Teaching Computing at Templars Primary School
In this modern world Templar’s students are surrounded by an ever-changing landscape of new technology and online services and potential dangers.
We believe every student needs to learn how computers work and how to use them responsibly as a tool to understand and influence the world around them.
Our curriculum focuses on 3 big ideas.
1. Computer Science
In Computer Science students learn that computers run software and this is made up of a series of instructions called code. Computational thinking is applied to find solutions with code through logical reasoning.
This is first explored in the Early Years with children giving instructions to robots and remote control cars. As students move into Key Stage 1 children are introduced to block coding and learn how the computer can be coded to control sprites through a variety of different inputs. To keep this fun and engaging this is taught by deconstructing simple computer games. Students are encouraged to look for errors (bugs) in a selection of different games and begin to widen their vocabulary of computing terms. In Key Stage 2 there is a focus on looking at real life situations and how coded software makes some tasks more efficient. For example, in Year 4 children learn about how variables can be used to make a calculator or shop till. We believe as students progress to Upper Key Stage 2 they should be introduced to real world coding languages such as Python and HTML. Students are shown the similarities of the different coding languages and explore and create websites.
2. Information Technology
What are computers? How do we use them? How do they work?
Beginning in the Early Years children being to explore and learn to operate a selection of different devices and software from torches, robots, clocks to using the interactive whiteboard. Key Stage 1 students begin to learn about the key uses of popular applications and start to navigate around various operating systems and common applications such as word processors, databases, web browsers and search engines. As students move into Key Stage 2 they explore how the internet works and how to refine and filter searches on the internet. Touch Typing is encouraged as this allows children more time to think about ideas and content of their work rather than finding keys on the keyboard. Students begin to create their own data files of spreadsheets and databases building upon the introductions they had in Key Stage 1. Various animation software is explored to demonstrate how computers can be used to make some tasks more efficient.
3. Digital Literacy
How do we use the internet safely and responsibly?
As part of Templar’s custom curriculum we believe that every child should become a responsible digital citizen, the values we teach the children about kindness, compassion and professionalism should be reflected in their online actions. We wish students to be confident after leaving Templar’s to use online collaboration tools and networking professionally, be aware of scam emails and phishing attempts and use social media responsibly. This starts In the Early Years with the children exploring stories about internet safety and learning to speak to a trusted adult if they find anything that worries or upsets them. In Key Stage 1 we expand the details of safe internet usage through the SMART targets and explore various situations about gaming addiction, screen time balance and online communication dangers. As the students move into Key Stage 2 we understand that children may have more access independently to online devices at home and teach about fake news, internet security and password protection, the dangers of online relationships and friendships, how to comment and reply appropriately online, how to report an issue to a trusted adult, website administrator or the police. We encourage students to be role-models online with a positive and kind outlook at all times. Alongside this part of the curriculum we also support parents with a selection of resources and news about the latest trends and dangers online.
Our successful digital leader program is offered to students who have a passion for computing. These students model exemplar behaviour on devices and support other students with technology in lessons. They provide student voice for the school and help get a child’s perspective of current trends, fake news and technology.
Previously our some of our Digital Leaders were shortlisted (Top 7 out of 220 entries) in a national competition for Childnet International, for their animation ‘Comment with Kindness’ coded by themselves to promote a message about internet comments.
A selection of Digital Leaders also presented at the ASE Conference (Europe’s largest Science Education Conference) showcasing coding to over 1000 visitors at Birmingham University.
Our Digital Leaders have a passion for the subject and through pupil voice requested extra lunchtime coding time where students can tinker and explore their own coding projects. These have proved very successful with previous students creating full playable games on Scratch.
Digital Leaders have also helped lead an assembly with the ambassadors of Google to introduce and deliver 'Internet Legends' to the whole school.