At St Peter at Gowts CE Primary School, we recognise that, in a now digital age, it is imperative that we equip our children with the knowledge and skills they will require to use technology and the internet in a safe and effective manner. Computing is taught as a subject but the teaching of knowledge and skills also go beyond the computing lesson- the use of ICT is used to enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum. Safe use of the internet (including social media) is promoted and explicitly taught, as well as embedded into the wider/hidden curriculum.
In EYFS, teachers introduce different devices and objects through the year and model expectations of their appropriate use. Children are encouraged to explore and use the devices and objects (including iPads, cameras, IWB, floor turtles and voice recorders) independently build an understanding of their purpose. Children are also exposed to beginnings of internet safety as they explore the devices and objects and world around them.
In Key Stage 1, the children will learn to understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. They will be taught to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. They will be shown how to use a range of technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school. They will be taught 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, the children will design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. They will use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs. Children will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. They will use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Children will be taught to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals. They will use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Each of these skills will be taught through termly or half termly units that are focused on a central whole school theme.
Beyond computing lessons, the use of iPads, laptops, smart TVs (et al), are used to extend the learning experience, extend learning, enrich the curriculum and expand learning horizons. We aim to provide children with access to a variety of resources that may not be readily available at home.
Safe use of the internet (including social media) is promoted and explicitly taught, as well as embedded into the wider/hidden curriculum. We are currently working to become a National Online Safety certified school, with well-trained staff that have the expertise and knowledge to educate and support our tech and social media- savvy children. We utilise the resources and materials from National Online Safety to enrich staff development and the children’s curriculum.
As a Year 6 computer scientist and digital citizen transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are digitally literate and able to join the rest of the world on its digital platform. They will be equipped, not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and for their own benefit, but more importantly – safely. The biggest impact we want on our children is to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed to safely utilise the internet and social media.