At Fir Tree, we have been working hard over the last year to ensure that we are meeting the standards required for the computing curriculum. On this page, you will be able to see examples of where computing has been evident around the school.
A high quality computing education equips the pupils at Fir Tree to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing at Fir Tree has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insight into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which our pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils at Fir Tree are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures pupils become digital literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Computing enhances the learning across all subjects at Fir Tree and is interwoven throughout many projects. Using information technology within various lessons helps engage learners and use a variety of skills to implement in their learning. Reinforcing digital literacy skills during learning enables the children at Fir Tree to be safe online and know how to use technology responsibly.
The impact of the computing curriculum is shown in many ways including in digital format (Scratch projects, Kahoot quizzes, Hour of Code) and physical copies (Word documents, posters, screenshots). Impact is also evident through learning conversations and learning walks arounds school. Children are regularly asked to take part in conversation about their learning and can talk confidently about what they have learnt, where they have made progress and what their targets are. Weekly assessment helps to inform the planning for subsequent lessons and highlights key areas that need to be targeted. Assessment happens within each of the three strands of computing; programming, information technology and digital literacy.
Coding has played a large part in the new coming curriculum here at Fir Tree. We have been using the software program Scratch to do this as it is a very user-friendly way of showing coding.
We were lucky enough to be visited by Google code club who really kick-started our introduction to scratch and programming and from then we have never looked back. This year has seen the start of a code club being run after school on a Tuesday. There has been a massive uptake for this club with a lot of children from both upper and lower school showing a large amount of enthusiasm for the area. At code club we have learnt to code animations, games, interactive programs and more. The level of work has been impressive and I am amazed at how quickly people have got to grips with the software.
Year 6 have created mazes using Scratch about Macbeth finding his way around the castle.
Created quizzes using Scratch to sort animals into different categories in science.
The hour of code linking to helping year 3 as digital leaders.
Year 5 have followed instructions to move characters through challenging levels whilst using sequencing and selection to form algorithms. Others, through their competitive attitude, wanted to advance their knowledge through challenging themselves to use multiple codes and accomplish specific goals.
The use of technology throughout the school to enhance the learning has also progressed significantly over the last year. Using laptops regularly has been a very visible technique that teachers have been using to incorporate technology in their lessons. As well as this, we have been lucky enough to have been provided with an iPad in each class. The iPads are becoming more and more regularly used and from what I have seen, they are becoming a key element to learning at Fir Tree. I have seen examples of movies, animations, maths games, spelling/grammar tests and music creation all produced through the use of the iPad over the last few months. Of course they also mean that picture, video and sound recordings are made a lot easier for both students and teachers!
Year 6 have made videos including editing, filming and adding sound. They have also taken pictures for art, made posters using pic collage, word processing, as well as research.
Our view of technology and the information that it holds has been broadened this year through the inclusion of assemblies based upon how to use tools such as the Internet or search engines appropriately. For children, this is essential to learn early as the Internet is vast and if not used correctly, can cause problems for people. This was the reason for ensuring that all the children were informed on Internet safety issues.
Year 6 have used the 'Interland' game (Google game about safer internet), made posters on being safe online, discussed what being safe online means and taken part in Safer Internet Day.