TEACH NURTURE CELEBRATE
Our Curriculum aims and design have been developed in line with the needs of St James CE Primary School community, promoting the Christian Values we hold dear. Our curriculum is ambitious and well-planned to ensure all pupils gain ample knowledge and skills to succeed in their next stage of education and life after primary school.
The aims are also based heavily on our school vision of Teach, Nurture and Celebrate in order that children should experience ‘Life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). All stakeholders were involved in creating the vision and aims, including: pupils, parents, PTFA, and staff members at all levels.
The intended curriculum
At St. James our curriculum is:
- Rich in powerful knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are specified, taught, assessed and remembered by pupils
- Well-planned and sequenced so that key concepts are built on year by year in a clear and logical progression.
- Rooted in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
- A well designed, cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to study.
- Taught by expert teachers who make skilful connections to prior knowledge as they are aware of the previous units of study.
- Underpinned by a sharp use of assessment to support and progress learning.
- Supportive of teacher workload, wellbeing and professional development.
- Diverse and forward thinking, enabling children to make connections between their local area and the wider world.
- Reflective of core British values which are embedded within the curriculum ensuring children are taught tolerance, respect and individual liberties through the conscious curriculum choices made.
At St James CE Primary School, we recognise that pupils are living in a rapidly changing world, in which computing is playing an ever-increasing role. We aim, therefore, to equip children with the skills to adapt to new technology and to give them confidence to use computing to further their learning and assist them in everyday life. In doing so, all pupils will have access to computing equipment and resources, according to their ability and age range.
At St James CE primary School, we believe that increased computing skills promote independent learning and gives greater access to a wide range of ideas and experiences. It enhances the quality of children’s work across the curriculum and should enhance and enrich the learning process.
Aims of Computing Curriculum
- To develop children’s individual computing capability and understanding
- To ensure all children know how to stay safe online
- To enhance teaching and learning in other areas of the curriculum by cross curricular use of computing
- To develop computing as a tool for learning and investigation
- To equip pupils with the confidence and capability to use IT throughout their education, home and further work life.
- To recognize the potential, and deepen the necessity of computing in everyday life
- To stimulate interest in new technologies
- To consolidate technical skills
- To achieve fluency with a range of key applications
- To develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles that underpin digital technologies and the changing consequences of these for individuals and society.
We have a clearly set out LTP and knowledge and skills progression for computing. All teachers follow this when delivering computing lessons.
Expectation in COMPUTING
At the end of KS1 children should:
- 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.
At the end of KS2 children should:
- 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; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
- Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
- 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
- Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
At St James CE Primary the computing curriculum provision covers the following topic areas (across all year groups);
- Text and Multimedia
- Images, Video and Animation
- Electronic Communication
- Digital Research
- Data Handling
- Data Logging
- Logo and Control
- Simulations and Spreadsheets
The implemented curriculum
We have used the best research and trial and investigation to find a computing program that works for us. At St James we use Rising Stars Switched on Computing which provides us with a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent and to work and think like computing professionals.
The key concepts in computing we plan a progression for are as follows:
- Computational Thinking
- Computing Networks
Curriculum timetabling and design
Our curriculum model has been designed in response to the challenges faced from the disruption of COVID. It is designed to be both responsive to the needs of our children given the challenges of the pandemic and proactive in our approach to providing St. James pupils with the opportunities and experiences they need.
The increased frequency model has:
- Given balance and proportionality to computing.
- Computing is taught in a modular approach with each subject having 3 module sessions each week on a 3-week rotation meaning there is more frequent teaching of these subjects across a year. This gives us more time to focus on the content of the sessions and knowledge notes might be taken over one lesson into the other.
- This takes into account some key research and evidence including:
- ○ Forgetting curve - we want to make sure we ease the forgetting curve by coming back to those key learning points after a shorter period of time
- ○ Retrieval and spaced retrieval practice - powerful toolkit to strengthen learning and memory
To support excellent teaching we consider five points of effective provision:
Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers use resources
Rising Stars (Computing)
These resources directly support the POINT OF EXPLANATION. Teachers understand the subject knowledge and are able to explain it in multiple ways, which leads to thinking carefully about task planning.
e.g. Computing – ‘Preparation for teaching the unit’ document
Explicit instruction techniques are used at the POINT OF DELIVERY, where teachers model and explain foundation concepts and knowledge.
e.g. Quality first teaching, modelled learning, worked examples etc.
