In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching Computing at Witton Gilbert Primary School.
At Witton Gilbert Primary School we teach pupils to be ‘digital citizens of the future’ through a modern, ambitious and relevant education in computing. We will equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity, enabling them to become active participants in the digital world. It is important to us that the children understand how to use the ever-changing technology to express themselves, as tools for learning and as a means to drive their generation forward into the future; positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer computing, information technology, digital literacy and online safety reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially secure social media such as Twitter and Class Dojo) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see in modern society with technology/social media is through education – both at home and in school – and as such we work in partnership with our wider school community to establish an understanding of safe boundaries and expectations of pupil conduct.
At WGPS staff appreciate that due to the current rate of rapid change in technology, building our own knowledge and that of pupils’ is key when allowing pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their skills creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists. We encourage staff to try and embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and aim that by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
|Intent Linked to our School Values
|Childhood and Play
|Through computing, we want to provide first hand opportunities for children to explore and investigate technological devices and programs to support their learning of algorithms, debugging and programming.
|Respect for Ourselves and our Environment
|We will teach children about the importance of online safety, being respectful of others and keeping ourselves safe.
|Equality and Diversity
|Our school is committed to ensuring that all children will have access to a modern, ambitious and relevant curriculum that will inspire the learners whilst developing their capacity to be effective digital citizens.
Children will consider the contribution of people from different backgrounds to computing through learning about how technology has changed over time.
|Perseverance and Resilience
|Through investigation, children will learn that to be effective in computing they must show perseverance and experience failure in order to safely and efficiently search for information online and also to succeed in programming/debugging work.
|Collaboration and Cooperation
|Many computing tasks and activities involve groups of children in collaboration e.g. working with BeeBots, Code-a-pillars and Micro:bits. They must work together to take on specific roles and cooperation to reach the aims of the lesson and to drive their learning forward.
|We have created a comprehensive progression document for staff to follow to best embed and cover every element of the computing curriculum. The knowledge and skill statements build year upon year to develop, and deepen age-appropriate computing proficiency whilst continually challenging our learners. To provide the very best education for our pupils’ we have undertaken to focus on the areas of the computing curriculum that that our cohort of children cannot, or do not, access at home and to develop life skills that are in line with – if not exceeding – the expectations of our partner Secondary schools. Pre-assessment is key to this; we must know what the pupils already know to enhance and extend their previous knowledge and understanding.
The WGPS computing curriculum develops pupil’s learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge of the world around them that ensures all pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. Pupils can also identify and analyse problems in computational terms, with repeated practical experience of writing increasingly complex computer programs in order to solve such problems. Our curriculum also meets the National Curriculum guidance for Computing which aims to ensure all pupils:
Our curriculum prepares pupils to live safely in an increasingly digital British society where pupils can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems. With regards to online safety, GDPR will play an important role in allowing children to recognise what information is personal to them and who and when it is safe to share it. To do this effectively, children must have a clear understanding of the meaning of personal information and recognise their own responsibility in safeguarding this. WGPS pupils will be taught about their digital footprint and where to seek support and advice should they need it. We believe a strong understanding of these things will enable children to access modern technologies and communicate effectively whilst developing an ever increasing understanding of how to keep themselves safe from evolving dangers in the digital world.
Whenever possible, we feel that the use of computing skills should be embedded across the curriculum, enabling pupils to deepen their knowledge. Every year group has a timetabled Computing session each week, however staff are encouraged to use our school technology flexibly; altering the timetable with agreement of another cohort and by utilising technology to support pupil needs and enhance learning in all curriculum areas. We recommend the timetabled computing session to focus on one of two elements: an explicit Computer Science lesson or a tinkering Session. The computer science part of the computing curriculum will often, but not always, need a more explicit approach by that is not to say that opportunities for computing learning as developed within timetabled lessons can’t be further incorporated across the curriculum. A tinkering session looks at introducing a new app or tool and gives the children an opportunity to experiment and familiarise themselves with the different elements and tools before it can be applied in a more focused approach across the curriculum. Therefore, some weeks computing can be covered by using technology to demonstrate learning in other subjects. In line with Durham LA recommendations, computing lessons often take a ‘driver’ and ‘navigator’ approach; where the ‘driver’ is the person who uses the technology and manipulates the device, while the ‘navigator’ follows the instructions, explains the task and supportively evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of the driver. The very best consumers of technology can use it, but also explain how and why we do things to others too.
To help with our implementation of the computing curriculum we have a variety of hardware available to all teachers, including:
Classes also have year group/key stage specific technology available when required, such as BeeBots, Code-a-pillars and Micro:bits. Any technology that we do not have readily available within school can be borrowed from our local computing hub, based at Cardinal Hume School, who also provide opportunities for workshops with the pupils in school. We also access workshops and support from the Animate2Educate group and make good use of our Local Authority SLA.
Technical support for computing is provided through our part-time ICT technician and Durham LA’s IT Support Service.
|Cultural Capital in Computing
|Cultural Capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, skills and experiences that gives us the confidence to be able to talk, communicate, progress and take a full part in our community and wider world. At Witton Gilbert Primary school, we promote equality through our commitment to developing cultural capital for all our children.
In Computing, children will learn about areas of significant computing interest such as how the internet was invented and what people did before it was introduced. In addition, they will learn about famous computer scientists and entrepreneurs such as Tim Berners-Lee, Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
During their time at Witton Gilbert Primary School, they will also experience
|We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask pupils about the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. To be successful computing creators the children must be able to talk with enthusiasm and confidence about the skills they have learned, and explain/recognise how they can apply these in their wider life with impact; regardless of background, previous technological experiences and ability.
Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy lifestyle; we feel the way we implement computing helps children begin to realise and explore the need for the right balance and is one they can continue to build on in their next stage of education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this.
The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the significant impact of our curriculum. This can not only be seen in displays around school and throughout the children’s individual computer folders, files and accounts (our digital workbooks), but also can be measured by speaking to the children and staff themselves. We also make use of cohort computing books – 1 per class – where staff share lessons taught, examples of children’s work and summaries of learning and our school assessment system of Knowledge Batons which record termly progress through the assessment of outcomes from the National Curriculum and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.