At Fern House School we believe that computing is an essential part of both the national curriculum and modern day life. Through the study of computing, we want our pupils to develop a wide range of fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding that they will need for the rest of their lives. For most of us, technology is essential to our daily lives, at home and at work and we want to equip our pupils with the knowledge and skills to support this. ‘Computational Thinking’ is a skill children must be taught in order to provide them with essential knowledge and skills that will enable them to participate effectively in the digital world. We also understand the dangers of modern technology and at Fern House we believe it is imperative to make sure our pupils are as safe as possible. This involves us educating both the pupils and the parents about all the possible dangers and how to keep safe online.
Teachers use the ‘Kapow’ scheme, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. We have a Chromebook for each pupil to ensure that all year groups have the opportunity to use a range of programs for many purposes across the wider curriculum, as well as in discrete computing lessons. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
The implementation of the curriculum also ensures a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The children will have experiences of all three strands in each year group, but the subject knowledge imparted becomes increasingly specific and in depth, with more complex skills being taught, thus ensuring that learning is built upon.
During lockdown our pupils have spent most of their computing time learning how to use different computer applications such as Seesaw and Google Classrooms. These skills have been transferred into the classroom and pupils go from working remotely to using pen and paper seamlessly. We have also ensured that all of our pupils understand the importance of internet safety, especially when they are working remotely from home.