Mr P Sawdon Computing Leader
At Birchwood Junior School we want our children to be safe and responsible users of technology and to have the skills required for living in the 21st century digital world. Children will have knowledge of each area of computing and will be aware of how computing is used in the world beyond the classroom.
Children use hardware and software responsibly and are given experiences in being an engaged and safe online citizen.
Through the 5 lenses of computing, children build knowledge and skills to use within school and in the wider world.
Children are given the knowledge, skills and understanding of how to keep themselves safe online. All computing lessons are underpinned by online safety alongside discrete discussions based around staying safe. These discussions are undertaken through the Project Evolvescheme and are grouped into several areas. All children will partake in discussions and learning about self-image and identity, online relationships, online reputation, online bullying, managing online information and health, well-being and lifestyle. Sessions are tailored to each year group, allowing children to build on previous knowledge. The nature of the discussions within the sessions allow children to ask questions and to discover online threats in a safe and controlled environment.
Online Safety Lenses
Online Safety Knowledge Organisers
Children are given the knowledge, skills and understanding of how to keep themselves safe online. All computing lessons are underpinned by online safety alongside discrete discussions based around staying safe. These discussions are undertaken through the Project Evolvescheme and are grouped into several areas. All children will partake in discussions and learning about self-image and identity, online relationships, online reputation, online bullying, managing online information and health, wellbeing and lifestyle. Sessions are tailored to each year group, allowing children to build on previous knowledge. The nature of the discussions within the sessions allow children to ask questions and to discover online threats in a safe and controlled environment.
The computing curriculum is delivered through the Purple Mash scheme which is a spiral curriculum and progresses the skills of children as they move through the school. The lessons are clearly planned with outcomes that link to the 5 areas of the computing curriculum.
Children have the opportunity to learn about computer systems, networks, the internet and the world wide web. Through understanding how systems work, children will become more aware of the technology around them. They will discover the complexities of the world wide web and begin to understand the differences between that and the internet. By discussion and discovery, children can see how opportunities can be presented in their future lives.
Computer science can be seen in a number of different units of the computing curriculum. As children progress through school, they begin to understand more of computer science. They are encouraged to plan, debug and assess the success of their work in coding, sequencing and editing. Lessons look to allow children to recall their prior knowledge and then build on their existing skillset. Children are encouraged to ask questions such as ‘why did this not work?’ ‘how can I change my code?’ and ‘how does this allow me to further my understanding?’. Through computer science we are encouraged to make or find mistakes so that codes will run correctly or sequences perform as expected.
As part of the digital literacy strand, children are encouraged to represent their work using a number of different programmes. They represent data through databases, spreadsheets, word processing and presentations. In the 21st century, it is important that our children leave school being digitally literate and able to make informed choices in how to present their work. Children are challenged to question their findings and learn through making mistakes in order to verify and robustly test their results. They are encouraged to make links with other subjects across the curriculum and will be able to use skills in a number of different scenarios.
Computational thinking / problem solving
Computers can be used to help us solve problems. However, before a problem can be tackled, the problem itself and the ways in which it could be solved need to be understood.
Computational thinking allows us to do this.
Computational thinking allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. We can then present these solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand.
There are four key techniques (cornerstones) to computational thinking:
- decomposition - breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts
- pattern recognition – looking for similarities among and within problems
- abstraction – focusing on the important information only, ignoring irrelevant detail
- algorithms - developing a step-by-step solution to the problem, or the rules to follow to solve the problem
Each cornerstone is as important as the others. They are like legs on a table - if one leg is missing, the table will probably collapse. Correctly applying all four techniques will help when programming a computer.
Computational thinking in practice
A complex problem is one that, at first glance, we don't know how to solve easily.
Computational thinking involves taking that complex problem and breaking it down into a series of small, more manageable problems (decomposition). Each of these smaller problems can then be looked at individually, considering how similar problems have been solved previously (pattern recognition) and focusing only on the important details, while ignoring irrelevant information (abstraction). Next, simple steps or rules to solve each of the smaller problems can be designed (algorithms).
Finally, these simple steps or rules are used to program a computer to help solve the complex problem in the best way.
Examples of the computing curriculum within other subjects:
DT computing controlled
Crumble / scratch / laptops
Maths shape and space
Tinkercad 3d modelling
Branching database (j2e)
Science (working scientifically) PE
Data input (purple mash) j2e exel