Computing and Online Safety
Computing and Online Safety at Charlestown
At Charlestown Community Primary School and Nursery, we value Computing. We want our children to love Computing and want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be software engineers, video game designers, web developers or IT consultants. We are very aware of the World Economic Forum data from 2016 which suggested that 65% of the jobs our children will move into, did not exist at that time, due to the technological developments which will take place over the course of our children's lives.
Our Computing curriculum has been crafted so that our children develop their digital capital. We want our children to remember their Computing lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with. We know that we can use our Computing and Digital Literacy skills in every subject and enables us to share our work outside of the classroom. To do this, we follow the NCCE (National Centre for Computing Education) framework to build our children’s skills. Bringing Computing alive is important at Charlestown and ensuring that we keep our children safe at all times whilst they use digital technologies. To facilitate teaching our children how to stay safe online, we follow the Project Evolve curriculum formulated around the Department for Education's, "Education for a Connected World" framework.
All pupils at Charlestown have the right to have rich, deep learning experiences that balance all the aspects of Computing. With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. A high-quality Computing education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science and Design and Technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.
We teach all three elements of Computing: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy in which pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including laptops, iPads and our Prowise Interactive Screens, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology, at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active and safe digital citizens.
At Charlestown, we value the contribution that Computing can make for the benefit of all pupils, staff, parents, governors and the wider community. Our aim is to provide a technology rich environment which allows pupils to gain the confidence and ability to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world.
At Charlestown, we believe that in order for our children to leave us as digital citizens in an increasingly digital world, our teachers must lead by example. For example, we encourage our teachers to complete training on the NCCE Computing framework. All our class-based staff have a personal iPad and training is regularly provided on the use of the iPad, keeping themselves and our children safe online and cyber security. By completing training on how to use our laptops, iPads and various other Computing related equipment, teachers feel confident in teaching the next generation of digital citizens.
We chose the NCCE as our framework as it “exists to support teachers at every stage, from primary to A level, to improve computing skills and subject knowledge. It does this through certified CPD, resources and local meetups, through the CAS Communities of Practice. The National Centre for Computing Education is a funded programme by the Department for Education. It is led by a consortium of STEM Learning, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Raspberry Pi Foundation” (Barefoot Computing, 2022). Another reason we chose the NCCE “Teach Computing” resources is because they listen to feedback and regularly update their resources, providing the latest in Computing education resources for our children.
The Computing subject leader leads training with all teaching staff on relevant apps and new programmes, to ensure that staff are confident in their use of technology, this often includes support staff as we feel all of the staff will benefit from this Computational knowledge. Opportunities are also provided for teachers to be able to see the KS2 end points in various elements of Computing, such as a ‘tinkering’ session on both the Crumble and Micro:Bit 'microcontrollers' has been scheduled for the 2022/23 academic year.
We have worked hard to ensure that our curriculum meets the needs of our children. As children grow in basic skills with technology, we wanted to make sure that they were given a challenge. The NCCE framework is perfect for this as it develops the basic skills of the children and it helps us to ensure that all of the children leave Charlestown with the knowledge and skills they will need for their future. We have used this to create our progression map, found below, so that teachers can see the progression from previous year group learning and what will be expected in the future.
Each unit builds on the skills which have been previously taught and enables the children to build their knowledge in Computing as they move through our school. This enables children to become secure in the skills of Computing across the three aspects of Computing and it also enables teachers to build on prior knowledge. We endeavour to ensure that children master those skills in each year group in order to progress to their next stage.
For Online Safety, we follow the ‘Project Evolve’ framework, "which covers all of the 330 statements from UK Council for Internet Safety's (UKCIS) framework 'Education for a Connected World' with perspectives; research; activities; outcomes; supporting resources and professional development materials' (Project Evolve, 2022). By using 'Project Evolve', our children are taught about online safety from Nursery to Year 6. This is a must for our school as we believe online safeguarding is crucial and our children need to be educated in depth in this. It is so important to us, that a class Online Safety assembly is given a dedicated timetabled session every week, for all classes from Year 1 to Year 6. Online Safety is integrated into both bespoke teaching sessions, reading relevant and age-appropriate Online Safety books and through Basic Skills teaching and learning in the EYFS. This learning is monitored by the Computing subject leader. We also take part in the annual Safer Internet Day, organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Charlestown staff know that Computing can enhance our teaching and learning, so we try to use Computing in as many subjects as possible, where appropriate. We ensure that our basic skills are paramount to our Computing skills, but we ensure that we can, as teachers, enhance our teaching by using technology in as many aspects of the curriculum as practical and appropriate. By allowing technology to be used across the curriculum, children can see the benefits of becoming computer literate, digital citizens for their futures. By implementing Computing this way, we also enable the children to show how creative they can be. Children may create a news report in English with the purpose being that they will make a real report using iMovie and perform their script writing; children may explain how something works in science by creating a Seesaw Video and sharing this with their class. Ultimately, we are trying to implement Computing not only into our Computing lessons, but across every aspect of our curriculum and into everyday life.
