All pupils at St. Matthew’s participate in rich and deep learning experiences that balance all aspects of computing. With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. A high-quality computing education, underpinned by Gospel values equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world in order to contribute to the common good. At St. Matthew’s, the core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
We teach a curriculum that enables children to become effective users of technology who can understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of computer science and can communicate ideas well by utilising appliances and devices throughout all areas of the curriculum. Through the use of technology, pupils are given opportunities to demonstrate and embody the Gospel values of our school and to let their light shine.
At St. Matthew’s, computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures children are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. 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.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. 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.
Our computing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- a reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
- children can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation;
- children can analyse problems in computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
- children can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems;
- children are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.