Computing Curriculum at Mount Stewart Federation
Our computing curriculum ensures that pupils become digitally 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. We want pupils at Mount Stewart to see the value of excellent computing knowledge and skills. We want pupils to recognise the links between what we teach and its application in the real world and the endless possibilities computing can offer.
Approach and Planning:
Mount Stewart Federation's Computing curriculum is designed to ensure digital literacy and comprehension of computing's real-world applications using Discovery Education and NCCE (National Centre for Computing Education).
- Emphasis on digital literacy suitable for the future workplace and active digital world participation.
- Recognition of the real-world applications and possibilities offered by computing.
- Integration of computing across various subjects like Mathematics, History, and Science.
The curriculum employs diverse teaching and adaptive strategies to cater to different learning styles, focusing on practical application and creativity.
- Use of Discovery Education and NCCE units, adapted for specific needs.
- A 'no ceiling' approach for inclusive learning, ensuring progress for pupils with SEND and the most able.
- Focus on core computing principles, information comprehension, and programming.
Our comprehensive computing curriculum at Mount Stewart Federation is designed to empower children with computational thinking and creativity, enabling them to grasp and influence the world around them. It delves deeply into the principles of information and the functioning of digital systems, emphasising the practical application of this knowledge through programming. This curriculum seamlessly integrates with other subjects, enhancing systematic thinking and logical processes akin to Mathematics. It extends its relevance to various disciplines such as utilising computer-aided design in Design and Technology, supporting research in History, aiding data collection in Geography and Science, and enhancing digital presentation skills to bolster Speaking and Listening abilities. This interdisciplinary approach not only strengthens their computing skills but also enriches their overall educational experience.
- Teaching the principles of information and digital systems.
- Emphasis on programming and application of computing knowledge.
- Natural links with other subjects to enhance systematic and logical thinking.
At Mount Stewart Federation, our Computing curriculum aligns with the national curriculum and is enhanced by tailored units from the Discovery Education scheme and NCCE, ensuring it meets the diverse needs of our pupils, including those with SEND and the most able. Emphasising computer science, we teach students the principles of information, computation, and how digital systems work, culminating in their ability to create applications by Year 6. From Reception, our students engage with programmable toys and gradually advance to coding, supported by weekly visits to our computer suite and iPad integration. Our approach not only focuses on building technical skills but also on developing digital literacy, ensuring our students are well-prepared to express themselves and innovate in the digital world. Additionally, touch typing is taught across all year groups, further enhancing their readiness for future digital challenges.
- Weekly sessions in the computer suite and regular iPad usage.
- Early introduction to programmable toys and basic coding.
- Progressive learning, culminating in application creation by Year 6.
Inclusivity and Support:
The curriculum supports a wide range of learners, with an emphasis on practical skills and touch typing games.
- Adaptive planning for pupils with SEND and the most able.
- Teaching of touch typing to enhance digital skills.
- Inclusion of digital leaders to foster peer learning and support.
The effectiveness of our curriculum is evident in the outcomes observed in each lesson at Mount Stewart Federation. As students progress through their educational journey, the curriculum's design to revisit and reinforce vital knowledge and skills ensures that they not only learn more but also retain more effectively. This is observable from foundational skills like mouse and keyboard proficiency to more advanced areas such as understanding algorithms in programming. Our commitment to assessment for learning enables us to continually adapt our lessons and units to meet the evolving needs of each new cohort, ensuring that our teaching remains as effective and relevant as possible. This ongoing assessment process is integral in maintaining the high standards of our educational offerings.
- Regular assessment to tailor lessons and units.
- Evidence of progression from basic skills to advanced programming.
- Continuous development in response to pupils' needs.
When students leave Mount Stewart, they will:
Students will be digitally literate, equipped with comprehensive computing knowledge, and capable of using information technology creatively.
- Possess a thorough understanding of computing concepts and skills.
- Be adept in programming and digital content creation.
- Have the skills to safely navigate and contribute to the digital world.
Across the schools, pupils have the opportunity to become digital leaders. These are our computing experts and have a wide range of responsibilities across the schools, including supporting younger children, taking charge of social media forums and blogs, creating content for the website and leading on Online Safety issues.
Pupils at Mount Stewart are acutely aware of the dangers presented by the online world and are regularly taught how to keep themselves safe. We have a protective firewall system across both schools, enabling us to manage resources for children to learn when incidents occur carefully.
To find out more about Online Safety, please visit our website page.
Teachers are supported in their teaching of the computing curriculum with units from Discovery Education, which encompasses the programmes of study set out in the national curriculum. The scheme sets out a different unit of work for each half term and pupils spend at least an hour a week developing their skills. KS1 and KS2 have access to Discovery Education Coding. Using this resource children learn a range of coding programmes.
The Federation continues to invest in high-quality, up-to-date ICT resources throughout the schools. All classrooms are being fitted with interactive Promethean boards as part of our infrastructure upgrade. We have 30 PCs in the IT suite and iPads shared across the schools. Some of our pupils come to Mount Stewart already tablet and touch screen literate but often lack the skills required to use a desktop PC. Starting with early mouse control and keyboard skills, pupils receive an excellent computing education here through the basic skills teaching unit in Year 1, right through to developing their own coding programme.
We are pleased to introduce Lesley Strick, our esteemed Computing Lead, and Ayesha Ahmed, our dedicated Specialist Teacher in computing. Together, they bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the forefront of our computing curriculum at Mount Stewart Federation, guiding our students through the ever-evolving digital landscape with innovation and skill.