At Christ Church C of E Primary School, we believe it is vitally important to prepare our children for life in modern Britain both today and tomorrow. We recognise that digital technology and computing are an integral part of life in the 21st century and as a result we strive to ensure that our children have the knowledge, confidence and understanding to thrive and be active, safe and responsible participants in our fast-paced digital world.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Despite computing not being explicitly mentioned within the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, which focuses on the learning and development of children from birth to age five, there are many opportunities for young children to use technology to solve problems and produce creative outcomes. In particular, many areas of the framework provide opportunities for pupils to develop their ability to use computational thinking effectively, such as through undertaking projects involving the concepts and approaches suggested by iLearn2 resources.
As young children take part in a variety of tasks with digital devices, such as moving a Bee Bot around a classroom, they will already be familiar with the device before being asked to undertake tasks related to the Key Stage One computing curriculum, such as writing and testing a simple program. Not only will children be keen to again use a device they had previously enjoyed using, their cognitive load will also be reduced, meaning they are more likely to succeed when undertaking activities linked to the next stage in their learning.
At Christ Church C of E Primary School, our computing curriculum is designed around the three key areas, as outlined in the National Curriculum. These are computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The combination of these areas equips our children with the ability to safely and confidently use a computer.
We have chosen to use the computing scheme iLearn2 to help us deliver the curriculum.
The intent of this scheme is to help pupils become independent, creative, safe, respectful and problem-solving digital citizens with a broad and transferrable skillset. iLearn2 makes computing fun for pupils, inspiring them to develop skills beyond the classroom and building an awareness of all the opportunities the subject provides.
iLearn2’s Progression of Skills has been adapted by our teachers to suit each year group (see below) and shows the teaching sequence of the activity packs and the skills within them. The progression of skills grid also includes how the activities meet the expectations of the national curriculum programmes of study for Key Stages 1 and 2. It has been designed to make sure pupils learn computing skills from the three recognised aspects of computing within each year of their primary education. This means that pupils will build upon skills and concepts they established from the previous year and develop them further in the current and subsequent year. For example, pupils will learn how to program keyboard or touch screen inputs in Year 3 to control a sprite in Scratch, then develop this further into a racing game in Year 4 using conditions and variables. Before introducing random variables in Year 5 to make the game unpredictable. Also, basic ebook creation skills can be introduced in Year 2 with text and images and developed further in year 4 and 5 with the addition of hyperlinks and interactive elements.
iLearn2 includes activity packs with step-by-step, easy to follow video tutorials and challenges for pupils to access. This has many advantages including:
Pupils can learn computing skills at their own pace, developing independent learning skills with opportunities to continually review and revisit the skills covered.
The pupil activity codes help teachers provide pupils with specific activities, meaning pupils can access resources and content suitable for their individual ability and needs.
The pupil activity packs are available across Key Stage 1 and 2. Key Stage 1 pupils learn how to apply the skills they learn in the tutorials to their own work. Key Stage 2 pupils apply and develop the skills they learn in the tutorials into their own projects, independently improving and evaluating their work.
The Embed page on iLearn2 provides pupils with cross-curricular projects, helping apply computing skills across the Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculum. The activity packs cover skills for the three most common platforms; Microsoft, Apple and Google.
Each iLearn2 activity pack includes different resources to capture and track pupil learning:
Downloadable assessment grid for each activity pack to track pupil understanding of each skill.
Printable ‘unplugged’ challenge sheets/cards for pupils to demonstrate their understanding of key vocabulary and the application of skills.
The activity packs often ask why and how could a project be improved/adapted, both through class/group discussion and independent critical thought. This helps pupils reflect on the development of their computing skills to apply their knowledge, solve problems, stay safe and respect others.