Computing at Ark Blacklands develops children’s ability to use a wide range of resources to creatively communicate and present their ideas; learn to programme for different purposes and adapt to emerging technologies.
E-safety is woven through our curriculum ensuring children develop responsible attitudes to digital life, preparing them for the 21st Century.
Children’s discovery of world of technology begins in the Early Years where they are provided with regular access to a range of devices in the learning environment. Children are taught to recognise that technology is used in places such as homes and schools and they have opportunities to select and use technology for different purposes.
Following a large investment in IT infrastructure and hardware, including the purchase of two trolleys of 30 laptop devices, pupils from year 1 to year 6 now have regular access to in-class computing at least once a week.
The academy has also recently invested in a subscription to the Purple Mash online suite of tools. This software enables children to be taught effective computing skills for life in word processing and formula writing alongside more specific skills in coding and programming.
Each child has access to the internet and is taught how to use it appropriately and safely alongside how search engines and websites operate. Every child also has access to online safety resources from Purple Mash with an individual login. Internet safety is taught regularly at an age appropriate level and forms the basis of all Computing learning.
Children are also taught about vocabulary linked to computing and key skills for life including touch typing. Computing is also cross-curricular, progressing children's learning in all areas of the curriculum. For example, children are given the opportunity to create graphs in Maths, blogs in English or using digital maps in topic-based work.
As pupils progress through Key Stage 2 and develop their skills, they begin to be taught using a range of well-known software including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel which are widely used in the wider world.
To support the successful implementation of our Computing curriculum, training has been provided at different levels. Staff have been upskilled to learn both how to use the Purple Mash suite but also to better understand coding and other aspects of computer science which are quite new to the primary curriculum.
Pupils in UKS2 are also given opportunities to become Computing Ambassadors; supporting teachers and younger pupils to be successful in their computing lessons with the additional opportunity to become Digital Leaders in our school using the Purple Mash resources provided.
By the time the children leave us in Year 6 to further their education at secondary school, all children will have a good level of computer literacy, knowing how to access files and navigate in the ever-expanding digital world.
In addition, we want children to learn the skills of computer science, knowing how the technology they use works and attempt to build it themselves. It is important that children know how to make the very best of the future that is quite literally at their fingertips.
We see E-Safety as a central focus of all ICT and Computing learning. E-Safety learning is built into all Computing topics.
Links to useful sites on E-Safety for parents and children can be found under the 'Community' tab on this website: http://arkblacklandsprimary.org/community/keeping-safe/e-safety.
We value technology in the classroom, and every classroom has an interactive whiteboard which Class Teachers use to make learning visual and exciting. We have many other resources in school to develop children's computing and digital literacy skills. Currently, we utilise:
- two mobile suites of laptops - 60 in total - each with touchscreen capability;
- two iPads available for staff and children to use in EYFS classes;
- a set of floor robots (beebots) to develop programming and debugging skills;
- a set of data loggers to collect and analyse information;
- a range of other ICT resources, such as digital voice recorders and programmes to support SEND.
This year we have used our 60 new laptops with touchscreens to deliver an exciting computing curriculum in years 1-6 as well as enhance the wider curriculum.
We recognised just how good some children in year 5 are at computing, so we have made them computing ambassadors that help other classes with their computing lessons throughout the school; this will be expanded next year with more year fives taking on the role.