Mrs V Unsworth
At Barton Moss, our intention is to prepare our children for a future of unknown possibilities. Given that it estimated that many primary school age children will be working in jobs that don’t even exist yet, jobs that will need some degree of digital skills and an understanding of technological proficiency, we consider this an integral part of their education.
As a foundation for teaching we us Kapow (although other resources can be used to ensure the progressive curriculum is implemented across all years and Key Stages). Kapow gives a strong focus on the foundations of the computing curriculum, computer science. Built into the learning platform, Kapow provides children the opportunity to practise and apply the principles of information, how digital systems work and how to use this knowledge through programming. Building on the foundations of computer science, children have the opportunity develop digital skills they will use through throughout their education and life by applying their learning through selecting and using a variety of software to accomplish specific goals and how to be digitally literate. Giving them the tools and knowledge so that they can express themselves, their ideas through information and communication technology.
Class learning is recorded in a class book. This may be photographs or screen shots which are then labelled and annotated by the children to explain their learning. The class floor books are used to inform the assessment of the children’s learning. Assessment is completed using a spreadsheet from Kapow which accompanies the Kapow curriculum at the end of each term along with other non- core subjects.
At Barton Moss Computing is taught so that children can build progression through accumulated knowledge, with an aim to apply and develop their knowledge and skills as well as developing concepts.
The new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum came into force in September of 2021, with a few marked changes.
Many will have noticed that the ‘Technology’ strand has now been removed from ‘Understanding the World’ and has not been replaced with any updated guidance. This has caused confusion amongst many teaching professionals who are now wondering whether we should still be teaching Computing in the Early Years or whether the subject has been deemed as unimportant or unnecessary for Reception children.
Should we still teach Computing in the EYFS?
Yes! Computing and technology are still vitally important subjects to deliver to Reception children in our school. Not only will teaching a well-planned Computing curriculum ensure that children enter Year 1 with a strong foundation of knowledge, but Computing lessons in the EYFS also ensure that children develop listening skills, problem-solving abilities and thoughtful questioning — as well as improving subject skills across the seven areas of learning.
We live in a technological world and there is no escape from the reality that technology is integrated into the lives of young children. Just as we ensure the children in our care are ready for the adult world by teaching them maths and literacy, we should also make sure that they are fluent in computer literacy and all-important e-safety.
Is Reception too young to teach Computing?
Computing in Reception doesn’t mean typing out a Word document or creating a code. In fact, teaching technology in the Early Years doesn’t have to involve computer work at all.
Our Computing scheme for the EYFS is centred around play-based, unplugged (no computer) activities that focus on building children’s listening skills, curiosity and creativity and problem solving.
Technology in the Early Years can mean:
- taking a photograph with a camera or tablet
- searching for information on the internet
- playing games on the interactive whiteboard
- exploring an old typewriter or other mechanical toys
- using a Beebot
- watching a video clip
- listening to music
Allowing children the opportunity to explore technology in this carefree and often child-led way, means that not only will they develop a familiarity with equipment and vocabulary but they will have a strong start in Key Stage 1 Computing and all that it demands.
How can we assess Computing without guidance?
Although the technology strand has been removed from the EYFS curriculum, there are lots of other assessment opportunities that arise from delivering a well-planned Computing scheme. Our Computing lessons are largely cross-curricular with strong links to communication and language, mathematics, physical development and the characteristics of effective learning in particular.
As you work through the lessons within and complete observations for each child, you will be able to gather evidence towards the relevant Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for each area of learning. Our scheme includes questions to consider and things to look out for as you complete your observations and assessments of the children during each lesson and ‘next steps’ are included with every plan. These will work together to help you to decide upon a best-fit picture for each child and will ultimately inform the Reception end of year profile when the child is assessed as ‘emerging’, ‘secure’, or ‘exceeding’ the ELG. While there is no longer a specific technology strand, the skills learned in computing lessons will ensure progression across all other subjects.
Therefore, our school decision is to use Kapow to prepare our children for Year 1 computing by integrating technology in our EYFS unit.
By the end of Key Stage 1 pupils will demonstrate the following:
- Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- Create and debug simple programs Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
- Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
- Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
- 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
By the end of Key Stage 2 pupils will demonstrate the following:
- Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
- Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web.
- Appreciate how search results are selected and ranked.
- Use search technologies effectively
- Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
- Understand the opportunities networks offer for communication and collaboration
- Be discerning in evaluating digital content
- Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/ unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
- Computing to be taught for one hour per week as a discreet subject. However other opportunities for cross curricular computing are encouraged.
- Learning to be recorded in a class book to capture the learning for each lesson.
Class teachers will plan meaningful lessons that allow children to apply learning and thus help them to know and remember more about computing. From the intent and subject overview the teachers will use follow the scheme of work on Purple Mash. If appropriate, with computer science in mind, teachers may also supplement lessons with opportunities to apply their learning using other programming language such as Scratch. Teachers should look for cross curricular opportunities to promote digital literacy such as producing and presenting a published piece of writing. As a result, children will develop important digital literacy skills such as word processing, typing and being able to save and open saved work. To help children stay safe online, each lesson should begin with a discussion, presentation or review of an aspect of online safety.
- Book monitoring will show that all children’s outcomes are 100 good outcomes or better.
- Book monitoring will show at least 50 percent have outstanding evidence that show children are engrossed and can know and remember more about Computing linked directly to the intent.
- All book monitoring shows that theory and intent is being implemented in the order and approach as planned by the subject leader.
- All books show assessment stages throughout each term (star sheets, progress maps) within the curriculum construct that show children are knowing and remembering more.
- Data at the end of EYFS will show at least 75% will achieve the computing objectives as part of Understanding the World.
- By the end of year 1/2 at least 65% of children will be age related with 10 percent achieving above.
- By the end of year 3/4 at least 70% of children will be age related with 10 percent achieving above.
- By the end of year 5/6 at least 75% of children will be age related with 15 percent achieving above.
- Book looks and pupil voice will show that staff know which children are engaged in music activity within or outside of school or those that show potential.