Becoming Digital Citizens
The one who gets wisdom loves life;
the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Jesus for good works...
Computing at Whitegate CE Primary School
At Whitegate CE Primary School, we aim to provide our pupils with a high-quality computing education - one which equips them to use computational thinking, problem solving and creativity to understand and change the world as active and shining participants in the growing digital realm. Our Computing curriculum aims to ensure that pupils become digitally literate – able to responsibly and confidently express themselves and develop their ideas through their use of information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the world of both today and tomorrow.
At Whitegate we split The Primary National Curriculum for Computing into 3 main content areas or ‘pillars’ of progression:
- Digital Literacy encompasses the skills and knowledge required to be an effective, safe and discerning user of a range of computer systems. It covers a range of knowledge and skills, such as using physical devices, knowledge of the features that are likely to mean digital content is reliable and how to stay safe online.
- Information Technology provides a context for the use of computers in society. It focuses on how computers are used in different sectors and describes the methods used to create digital artefacts such as presentations, spreadsheets, word documents and videos.
- Computer Science covers knowledge of computers and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through the use of programming and algorithms. Computer Science is seen as the core of computing and underpins the whole of the subject. It provides the foundational knowledge required to understand and interpret the other areas of the computing curriculum. For this reason, we ensure that our computing curriculum is rich in computer science knowledge.
We recognise that pupils make progress in computing by knowing and remembering more about and, importantly, across each of these categories and being able to apply this knowledge. We have designed our curriculum to reflect the understanding that knowledge from each of these pillars complements the others.
There are two types of knowledge that we identify, sequence and connect across our Computing curriculum:
- Declarative knowledge: also known as conceptual knowledge; consists of facts, rules and principles and relationships between them. It can be described as ‘knowing that’.
- Procedural knowledge: knowledge of methods or processes that can be performed. It can be described as ‘knowing how’.
In recognition of the key role that language plays in effective and long-lasting learning, we have identified the key vocabulary which supports the knowledge we want our children to master at each step.
Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. In addition, it can act as a lens through which learning in other subjects can be focused or a screen through which it can be celebrated. Therefore, at Whitegate, we link our Computing lessons to our wider school curriculum wherever possible.
Helping our children to be safe and responsible online citizens is central to our curriculum, with each class delivering regular E-Safety lessons using the My Online Life scheme of work. These lessons are supplemented by whole school assemblies delivered by the Computing Lead and the E-Safety Officers, as well as by discussions in class related to Picture News class assemblies. As part of their online research across the wider school curriculum, children are taught how to evaluate sources of information and effectively use search engines, as well as what to do if they come across anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Outcomes vary depending on the area of Computing. Information Technology sees Year 1 publish poetry linked to their Under the Sea theme and Year 5 create and present PowerPoint presentations about the famous abolitionists. An Art lesson in Year 1 might link to use the Pastel app on the iPads to create a beach scene linked to their residential in Llandudno, while Year 4 might publish mythical stories linked to their Vikings theme. In Computer Science, Coding could see Year 1 learning how to programme simple algorithms to make a BeeBot move along a set path, Year 3 create a Scratch Jr-based game on the iPads using block coding, while Year 6 explore using Scratch 3.0 on laptops to bridge the gap between block and written coding.
Teachers use clearly specified core learning objectives for each class to design lessons and outcomes that support children in developing the requisite knowledge and skills for their age. We also signpost key prior learning to ensure that children have a firm foundation on which to build each new step of their learning.
Teachers use formative assessment in every lesson to monitor pupils engagement and progress. Quick quizzes at the beginning of lessons reactive prior knowledge, enabling new learning to more effectively ‘stick’ in children’s long-term memories and whole-school policies such as ‘no hands up’ ensure that as many children as possible are thinking and learning as much of the time as possible. Children are encouraged to talk about and explain their work to demonstrate their understanding.
Key end points are identified for each term and each area of Computing in every class. These will often link to the wider curriculum, for example a Minotaur maze-based game in Scratch Jr which is inspired by History learning about the Ancient Greeks or a multimedia project about the history of Vale Royal Abbey and its connections with our school and village. Each end point allows our children to bring together the knowledge and skills they have learned over a unit to create high-quality digital artefacts which demonstrate the breadth and depth of their learning. Viewing these end points quickly highlights to teachers which skills and knowledge have been effectively acquired and which need further practice.
Websites we recommend to explore:
Computing at School - Home Learning (KS1 and KS2):
UK Safer Internet Centre (KS1 and KS2):
Barefoot (KS1 and KS2):
BBC Bitesize (KS1 and KS2):
Hour of Code activities:
If you have any questions about our Computing curriculum, please contact Mr Thomas
(subject lead) via the school office.
Our school delivers the Computing curriculum through topic areas and discrete lessons. We have a range of equipment to enable us to do this: programmable toys such as Beebots, interactive whiteboards, laptops and iPads. In Foundation Stage, children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Key Stage One
Key Stage Two