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What are we trying to achieve through our curriculum…

The Computing curriculum at Ryhope Junior School is designed to enable pupils to embrace and utilise new technologies through the application of essential knowledge, principles and concepts. “Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Stephen Hawking Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist and Author.  Pupils must be equipped to operate in a rapidly changing workplace and to be prepared for the career opportunities that will be open to them.  

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 ‘Online Safety’ reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology and as a school we utilise technology to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for a lot of issues we currently see with technology and social media is through education. 

Technology provides accessibility opportunities for our pupils and also allows them to share their learning in creative ways. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their skills creatively which will in turn help our pupils become proficient computer scientists.  

We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by Upper Key Stage 2, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the task and challenge set by teachers.  




How our curriculum is delivered…

Computing skills are taught explicitly at Ryhope Junior School, with every pupil receiving dedicated weekly Computing lessons throughout each half-term. Each half-term has a focus on either Information Technology or Computer Science, with Online Safety lessons also taught during each half-term. The skills acquired are then embedded throughout the curriculum in all subjects. Online Safety lessons are mapped to the ‘Education for a Connected World’ framework and some of these activities will be reinforced via RSE lessons and during assemblies. Learning is sequenced to build knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Throughout units of work teachers will make links and encourage children to make links between past learning and new content. We recognise prior learning and build on it with memorable learning experiences with targeted support where necessary. Each unit meets the needs of the National Curriculum and is broken down to cover every element of each of the three strands of Computing.  

Alongside our Computing advisor we have created a comprehensive curriculum to best embed and cover every element of the Computing curriculum. The progression of knowledge and skills statements build year on year to deepen and challenge our learners. We have also used the NCCE curriculum tied with Purple Mash to create a comprehensive curriculum providing full coverage and a variety of skills for our children. Purple Mash is a child friendly computing system that mirrors a lot of programmes seen in the ‘real’ word (e.g. font buttons are the same, email formats are the same). By using Purple Mash we are exposing the children to real-word systems but giving them freedom to explore using a child-friendly interface. It is also safe in terms of who and what they can access. As well as using Purple Mash we use NCCE materials and guidance to formulate our curriculum. This has helped create a cohesive structure with clear activities that match our progression of skills documents. 

Whole class floor books are used to evidence computing work, and allow children to reflect on their learning throughout the year. Summative end of unit questions are used to assess children’s retention of key skills taught through the units. 



The difference our curriculum is making…

The impact of our Computing curriculum is that we provide pupils with a set of skills to embed a lifelong love of learning and that they build on the knowledge and skills from previous learning. We ensure that every child can become a confident user of technology, while being able to use it to accomplish a wide variety of goals, both at home and in school. Children will have a secure and comprehensive knowledge of how technology works in the world around them and will develop their understanding of how to deal with online situations safely. Children will become confident global citizens.  

Through the explicit teaching of Computing skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. To help children get to a deep level of understanding we use quizzes and knowledge organisers that we return to again and again.  This is known as interleaving.  The knowledge organisers outline what we want the children to know within each unit.   

By nature Computing is going to be practical and hands on.  We use 'floor books' to record the learning the children have done in Computing, as well as giving the children the opportunity to record individually. Thoughts and ideas are recorded here as well as pictures of work.  

This guide will help you set up parental controls and adjust privacy settings to provide your child with a safer online environment.

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