At Dobwalls, our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education which equips children to use computational thinking and creativity to solve problems and enhance their learning. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge, skills and concepts relating to computers and computer systems.
Throughout their time at Dobwalls, children will use computational technology to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information in a variety of ways. They will also develop the critical skills necessary to be able to use information technology in a safe, responsible and effective way.
By the time they leave Dobwalls, children will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, information technology and digital literacy. They will leave Dobwalls as proficient digital citizens thus enabling them to be confident, creative and independent learners.
At Dobwalls, computing is taught through a progression of skills in the three concepts as outlined in the National Curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. Knowledge and skills are mapped across each topic and year group to ensure systematic progression. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics.
Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. Each year, children complete three units based on computer science (Programming, Computational Thinking, Computer Networks) and a further three on information technology (Creativity, Productivity, Communication). Digital literacy is a common theme that is taught throughout the academic year. Teachers then adapt this scheme to suit the knowledge, skills and interests of their class.
This implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of the computing curriculum. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon. For example, children in Key Stage 1 learn what algorithms are, which leads them to the design stage of programming in Key Stage 2, where they design, write and debug programs, explaining the thinking behind their algorithms.
To support teaching and learning, we have a set of laptops which can be accessed by all classes. We also have iPads, tablet computers and desktops devices loaded with a range of software packages. This ensures that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of devices and programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
Our approach to the curriculum results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality computing education. Examples of children’s learning is evidenced on the school’s server. This allows pupils to access, share and evaluate their own work, as well as that of their peers. Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, and as a topic-based approach continues to be developed, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.
Much of the subject-specific knowledge developed in our computing lessons equip pupils with experiences which will benefit them in secondary school, further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, computing at Dobwalls gives children the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interests and vocations in the next stage of their lives.