What computing means at St Thomas…
Computing is using applications to enter a digital world to solve problems, manipulate resources to perform tasks, communicate information safely and express creativity as responsible and critical users.
Computing at St Thomas
We aim to develop the children’s skills and competence to use ICT to find, analyse, communicate and present information and control technology using a wide range of resources including physical resources. Many cross curricular links are made to support understanding in a wider context.
The children learn how to use the Internet to complete tasks such as researching and will learn, using a range of programs, to collect, analyse, evaluate and present data and information. Online-safety is a crucial part of the curriculum and is covered by all year groups every half term; we also take part in “Safer Internet Day” each year to reinforce this key area. Please follow this link to our On-line safety page.
In addition to these areas, children will also be taught what algorithms are, how to design and write programs, including those involving repetition and sequencing and learn how to debug programs. Children learn how to design an app and create games for others to enjoy.
At St Thomas’ we have interactive white boards or touchscreens and visualisers in all of the classrooms. We have a computer suite, a class set of with other ICT resources including microphones, beebots and digital cameras that demonstrate the use of computing in the wider world.
Our engaging Computing Curriculum prepares our children for the digitally literate future they face. We want the children to recognise how to be responsible and safe online; building the important foundations of Online Safety is a key focus throughout the children’s lives at St. Thomas of Canterbury. Therefore we recognise that the children should fully understand the online world by doing our very best to promote confident and safe use. This is key to our children making positive choices online, reflecting our Golden Rule: ‘Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated’.
The challenging and ambitious curriculum focuses on the combination of knowledge (I know that) and skills (I know how) to support the children’s understanding of key computing concepts and life skills. We recognise that you need the knowledge to develop skills. We offer a broad curriculum encompassing the three strands of the National Curriculum: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy using a range of age-appropriate programs, software and physical resources.
Our cross-curricular Computing Curriculum demonstrates progression in each of the strands with children ‘Rediscovering’ their prior knowledge and skills before ‘Going Deeper’ with their learning. We also encourage and challenge our children to make their own learning choices, applying their knowledge and skills creatively and effectively for a specific purpose. Our children progress with their ability to use the Computing Suite efficiently and develop the necessary skills throughout their time at St. Thomas’ through well-planned and sequenced learning which results in computer literate, confident and competent children.
We ensure that every strand of the Computing Curriculum is embedded fully in each year group in our weekly lessons in the Computing Suite, from EYFS to Year 6. Cross-curricular links are clearly evident in many lessons, however opportunities for Computing in other curriculum subjects are also explored where possible. Each strand is taught each half-term to ensure the children continually receive a balanced curriculum developing their skills.
Computer Science is taught through both online and ‘offline’ lessons to provide the children with a thorough understanding of this aspect of Computing. Children need to recognise how a computer works and their computational thinking will develop their problem solving skills and encourage deep and critical thinkers.
Information Technology has become even more of an essential element of the children’s learning in recent times. With the implementation of Google Classroom to support the children’s teaching and learning, key skills including word processing and typing have come to the forefront of our curriculum. Children now have more opportunities to be creative with their learning and challenge their ability.
Digital Literacy is a key priority for our school; the children’s well-being as a result of online activity is paramount. We have active Digital Leaders in Year 6 who promote Online Safety in Worships and meet regularly with the Online Safety lead. They will be monitoring the Online Safety issues shared by our children and will work closely with staff to find the best solutions. This also further promotes our S=P+A+C+E for Me ethos.
Significant people of interest are also studied in each year group linked to other curriculum subjects, providing further cross-curricular links and meaningful learning.
Opportunities to ‘Rediscover’ prior learning are key before the next challenge is presented to the children, through the exploration of key, subject-specific vocabulary and new knowledge and skills. ‘Going Deeper’ challenges are presented to all children, there are no limits for our children – we have high expectations of them all. By making S=P+A+C+E for their learning, our children recognise they can achieve greatness in Computing. Support from their peers and staff is given as well as scaffolding and Quality First resources where applicable. Both independent and collaborative challenges are presented to the children to develop their Computing journey.
The skills diary completed by children ensures they have a record of their learning and enables the children to have an opportunity to journal their understanding and learning from a unit of work. Feedback is essential to progression with verbal, in-the-moment feedback, from teachers and the children’s peers, being the most relevant and purposeful. Learning Reflections provide the children with opportunities to explore their independent learning further using key, specific-specific vocabulary. Animation Club provides our children with a further opportunity to share their talents after school.
By the end of their time at St. Thomas of Canterbury, our children will have enjoyed their Computing experiences – both in and out of class – and make good progress throughout the school. They leave with the everyday skills they need to navigate computers and the online world as well as having a good understanding of coding and the impact and benefits it has in our modern lives. Our children are ambassadors for Online Safety and promote the important messages shared during their time at school. The combination of continual assessment and feedback enables our children to recognise their success as well as identifying next steps. Children show pride in their learning and are keen to share their work with others in our school community.
Ultimately, we want to prepare our children for the fast-paced and ever-changing technological world we now live in. We want our children to recognise the contributions they will have to offer whilst always maintaining and promoting our Golden Rule at all times in the online world. We want our children to be pioneers of the future.