Computing at Connaught
Connaught Junior School recognises the importance of computing in equipping children with the skills they need to thrive in a world where technology is rapidly advancing. We firmly believe that it is crucial for children to have the opportunity to actively participate in the development of new technological tools, enabling them to fully comprehend the significance and possibilities of emerging technology. This, in turn, effectively prepares them for the future.
We achieve this by teaching coding skills; teaching children to understand how networks and the internet function; and by using a broad range of technologies for a variety of purposes. This is underpinned by the rigorous teaching of online safety to ensure that children are able to engage appropriately with the internet in and out of school. As a result, our children gain skills that can be applied across different technologies and are confident in using them safely inside and beyond the classroom.
OFSTED, March 2022
At Connaught Junior School, we believe that children should be prepared for life in the digital age through the teaching of a strong computing curriculum. We achieve this by teaching coding skills across a variety of platforms; teaching children to understand how networks and the internet function; and by using a broad range of technologies for a variety of purposes. This is underpinned by the rigorous teaching of online safety to ensure that children are able to engage appropriately with the internet in and out of school. As a result, our children gain skills that can be applied across different technologies and are confident in using them safely inside and beyond the classroom.
Technology in the Classrooms
Every classroom at Connaught has an interactive whiteboard that is heavily used to support the delivery of all lessons. All teachers are given a laptop and an iPad when they start at the school. The slides or pages on the interactive whiteboard guide the children through the lessons and can be controlled using the laptop, the children themselves, or remotely using an Ipad. This prevents the teacher having to teach from the front of the class and allows them to support the children in small groups or one to one, whilst having full control of the board from anywhere in the room. There are also PCs and laptops in every classroom for use by the children and support staff.
In our school library, technology is used by the children to sign books in and out using Junior Librarian. This program and the accompanying hardware allows children to scan books and not only keeps a record of what they have borrowed, but also gives them suggested reading material and the opportunity to type up book reviews.
At Connaught Junior School, we believe that Computing is an essential subject that prepares our students for the digital world. Our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education that equips our students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.
We want our students to be confident, creative, and safe users of technology. Our aim is to ensure that our students develop key computational thinking skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. We want them to be confident users of technology and to understand how it can be used to solve real-world problems. These skills are essential for success in many areas of life, including science, engineering, and mathematics.
Computing also provides children with opportunities to express their creativity and develop their digital literacy skills. Through activities such as coding, game design, and digital media creation, children can develop their abilities to communicate, collaborate, and think creatively. We want our pupils to improve every day.
To achieve these aims, we implement a range of strategies that promote active and engaging learning. We have adopted the TeachComputing scheme of work, which is designed to provide a comprehensive and engaging Computing curriculum for primary school students. By using this scheme, we guarantee comprehensive coverage of the Computing National Curriculum through a balanced and inclusive approach that equips students with the necessary skills to progress throughout their academic journey.
Our teachers prioritise planning lessons that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each child, taking into account prior learning and individualised educational plans for children with SEND. Additionally, our staff undergo continuous professional development to ensure that they are delivering lessons of the highest standard.
With access to a range of technology, including laptops, iPads, safe applications such as Spark Post, iMotion, Paint, and educational websites such as Scratch, Google Sites, and J2Data, all of our students are given the opportunity to explore and excel in the world of computing.
Curriculum Overview and Road Map
What a ‘typical’ computing lesson looks like:
- At Connaught Junior School, our Computing lessons are designed to follow a structured and sequential approach as set forth by our Computing Lead.
- Our experienced teachers have carefully considered potential barriers to learning and have developed effective strategies to overcome them.
- Our LSAs are deployed to support teaching and learning effectively.
- We prioritise respectful and responsible use of technology and equipment by our students.
- Our lessons begin with clear Learning Intentions that build upon prior knowledge and are tailored to meet the individual needs of each child. They are followed by ‘Sticky Knowledge’ opportunities, to allow children to revisit knowledge from previous years..
- Children have the opportunity to work collaboratively in mixed-ability pairs/groups or independently, depending on the lesson objectives. They also have access to a wide variety of platforms and devices, including Google, Word, PowerPoint, Paint, iMovie, and more.
