At Gade Valley School, we want our children to grow up with the skills to use technology safely and discerningly; to have the life skills that enable them to use it confidently but appropriately. As computing is an increasing part of life today, it is essential that all pupils gain the confidence and ability that they need in this subject, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. The use of ICT will enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum whilst developing motivation and social skills. Our vision is that the use of these technologies will enrich the experience of all pupils and that these resources will help to provide an environment without boundaries, where opportunities can be explored in safety and confidence.
Our Computing curriculum aims to develop pupil’s computing skills, knowledge, understanding and capability through taught computing lessons and to provide opportunities for pupils to apply and consolidate their capability across all curriculum contexts as well as to provide an environment where access to ICT resources is natural and commonplace. We place emphasis on the teaching of coding (also known as programming) as it is a large part of the computing curriculum. We want even our youngest children to enjoy problem solving; to be confident to have a go, embrace when they have made a mistake and then have a go at correcting it. Using programmes such as Scratch and Beebots gives our children the forum to do this.
The Internet is an amazing source of information, which enhances learning in many ways. Being ‘e-safe’ means teaching our children what to do when online and faced with difficult situations such as seeing inappropriate material and if they experience cyberbullying. We use materials by Kidsmart, Thinkuknow, CBBC Stay Safe and Google Internet Legends to teach our children to be digitally aware. We follow the rule to be SMART online.
We have a brand new computer suite of 30 computers for the children as well as 16 iPads which ensure computing is taught in a rich variety of ways. ICT is embedded throughout the curriculum and iPads are used routinely to enrich curriculum provision. Specific IT and Computing lessons are timetabled weekly in the computing suite. During these sessions, children have access to their own computer. These sessions cover the skills and experience required to develop IT and Computing capability through the school’s scheme of work which is Rising Stars. This scheme enables the children to cover a wide range of topics in order to learn a broad and balanced curriculum. Each Computing lesson assesses children’s prior understanding and skills and aims to build on this through the use of the Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning. This ensures that learning is effective through challenging the children, maximising learning time and providing clear learning goals. As much as possible, the teaching of IT and Computing is done through cross curricular subject links for example many classes have linked their English, History, Geography, Art and many other units to their Computing topics. Portable equipment, such as an iPad, ensures that technology can be transported in to the classroom to support wider curriculum areas whilst consolidating core elements of the Computing curriculum.
In the Early Years, children have the same access to a weekly Computing session which focuses on the specific Early Learning Goals and outcomes. Learning about technology is deepened with children in Reception so that they have a basic understanding of algorithm, use of the internet and the parts of a computer/iPad and their different functions. Additionally, children in the Early Years are taught the fine motor skills to effectively use technology.
At Gade Valley, E-Safety is a pivotal part of our Computing Curriculum. We ensure that children are aware of the possible risks when using the internet through a rolling programme of assemblies and specific lessons as well as making sure the rules are displayed by every computer area. We introduce E-Safety to children in EYFS regularly through their Computing lessons and specific E-Safety weeks. In Years 1 and 2 we enable the children to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. In Key Stage 2 we develop their understanding of how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Parents and children will be given any information necessary to keep them safe online both inside and outside of school.
We believe that our Computing curriculum allows: