At St Mary Magdalen's Catholic Junior School, we aim to empower our pupils to become confident, capable and creative users of digital technology. We offer a structured sequence of lessons, helping teachers ensure that they have covered the knowledge and skills required to meet the aims of the national curriculum. The content allows for a broad, deep understanding of Computing that extends pupils’ understanding of the subject area to the context of their own lives. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science and Design and Technology and the knowledge and skills gained from our provision is transferable across the curriculum.
Pupils develop an understanding of computer science including abstraction, algorithms and data representation. Building on this understanding, pupils are equipped to analyse problems in computational terms and can create programs, systems and a range of content to solve such problems. 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.
Our provision offers a variety of opportunities to achieve the knowledge and skills outlined in the Computing curriculum. Pupils in our school develop analytical problem-solving skills and learn to evaluate and apply information technology in a range of contexts. We enable our pupils to become competent and responsible users of information technology in its different forms.
Using well-sequenced lessons involving the three strands of Computing: computer Science, information technology and digital literacy, we aim to inspire our pupils to develop a love of the digital world and understand its place in their future. Computing is taught as a discrete lesson and every week each class has dedicated time to test new knowledge and skills in our ICT Suite. Throughout each strand of Computing, pupils are encouraged to consider ‘why’ and not just ‘how’.
Our Computing curriculum seeks to equip our pupils with computational thinking skills and the creativity they need to understand and change the world. In KS2, pupils are taught content including: designing, writing and debugging programs; using sequence, selection and repetition in programs and using their logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work. They gain a deeper understanding of how they can use computer networks for a variety of reasons and how to use search technologies effectively. They select, use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish goals.
Skills and knowledge are taught through exciting half termly units following the 3BM syllabus, which provide detailed lesson plans with links to the web or programming tools that enable our teachers to implement ambitious aspects of the curriculum such as programming, debugging and digital presentations. By following our programme of study, teachers feel confident in the progression of skills and knowledge and that outcomes have been met. We assess pupils’ progression at the end of every term. Key vocabulary is also an important part of our offer showing the progression of specific language involved in pupils’ learning so that teachers can also assess understanding and progress through vocabulary.
At the centre of our provision is the importance of educating our pupils to be safe online. Pupils at St Magdalen’s are taught what appropriate behaviour looks like so they are able to express themselves in a way that does not harm themselves or others when they use the internet. They learn what actions they should take when they see something online that worries them. Pupils are empowered to question the content they see, assessing if it is likely to be reliable information. The importance of online safety is embedded into every lesson and celebrated every term including on Internet Safety Day each year.
Learning in Computing is enjoyed across our school. Pupils will use digital and technological vocabulary accurately, alongside a development of their subject-specific knowledge and skills. They will be confident using a range of hardware and software and will produce high-quality purposeful work. Pupils will see the digital world as an integral part of their world, extending beyond school, and understand that they have choices to make. They will be informed, confident and respectful digital citizens going on to lead happy and healthy digital lives.