputation
4. Online bullying
5. Managing online information
6. Health, wellbeing and lifestyle
7. Privacy and security
8. Copyright and ownership
The framework aims to support and broaden the provision of online safety education, so that it is empowering, builds resilience and effects positive culture change. The objectives promote the development of safe and appropriate long-term behaviours, and support educators in shaping the culture within their setting and beyond. Online safety is taught within all computing lessons but also each specific foci is taught discreetly each half term. Teachers plan lessons that involve lots of discussion and debate around key questions and vocabulary listed in our online safety progression of skills document.
Through up to date knowledge shared by teachers and the children’s own experiences lessons are engaging, relevant and informative. Every year, we take part in online safety competitions and also celebrate the national safer internet day.
- Know what to do if they feel unsafe/uncomfortable and understand that not all information on the internet is true.
- Appreciate uses of technology inside and outside of school.
- Begin to understand the impact of screen time, how they can self-regulate this, and why it is important
We want pupils to know how to use technology safely and responsibly to understand and demonstrate key computational thinking concepts. To begin to make choices about which technology to use in order to achieve a specified outcome and use critical thinking skills to analyse digital information. To identify uses of technology in their own lives and the wider world.
- Know what to do and where to go if they feel unsafe/uncomfortable and begin to develop simple strategies for identifying trusted sources of information.
- Make an informed choice about which technology to use in order to achieve a given purpose or complete a specific task, and understand that particular technologies are more suited to specialised tasks.
We want pupils to know how to use technology safely and responsibly and develop autonomy and self-discipline within their technology use, using critical thinking skills to be discerning in evaluating digital information. They can use a range of technology to achieve specified outcomes, and understand key computing concepts are applicable and can be used across a variety of contexts. They understand the importance and applications of technology, as well as beginning to consider the ethical considerations of contemporary and future technology use.
- Understand own responsibilities to themselves and others in terms of online safety and security, and having identified strategies for dealing with digital literacy concerns.
- Understand the age restrictions for games and social media and why they are in place.
- Understand the difference between a friend and an online friend, and approach information presented as fact with a sense of criticality.
- Appreciate the impact of the digital footprint, and the portrayal of self and others online, as well as developing an awareness of issues surrounding filtering and transparency.
- Be able to use an increasing range of technology and resources to achieve specific and specialised outcomes, and make an informed choice about which technology to use.
- To consolidate knowledge of more complex algorithms, and use these to define and achieve specific goals with increasing efficiency and in a range of different contexts.
- To begin to consider the ethical implications of current and future technology use, particularly in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and their proliferation in everyday life.
- To empower children to understand and consider the opportunities that technology can offer in shaping their future and that of others, as well as its ability to solve problems and enhance quality of life on a global scale.