Subject leader: Miss Arrowsmith
At Northlands, computing is taught on a fortnightly basis for an afternoon to allow for a substantial amount of time to teach the skills covered in each unit. As a school, we use the online programme Purple Mash: we chose this programme (provided and widely used throughout Warwickshire) as it provided teachers and children with safe, easy to use framework. Purple Mash facilitates teachers in achieving the very best outcomes for pupils, regardless of their starting points. The scheme of work provides opportunities for pupils to cover the three strands of computing content (Online Safety, Digital Literacy and Computing Science) to ensure a spread of complimentary opportunities and skills to allow for curriculum coverage. The programme exposes pupils to a wide variety of skills, experiences and poignant real-life scenarios which supports the notion of cultural capital; providing the foundations that lead to well-rounded global citizens. Many resources provided on the programme may be utilised across the curriculum to scaffold and challenge children in other subjects.
In Computing at Northlands, lessons vary depending on how the content is delivered but all lessons have clear objectives using subject specific vocabulary. Some lessons may include open ended tasks whereas others may need small step instruction that involve explicit explanation and demonstration of strategies. Lessons frequently use ‘How to Guides’ and ‘Knowledge Organisers’ to support and scaffold children in working independently. In every lesson, there will be ample time for children to log in and out, discuss their learning and reflect on their outcomes alongside the use of technology. Each lesson will provide the opportunity for children to revisit prior knowledge and regularly practise problem solving. Within lessons, connections are made between the individual topics and the greater programme of study as well understanding the relationship between the virtual and physical world. Where possible, children are given the opportunity to practise these skills outside computing lessons to enhance their understanding and enthusiasm for the subject.
Through lesson observations and children's work, it is clear that pupils have been exposed to a range of programmes and skills through the careful planning and resources available provided by the scheme. Pupils, including those with SEND needs, enjoy their learning in computing lessons and are beginning to talk about their learning using high level language.
We look to support parents and children at home by providing laptops and other technology to support learning from home. To ensure computer fluency and enjoyment, we set a proportion of homework through Purple Mash.