We want to showcase our children’s talents and to do this, we will:
- Use Educational Technologies where appropriate to motivate and inspire pupils and raise standards across the curriculum.
- Develop pupil’s Computing skills, knowledge, understanding and capability through taught Computing lessons and to provide varied opportunities for pupils to apply and consolidate their Computing capability across all curriculum contexts.
- Assess Computing systematically with a focus on pupil’s knowledge, skills and retrieval.
- Use technology to support all pupils to ensure they are able to reach their full potential.
- Make children aware of inappropriate use of technology and how to use it safely and responsibly.
- Take responsibility, as staff, for our own continuing professional development in our Computing and Online Safety curriculum and the use of technology in the classroom.
- Ensure our resources are up to date, easily accessible and sustainable.
- Use creativity with technology in as many aspects of the curriculum and life.
Using the NCCE for Years 1 to 6 and by building Basic Skills in the EYFS and Barefoot Computing in Reception, our Computing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We use quizzes, created by the Computing Subject Leader based on the NCCE assessment or rubric for each unit, as well as the knowledge and skills taught through the framework to assess the children's knowledge, skills and retrieval of this in Computing. We can monitor which skills the children are recalling through the repeated nature of our quizzes. Monitoring in computing includes: work sampling, learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice. All of this information is reviewed frequently and is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
Our aim at Charlestown, is to not only upskill our children, but to also upskill our staff and parents. This only enhances our Computing curriculum on a whole and ensures that we can use technology in the classroom and at home for so many wonderful things.
By the end of their time with us, our children should feel confident in using technology and should be able to keep safe when online. Children will have a sound knowledge of up to date technology and how it can be used to enhance the curriculum and their learning.
Children will ultimately leave Charlestown ready for their future!
Computing, Digital Literacy Skills and Online Safety in the Early Years
Despite Computing not being explicitly mentioned within the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, we feel that technology is an integral part of our children's daily lives and we therefore reflect this in our EYFS curriculum.
We provide purposeful opportunities for teachers to effectively prepare children for studying the Computing curriculum in KS1 and building their basic skills in both Nursery and Reception. We use ‘Project Evolve’ to keep our children safe online and use age appropriate books, such as DigiDuck, Smartie the Penguin and Goldilocks: A Hashtag Cautionary Tale, as stimuli for online safety discussions with our youngest children.
In our Early Years classrooms, across the year, you will see:
- Roleplay areas containing a laptop that children can access age-appropriate software on, helping them to apply their learning and discover how things function
- Cash tills
- Walkie talkies
- Loose parts area - contains model/broken devices that children can deconstruct or ‘tinker’ with, so they can see how things work
- Beebots are introduced in Nursery to allow early coding and programming to be taught and to develops children’s understanding of left and right, along with directional language, before they are taught this in Key Stage One
- Talking Pegs - children can record and playback
- Interactive Prowise Screens with interactive maths, phonics and problem solving games.
In Reception, children access a weekly Computing based session. These sessions may be a “Computational Thinking” session, using the Barefoot Computing resources, a Project Evolve Online Safety session or a discussion around an Online Safety age-appropraite book. As well as this, we build their Basic Skills by continuing their learning of the digital technologies we have in our classroom and developing their Computational thinking skills. This will enable our Reception children to be ready for their Year 1 learning and the NCCE “Teach Computing” resources.
We have chosen Barefoot Computing as the NCCE have a partnership with Barefoot Computing and it will provide our Reception children with increased ‘Computational Thinking’ skills, which will prepare them for their Year 1 NCCE based Computing learning.
You can see from the Progression Map below, how the children in our EYFS build their Basic Skills across their year in Nursery and Reception and how they retrieve these skills and build upon them. This is to enable Charlestown children to be fully ready for Year 1 learning, not only in Computing but across the curriculum.