Computers are part of everyday life and technology is essential at home and work for all of us. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all children should be taught so that they are ready for the workplace and to enable them to participate in and engage fully in a digital world.
The Primary National Curriculum for Computing is split into three strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
- The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. It gives all children the opportunity to learn basic computer programming, from simple floor or onscreen robots in Year 3 right up to creating on-screen computer games and programmes by Year 6, using programming software such as Scratch or 2Code.
- Information technology is about the use of computers for functional purposes, such as collecting and presenting information, or using search technology.
- Digital literacy is about the safe and responsible use of technology, including recognising its advantages for collaboration or communication.
Lessons also embed the teaching of online safety to ensure that children feel confident when using technology and the Internet, and know what to do if they come across something either inappropriate or uncomfortable. They learn to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
At St Peter’s, we use Purple Mash, a creative, educational online learning platform for primary children. Purple Mash hosts an exciting mash-up of curriculum focused activities, creative tools, programmes and games to support and inspire creative learning every day. From poems to newspapers, masks and 3D models, animations and textured paintings, Purple Mash supports both our computing and creative curriculum.
We use both iPads and computers to teach computing across all year groups. We currently run an iPad scheme offering all pupils who join the school the chance to use an iPad at both school and home.