- We prioritise internet-safety and ensure that our students are supported in using appropriate websites and safeguarding themselves and their peers.
- Finally, to ensure that our students effectively retain new concepts, most of our lessons contain a variety of short activities that allow for active learning and reinforce the understanding of key concepts.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
We understand that whilst our curriculum gives a wide range of opportunities for children to learn computing skills, extra curricular opportunities offer the chance for children to flourish in their passion. At Connaught Junior School, we offer a variety of clubs including Animation (Spring term), Code (Autumn and Spring) and Photography (Summer).
Overall, we believe that Computing is a vital subject that prepares our students for the digital world and provides them with the skills they need to succeed in the future. We want our children to improve every day.
Connaught Junior School expects that the majority of its pupils will move through the units of study at a similar pace. We strive to ensure that each child gains confidence in each yearly objective and is able to apply their knowledge as they advance through the years. To achieve this, our teachers carry out formative assessment using AfL in each session and provide verbal feedback to the children.
We swiftly identify students who require further challenge or support and ensure that they receive it in a timely manner. The computing subject lead regularly monitors the quality and impact of our computing curriculum. Our monitoring in computing includes various methods such as work sampling, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice. All the information gathered from these methods is reviewed regularly and used to inform further curriculum developments. This allows us to track our progress, make any necessary adaptations to our provision to ensure that our students are receiving the best possible education in computing.
We are lucky enough to have 60 iPads in school that are well-used by the children for topic research, presentations, coding, digital artwork, photography and much more! As they are used so much, there are always plans to purchase more.
“The amount of equipment we have is incredible. We are so lucky as most schools don't have the privilege to have both iPads and iMac desktop computers.”
Through the use of a number of platforms, including micro:bit and Scratch, we are able to teach computer science skills in a way that challenges and engages all learners. We ensure that children have a solid understanding of algorithms and that they are able to use logical reasoning and problem solving to write and debug programs.
'Everyone should learn how to code, it teaches you how to think.' Steve Jobs
“I love using the different programmes in the ICT suite. Scratch and Turtle Art are definitely my favourite because I can be really creative.”
At Connaught, we are always scanning the horizon for the next opportunity to give our children the best learning experiences. We are currently discussing the purchase of a class set of VR Headsets! We believe that this will give our children a truly immersive learning experience. Watch this space!
At Connaught Junior School, we also place a strong emphasis on internet safety, and we work closely with parents and carers to ensure that our students are aware of the risks and benefits of using technology. Our teachers regularly review and update our Computing curriculum to keep pace with technological advancements and to ensure that it is relevant and engaging for our students.
We take online safety extremely seriously and understand that high quality online safety lessons are essential in ensuring the wellbeing of our children, in and out of school. Online Safety is taught once a half-term through the use of expert created schemes such as the SMART crew, Google’s Be Internet Legends and ThinkUKnow’s Band Runner. In the ever-changing world of online gaming and social media, we know that it is vital to teach children about technology that is relevant to them and meets their online needs.
“I find our online safety lessons help us talk through different scenarios and what things we may encounter online.” - Student Quote
http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/8_10/ - ThinkUKnow is the educational programme from NCA-CEOP, containing activities and videos for children as well as information for parents.
http://www.childnet.com/resources/the-adventures-of-kara-winston-and-the-smart-crew - With the help of the characters Kara and Winston, the SMART crew help children learn how to safety navigate the online world.
https://nationalonlinesafety.com/guides - National Online Safety have produced a number of guides for different platforms, games and sites that aim to help parents better understand how their child uses the internet.
https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ - NetAware is a branch of the NSPCC that offers concise information on the commonly used websites and platforms of our children
Scratch is the main website used for KS2 children to make programs using block language.
See if you can give this tutorial a go!
This BBC page offers a wealth of information on different areas of the computing curriculum.
"Embark on a quest to confidently explore the online world" - Interland
Online Safety Help Guides / Policies
Please find our online safety help guides on the Parents page under online safety and our policies on the information page under policies.