What we do
At Morningside, we want pupils to be masters of technology and not beholden to it. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students’ lives. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want our pupils to be creators not consumers and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology (especially social media) to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. Building our knowledge in this subject will allow pupils to effectively demonstrate their learning through creative use of technology. Morningside’s targeted curriculum and quality first teaching aims to establish and secure an understanding of the fundamental principles of computer science, along with the ability to apply information technology confidently and safely.
We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists.
Our ambition is that all children, including those with SEND or other barriers to learning, are able to access the full computing and ICT curriculum and develop the requisite skills and knowledge.
We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding, and hope that by the time they leave Morningside, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.
How we do it
The Teach Computing curriculum is designed around the three strands referenced in the National Curriculum: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, children revisit knowledge and skills in five key areas linked to these three strands: computer systems and networks; programming; creating media; data handling and online safety. The cyclical route through the curriculum ensures that prior knowledge and skills are revisited to ensure retention in long-term memory and built upon to develop increasingly sophisticated understanding.
Computing is taught weekly in half-term. Computing lessons take place in the base classroom with children accessing a range of devices such as Beebots, iPads or Google Chrome Books. Computing lessons at Morningside incorporate the following elements: retrieval practice; explicit teaching of new vocabulary; teacher modelling and questioning and a range of generative learning tasks – some independent and some undertaken in partnerships.
The Teach Computing curriculum is clearly and robustly planned using excellent subject knowledge and supports teachers’ ongoing professional development. This supports all teachers at Morningside to have strong subject knowledge across the computing curriculum and to know how new learning builds on prior understanding and towards future knowledge and skills.
How we assess it
We encourage our children to enjoy and value the curriculum we deliver. We will constantly ask the WHY behind their learning and not just the HOW. We want learners to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact computing has on their learning, development and well being.
Finding the right balance with technology is key to an effective education and a healthy life-style. We feel the way we implement computing helps children realise the need for the right balance and one they can continue to build on in their next stage of education and beyond. We encourage regular discussions between staff and pupils to best embed and understand this. The way pupils showcase, share, celebrate and publish their work will best show the impact of our curriculum. We also look for evidence through reviewing pupil’s knowledge and skills digitally through tools like Google Drive and Seesaw and observing learning regularly.
Progress in our computing curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes.
At the end of each academic year, class teachers use this information to make a judgement as to whether each child is working towards, at or above the expected standard.
Education for a connected world
In conjunction with our PSHE and RSE curriculum, our computing curriculum also meets the objectives of the DfE’s Education for a Connected World framework. This guidance was created to help equip children for life in the digital world, including developing their understanding of appropriate online behaviour, being discerning consumers of online information, copyright issues and healthy use of technology.
We place a strong emphasis on e-safety through yearly online safety units, regular retrieval of online safety knowledge in lessons, regular assemblies and communication with parents and carers at home.
Our curriculum teaches children the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to balance the advantages offered by technology with a critical awareness of their own and other’s online behaviour. We equip every child with effective strategies for staying safe and making a positive contribution online.
Computing in EYFS
At the heart of the Characteristics of Effective Learning in the EYFS lie curiosity, creativity and problem-solving. Our pedagogy supports children in our Nursery to develop these dispositions by interacting with the rich provision around them. In turn, these dispositions lay the foundation for their journey into computing.
Children are given opportunities, time and encouragement where needed, to explore how things work mechanically. This supports children to develop the computational and logical thinking they require for future learning in computer science. Pulleys, cogs, marble runs, jigsaw puzzles, lego and alternative building materials, water wheels and wind up toys are part of rotated provision in Nursery and allow children to experience cause and effect in its simplest form, as well as develop skills in design, logical reasoning, problem solving and sequencing in an ‘unplugged’ context.
In Reception children continue to explore this rich menu of ‘unplugged’ activities which support computational thinking.
In addition to this, Reception children learn the very basics within the three strands of Computing. In information technology, children take photographs to contribute to a shared story based around a character from a core text and to document the effects of the changing seasons they see. They also learn that information such as recipes or facts about animals can be found on the internet. In computer science, they use the Beebots to further their understanding of cause and effect within a computing context.
Reception children start their digital literacy learning as they take part in whole-school e-safety events.
Click the link below for our curriculum map and core vocabulary.
Online Safety Links
Think U know online safety: