Computing

Schools within The Pegasus Academy Trust are well resourced for the teaching of computing with ICT suites or mobile sets of laptops or Chromebooks using wireless technology to allow them to be used whenever they are needed in the classroom.

Intent

Over the last three years, the Academy has carried out a continued cycle of improvement and evaluation of our computing curriculum.  We have identified that computing is an increasingly significant part of the lives and future careers of the children at our schools, and are therefore striving to provide high-quality teaching and learning of the requisite computing skills and knowledge.  We recognise the unique nature of computing in the way that it inspires and motivates learners and can provide a ‘level playing field’ where typically unconfident learners can demonstrate assurance and familiarity.  We are maintaining a provision of training for staff to improve their delivery of the computing curriculum and adopted the ‘Purple Mash’ scheme of work at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.  Our aim is to ensure all children in the trust are given a broad and comprehensive computing curriculum so that they leave our schools able to utilise, and take advantage of, new developments in technology around them.

Our intent is to enable pupils to:

  • Foster a love for all aspects of computing, and recognise its value in the wider world
  • Meet the age-related expectations in all areas of computing – computer science, digital literacy and ICT
  • Use the World Wide Web safely and know how to resolve any issues pertaining to e-safety
  • Work both collaboratively and independently to make links to prior learning and other subjects
  • Consolidate key skills from core subjects
  • Overcome problems using resourcefulness and resilience
  • Develop a strong computing vocabulary through which they can explain, discuss and question their computing learning
  • Navigate a range of software and hardware to achieve learning goals
  • Debug programs, think creatively and challenge themselves to solve problems in different ways
  • Apply computing skills between different software by understanding the key guiding principles – sometimes through ‘unplugged’ computing sessions
  • Elaborate on, and experiment with, taught skills and processes.

Implementation

In our search for a comprehensive, exciting computing curriculum, the Trust has now settled on the ‘Purple Mash’ computing curriculum for all year groups.  By doing this, we have been able to take advantage of their training for staff by computing teaching experts; ensured complete coverage of the national curriculum programme of study and provided staff and children with access to ongoing support of the learning and development.  We initially sought to bridge any gaps with the new software and to reinforce key transferrable skills, such as coding, and are now building links with other subjects and consolidating the progression of skills between each year group and key stage.

Our curriculum implementation is:

  • An engaging, easy-to-navigate, pre-developed online scheme, subscribed to after extensive research and trial of other schemes.
  • Supportive of staff, with a hub of resources and training to support those who need it in this relatively specialised subject area so as to improve staff confidence and improve overall quality of teaching and learning;
  • Organised into the requisite units and separate subjects required to be taught by the 2014 national curriculum;
  • Clearly developed to ensure progression of skills and understanding year on year;
  • A collection of child-friendly software with designated guided tasks, support videos and programs where children can also work freely and independently;
  • At least one hour a week of designated computing lessons, where computing is not confused with ‘online research’ or the non-computing use of laptops or tablets in other subject areas;
  • Designed and adapted to relate to children’s life experiences in order to allow them to understand complex computing ideas and processes;
  • Valued by staff and children as a vital part of the curriculum and modern life;
  • Accessed via a range of hardware which is regularly updated and renewed as required;
  • Strengthened by high expectations of staff, clear and specific subject vocabulary and the relevant application of ‘Building Learning Power’
  • Assessed every term, using bespoke Pegasus Academy versions of the Purple Mash Assessment tables;
  • Regularly monitored by members of the computing curriculum AIP team via drop-ins to lessons;
  • Assessed via feedback from children, year groups and staff members;
  • Reflective of the trust’s safeguarding and e-safety policies, through specific teaching in computing and PSHE lessons, as well as in celebration of Safer Internet Day

Impact

Children demonstrate clear progression in skills in each year as they revisit recurring computing topics.  They deepen their understanding of core computing principles such as coding, computer networks and algorithms.  When faced with challenges or specific problems to solve, children are able to work independently or collaboratively to find a solution based on prior learning and critical thinking.  In particular, children at the Pegasus Academy Trust will be inspired to further their understanding of computing and seek to pursue it further into later life, having been taught how integral it has become to so many parts of human existence in the modern world.

To ensure maximum impact, the Trust:

  • Monitors teaching and learning to ensure coverage, quality and progression of learning in all year groups;
  • Ensures all staff assess their children termly against the taught criteria, before assessing children as working towards, expected or exceeding the age-related expectation;
  • Canvases staff to gauge further training needs or individuals who require more support in delivering the curriculum, so that all children receive parity of computing education;
  • Talks directly to the pupils in our schools about their views on computing, our curriculum and their own learning in this area;
  • Utilises the computing curriculum team to oversee long and short-term targets are met with regards to curriculum intent.

Our schools are now using 1000mbps dedicated high speed broadband connections to the internet, allowing children to quickly access video and high-quality graphics.

In addition we periodically encourage children to edit various sections of our website is hosted using ‘WordPress’ – reportedly the most popular website management or blogging system in use on the internet supporting more than 60 million websites and opensource (free) to users.

 

You can see the complete long term planning for all year groups in the Trust here.  .

At the Pegasus Academy Trust we also strive to ensure that our pupils understand the importance of e-safety.  If you would like to know more about keeping your child safe online, the Thinkuknow website has useful information for both parents and children.  For advice, help or to report possible internet abuse navigate to the CEOP Safety Centre.

First published on 31st May, 2017 and modified 28th September, 2022

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