Computing at St Mary’s
At St Mary’s we want pupils to be MASTERS of technology and not slaves to it. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in pupils' lives. Therefore, we want to educate our pupils so that they use technology positively, responsibly and safely.
The Computing curriculum at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary is designed to enable pupils to embrace and utilise new technologies through the application of essential knowledge, principles and concepts. “Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Said Stephen Hawking Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist and Author. Pupils must be equipped to operate in a rapidly changing workplace and to be prepared for the career opportunities that will be open to them.
We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and online safety reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with how we use technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is education.
Technology provides accessibility opportunities for our pupils and also allows them to share their learning in creative ways. Our knowledge rich curriculum is balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their skills creatively which will help them to become proficient computer scientists.
Computing skills are taught explicitly at St. Mary’s, with every pupil receiving a weekly dedicated computing lesson. Each half-term has a focus on either Information Technology or Computer Science, with Online Safety lessons also taught during each half-term. The skills acquired are then embedded throughout the curriculum in all subjects. We use Purple Mash as our Computing scheme of work from Year 1-6, this enables us to deliver consistency and progression from year group to year group. The Purple Mash scheme of work provides clear, sequential coverage of the computing curriculum presented in units of learning broken down into weekly lessons. Units are practical and engaging and allow computing lessons to be hands on. Units cover a broad range of components such as coding, spreadsheets, Internet and Email, Databases, Communication networks, touch typing, animation. Online Safety lessons delivered using Project Evolve materials. There is a blended approach with some of the on-line safety objectives being taught in computing lessons and some taught as part of the PSHE curriculum and reinforced using cross curricular opportunities, themed weeks/days and during assemblies.
Children will discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well-being. Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel that the way we implement computing will help children understand the need for the right balance and that this will continue to build in their next stage of education and beyond. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding so that by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers. Our children will be confident in their use of IT and computing and be well prepared for the next stage of their education and for life in a digital society.