Technology is not just a tool.
It can give learners a voice that they
may not have had before.
Computing at Avenue
Computers are now part of everyday life and for most of us, technology is essential to our lives at home and at work. At school, children have access to laptops, computers, iPads, interactive whiteboards and other resources to support the computing curriculum. They use these to learn about computing as well as to support learning in other subjects and to embed key skills.
The curriculum is broken down into six main areas:
In Early Years and KS1 this involves talking about the importance of keeping personal information such as passwords private and only using age-appropriate games and apps. Throughout KS2, children will also learn about the importance of 'safe practise' online: social media platforms, apps, games and websites. At present we live in a time of unprecedented change in the technology sector, which provides teachers a wealth of teaching opportunities and a greater potential for learning; however, it also brings many challenges, therefore we want children to have the knowledge and understanding to make the right decisions in difficult situations i.e. informing important adults of any potential warning signs. As online activities change, we want children to develop an up-to-date awareness of the potential dangers of being online, the impact of cyber bullying and the concept of a 'digital footprint'.
From foundation, children will experiment with programming algorithms (instructions) to control hardware such as Beebots. In KS1 pupils will learn to debug programs and predict the result of a simple algorithm. Moving into KS2, children will learn how to program animations using the Scratch software, creating code for a Sprite to move along a pathway. In years 5 and 6, pupils will add different forms of code e.g. loops, variables and broadcast messages. Once these skills are mastered, children will aim to program a Sprite using a range of code, for example, creating a simple animation that uses clear broadcast messages.
Data and graphing
This area works alongside the maths curriculum, which aims to give children the skills to read, interpret and analyse data and graphs. In KS1 it covers gathering and presenting data, using tools such as pictograms. During KS2 children will develop their analytical skills, with the aim of answering a question e.g. designing a questionnaire and collecting data. By the end of Year 6, we want pupils to have a clear ability to evaluate data and graphs by offering clear solutions and feedback.
Multimedia and word processing
Word processing is an essential skill in any field of work, so from Foundation, children will be exposed to simple forms of word processing with the support and guidance of teachers. Learning the basics of computing, such as typing, opening and saving files, making choices about processing a simple Word document will form a core part of the KS1 curriculum. In KS2, children will then progress to learning a greater array of skills in Word and learning the basics of PowerPoint. By the end of KS2, we want children to show a clear understanding of how to produce an organised, purposeful document: inputting text boxes; using visual and sound effects; adding images and hyperlinks; and offering opinions on how to improve the overall effectiveness of a document.
Today, this is an area of the job market which is highly sought after, so at Avenue, we hope to lay the foundations for pupils who aspire to this type of profession by providing a broad and balanced curriculum across the school. Importantly it draws on a range of creative skills, including using artistic software e.g. 2Simple, creative imagery and manipulating music, sound and video. Foundation and KS1 will explore the basics of creative softwares, choosing appropriate backgrounds and effective patterns and borders. In KS2, children will learn how to create a basic animation by retrieving images, creating video and devising a simple narrative.
Communication and Collaboration
In KS1, children will compare how people communicate via a range of sources: text, letters and emails. By the end of KS2, our objective is that children have a comprehensive understanding of a range of communication formats e.g. emails, blogs, social media posts, quizzes, surveys and video conferencing. Pupils will also learn how to publish information via a website or blog and how to write and edit an online publication.