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Click here for Computing Long Term Plan

Computing and ICT.

At Alverton, we understand clearly our responsibility in preparing children for their next stage of education and for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life, laying the foundations so that they can take their place successfully in modern British society and the wider world.

As opportunities in technology-based companies increase, it becomes ever more important that the children are fully computer literate when they leave school.

Computers in some form or another are part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this ‘digital world’. Our computing curriculum has been developed to equip pupils with the foundation skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need as they move through life. Through the new programmes of study for computing and under the headings of Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science, children should learn how computers and computer systems work, design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology safely and effectively and create a range of content.

Planning and Teaching of Computing/ICT.

Computing and ICT skills are taught discretely at Alverton using a specially developed scheme of work which incorporates the programmes of study from the National Curriculum and builds on children’s learning year by year. Each year, the subject leader reviews the planning and associated resources and updates it accordingly. After this, each teacher is sent a pack containing everything they need to deliver this curriculum area effectively.  In addition, children are encouraged to use a wide variety of programs and apps on the computers and iPads in order to research, present, enhance and develop all other areas of the curriculum, using a wide variety of media to do so. The ICT suite is timetabled for regular afternoon use for all KS2 classes, with available sessions for KS1 classes, whilst the mornings are left free for when staff and children want to use ICT or computing in other curriculum areas. Each site has in addition a trolley of iPads - fifty-six in total – which can booked by any staff member at any time for using with individual children, groups of children or a whole class. Not only does this allow for greater flexibility, it provides children with an opportunity to become familiar with different operating systems and user platforms. At Alverton, we believe that it is vital that children not only acquire the skills needed to enable them to become competent and innovative users of hardware and software, but that they receive regular opportunities to allow them, whether working independently or collaboratively, to apply and develop their learning in a variety of different contexts. The subject leader is keen to offer occasions for the more able children to really develop their use of computing and ICT to enhance their problem-solving skills wherever and whenever they are needed. For the less able, staff encourage them to work with a partner to build confidence and provide support, aiming for independent application of at least basic skills across the curriculum by the end of each term.

As a member of the Swaledale Alliance, we are able to participate in training as seen fit. This year has seen the school consolidate and build on past training, establishing that everything taught is done well and providing us with a strong foundation for taking on board the latest proven strategies for teaching and learning.

We are very fortunate at Alverton to have secured the services of a volunteer from the community, Richard Zealley, to run a Code Club at the school each week in the Autumn and Spring terms. Now in its third year, the children have developed their skills sufficiently to be able to use the coding skills taught by their teachers as a basis for more challenging programming using the Python coding language to program a selection of lights, switches, motors and bots. These children are turning into confident and proficient users who are able to admirably support their peers in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alverton has six digital leaders who are able attend staff CPD sessions on hardware and software and who take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the computers during assemblies. They are available to any child or member of staff who would like extra guidance or support during computing lessons. Recent CPD learning this term, provided by STEM, focused on using special software and bots and the digital leaders, who also attended, were invaluable assistants to the ten staff present.

 

Esafety

To complement this teaching of skills, children from the earliest age are made aware of the importance of esafety. Each child has a password, from a year group password in EYFS to an individual and unique password from Year 3. Staff are constantly reminding children to think about what they need to do to keep them safe when online in school, and the children are encouraged to share these practices with their parents and follow them at home. At school, they are protected by a stringent firewall managed and maintained by NYCC. Should the children see or hear anything they are unhappy with at school, they know to tell and adult, who will then report this following the guidelines set out in the esafety policy.

Children are taught to recognise if content that makes them feel uncomfortable or uneasy; they are taught that they must tell a trusted adult if they see any content relating to these feelings; they are taught how to report this content using the online reporting services and they receive constant reinforcement throughout school of the importance of keeping their data private, their uploads of photos, films and other media appropriate; they are taught not to divulge any personal information to anyone who they do not know in ‘real’ life and they are made very aware of the hazards and possible consequences of downloading and opening unknown or suspicious files or attachments. Each year the whole school participate in ‘Safer Internet Day’ with a variety of lessons and activities designed to promote the welfare of children when online. In addition, the school offers opportunities for parents to be involved in the latest developments in esafety in the form of special assemblies and workshops, often in conjunction with the police or charities such as the NSPCC.

These websites offer useful, practical and comprehensive advice:

https://www.bbc.com/ownit

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/

https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/bbc-e-safety-resources/

http://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/sexting/

 

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