Our Computing Curriculum aims to enable our pupils to become responsible, creative and adaptable users of technology, allowing them to benefit from all the opportunities that living in a connected world brings. We want our children to leave Ash Grove prepared for an ever-changing digital future, knowing and applying the skills of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. We want them to become confident and competent users of a range of technology for both work and pleasure, and to have a critical awareness of their own and other’s online behaviour, using effective strategies for staying safe and making a positive contribution online.
At Ash Grove we have chosen to follow the Purple Mash Computing Scheme of Work from Year 1 to Year 6. The lessons are designed to be fun and engaging, and meet all requirements of the National Curriculum for Computing. There are clear planning documents and excellent supporting materials for teachers, as well as plentiful opportunities for children to apply their new knowledge and skills in bespoke, creative tasks.
The units of work fall into three broad categories: Computer Science (coding and computational thinking); Information Technology (spreadsheets; art, design and music; databases and graphing; writing and presenting); and Digital Literacy (communications and networks; internet and email). We have organised the units into a spiral curriculum across each year group, building on prior learning year-on-year in order to secure children’s knowledge and understanding of key concepts and skills in each area.
Up to three units of work are delivered across each term, with no more than nine units across the whole year. In the autumn term, all children from Year 1 - Year 6 are taught the relevant units of work for Online Safety and for Coding. These are the core building blocks that underpin the learning across the rest of the academic year. The remaining strands are delivered across the spring and summer terms, with themes pinned down to specific terms where possible to ensure consistency and progression. For example, most of the communications and networks units are delivered in the autumn term; databases and graphing units are delivered mainly in the spring term; and spreadsheets are consistently delivered across all year groups in the final summer term. This structured, spaced learning supports teachers’ planning and delivery of skills and knowledge, as well as the children’s retrieval of prior learning, helping them to know more and remember more.
This repetition of key themes inherently lends itself to progression in skills and outcomes, including in the level of challenge and complexity of tasks set. Details can be found in the attached Skills Progression by Year Group document. Learning outcomes are shared with the children, and teachers make reference to prior learning, supporting the children to forge links between what they already know and the new knowledge they acquire. As a result of our carefully constructed spiral curriculum, children are expected to make good progress in their understanding and application of computing, including applying what they have learnt beyond the classroom.