Computing @ HLC Primary
The curriculum for Computing at HLC is bespoke and designed around the needs of our children. We recognise that technology, the internet and digital media forms a huge part of children’s daily lives and our curriculum reflects this. It is important for our pupils to become digitally literate and able to use technology to express themselves to become active participants in a digital world. Our curriculum is designed so that children can apply their computational thinking and logic skills gained from their Computing education to be able to problem solve effectively in other subjects and also in wider life.
Through our curriculum offer, children gain key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum:
- Computer Science – programming and understanding how digital systems work,
- Information Technology – using technology to create media and share ideas
- Digital Literacy – evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully
Computing skills are taught both discretely and across the wider curriculum, supporting other areas of learning across the school. Children have experiences of all three strands in each year group right from the beginning of school, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth. As children move through school, they actively build on their learning from previous years, with more complex skills being taught. All learning begins with ‘unplugged’ activities where children practise the skills in a real life context before applying the skills to more abstract situations.
For Computer Science in KS1, children begin to explore algorithms through looking at instructions. They learn key vocabulary and concepts that they will need throughout their Computing education, that algorithms need to be specific and precise for a computer to be able to understand them. They then move into programming floor toys such as BeeBots and then controlling sprites in Scratch Junior. In LSK2, children write scripts for multiple sprites that interact with each other, and then write code that allows a user to interact with the sprite onscreen. In UKS2, children explore variables to create games that have multiple outcomes and keep a score. In Year 6, children begin to link their learning to other areas of programming, such as Microbits and look back at how Computer Science has developed in history.
In Digital Literacy, KS1 children begin by exploring what technology is and how it is used at home, school and in the wider world. They learn the names of the key component parts of a computer and the role that they play. They learn about inputs and outputs and about how we can use text and image icons to communicate. In LKS2 children learn about cybersecurity and personal information, including the effect that viruses can have. Children then look at the advantages and disadvantages that the internet offers for online collaboration, including intellectual property and how ideas are protected online. In upper KS2, children refine their understanding of reliability of information found on the internet by exploring hoax websites, and then look at how networks are arranged and investigate methods of keeping information secure through encryption. Children also look at computer language and explore data transfer using binary.
Alongside teaching in PSHE, we cover aspects of eSafety through our Digital Literacy lessons. The curriculum for eSafety is well-planned and is bespoke to meet the needs of our children. It is updated regularly to reflect current emerging issues and the ever-changing concerns surrounding eSafety.
As part of their learning for Information Technology, we enable our children to have experiences with a range of different hardware and software in order for them to become confident and competent users of technology. From the beginning of school, children are encouraged to use a range of devices as part of their daily learning. IT projects are embedded across the curriculum so that all children have the opportunity to experience technology. All year groups have exposure to Microsoft Office products to ensure that they are proficient in their use by the time they enter secondary school. Alongside this, children have multiple opportunities each year to use technology to create, such as audio/visual manipulation software, 3D design, HTML and robotics. We are lucky to have a Green Screen setup in school, which all year groups use to enhance learning across the curriculum linked to the topic being studied.