Carefully designed learning tasks underpin the POINT OF PRACTICE. Pupils are expected to draw upon prior learning. Generative learning tasks support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent and automaticity is increased.
The POINT OF REFLECTION is carefully deployed through specific and deliberate techniques, such as self-questioning, retrieval practice like word paths and application tasks alongside low stakes quizzes and assessments. These directly support metacognitive development and enable pupils to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with structure and depth.
Reference - Content
At St. James CE Primary our computing curriculum is supported by well researched scheme and scaffolds to ensure a clear progression and sequenced delivery of substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Our curriculum meets the minimum standards as set out by the National Curriculum and looks to go beyond it to ensure that pupils leave St. James having a strong foundation for the next step in their education journey.
Explanation – Subject Knowledge
Teachers at St. James are supported to ensure that their subject knowledge allows them to deliver high quality lessons allowing all pupils to achieve. Subject leaders provide clear skills and knowledge progression documents and regular opportunities for CPD occur for teachers at all stages of their professional development.
Planning support is provided for teachers as well as subject specific support before delivery of a unit of work. This takes the shape of ‘Preparation for teaching’ (Computing), etc.
Delivery – Explicit Instruction
Our curriculum delivery at St. James follows a carefully agreed structure and will look broadly similar in all subjects. Where there are exceptions or adaptations these are detailed clearly in individual subject policies.
- Unit title page – with an over-arching question for the unit which will be answered by the end
- vocabulary sheets – Vocabulary is embedded into our curriculum and children are expected to highlight and discuss vocabulary on these sheets as they come across new vocabulary and demonstrate they can include it in their writing.
- Cumulative knowledge quiz – children use the knowledge as retrieval practice as they work through the unit and then after a period of a couple of weeks they return and the complete the quiz to identify retained knowledge.
The curriculum is developed through a use of ICT, Floor books and individual pupil books. This enables pupils to take ownership of their learning and to talk about all aspects of the varied curriculum delivery they enjoy at St. James e.g. recorded debates, screen shots of coding or responses to a big questions.
Practice – Metacognition
To enable children to develop their learning, tasks are designed to support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent at a task.
Pupils are encouraged to tackle a learning objective in different ways to showcase their understanding of the key knowledge. The carefully planned for tasks allow for children to build on their understanding of the substantive knowledge and apply it to disciplinary tasks. This carefully sequenced progression through lessons, steps or learning intentions, allows for children to apply new learning in different ways therefore promoting transition of key knowledge into children’s long term memory.
Reflection – Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers at St. James plan for a range of opportunities for pupils to develop retrieval skills, self-questioning and personal awareness of their own next steps.
This looks like –
- Cumulative quiz questions
- Give one, get one
- Remember two things
- Word paths
- Word connections
- Vocabulary instructions
- Image cues
This list is not exhaustive and teacher utilise a range of strategies to promote children as independent and reflective learners.
At St James CE Primary School to enhance the teaching and learning of all curriculum areas within the school, teachers employ a range of strategies including:
- Demonstrating to the whole class/group using the IWB.
- Discussion with the whole class/group.
- Individual or paired working.
- Collaborative group work.
- Encouraging pupils to demonstrate new skills to others
Across the implementation of computing units Rosenshine’s 10 Principles are used:
At St James CE Primary we recognise the need for children to understand the purpose of their work and therefore we take every opportunity to share their computing work in school and on the school website where there are galleries of children’s work for each class.
At St James CE Primary children will be encouraged to evaluate both their work and the computer effectiveness. The nature of computing as a tool means that there will be many opportunities for links with other subjects.
Teachers will plan some activities which emphasise the development of computing capability and others which support the subject being taught.
In order to ensure progression and continuity throughout the school, the school has a curriculum map which outlines curriculum coverage, progression and context of computing as a discreet subject and across the curriculum.
The impact of our curriculum
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their computing skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against their progress in understanding and applying computing against the curriculum map. This will be self-evident from the work produced in a situation where no teacher support is given once a task has been assigned.