Computing Intent:

At St. Helena’s, our computing curriculum is designed to be inspiring and creative, unlocking potential in every student. We aim to ensure that all pupils thrive through challenges, receive support, and experience a broad and balanced curriculum rooted in shared values and consistently high expectations, striving for excellence. In today’s digital age, it is essential to equip our children with the knowledge and skills to use technology and the internet safely and effectively. We aim to model and teach positive, responsible, and safe use of technology. We want our pupils to be creators, not just consumers, and our comprehensive curriculum—encompassing computer science, information technology, and digital literacy—reflects this goal. Our knowledge-rich curriculum is balanced with opportunities for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively, helping them become skilled computer scientists. While computing is taught as a distinct subject, the teaching of knowledge and skills extends beyond the computing lessons. ICT is integrated across the curriculum to enhance learning in subjects such as Design & Technology, Art, Science, and through our reading program, Accelerated Reader. We encourage staff to embed computing throughout the curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. We want our pupils to understand the choices they have when using technology and, as a school, we use technology (especially social media) to model its positive use. We believe that education is the best prevention for many of the issues associated with technology and social media.

Computing Implementation:

The Computing curriculum is split into three core elements: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science which are delivered through a two-year rolling programme of study. Through their journey at St Helena’s, the children explore these foundations in each Key Stage, preparing them for KS3 and the digital world beyond.

Digital Literacy is taught through Purple Mash (a comprehensive learning platform and scheme of work) every year in both cycles of the two-year rolling programme of study. These lessons combine with the PSHE digital literacy, online relationships and economic wellbeing objectives and for cross-curricular discussion and knowledge recall/deepening.

Information Technology enables and encourages our children to creatively apply their computing skills to a range of software and programmes for a variety of audiences and purposes. Children all have their own logins for Purple Mash, where children are taught to with save and retrieve their work in an appropriate way, from Y1-6. Practical skills are woven throughout the two-year rolling programme of study including: using spreadsheets, word processing, photography and editing, emailing and creating databases. KS1 and LKS2, the children explore a music-based, cross-curricular unit of work, where they explore digital music production and sound design. Across all areas of the rolling programme, children creatively use art/design software, for a variety of purposes (including digital media creation, animation and games design), to promote the understanding that computing has applications in many areas of the wider world.

Computer Science is explored annually through a series of guided coding lessons from Purple Mash. In KS1, the children begin by building their understanding of what algorithms are and how to spot for errors (debugging). In Year 2, the children will be more familiar with the software and instructions and will be able to work more independently. In KS2, these skills continue to build with an increase in challenge and requirement of critical thinking. In LKS2, the children additionally complete units of work on touch typing, where they develop their physical keyboard skills, In UKS2, the children begin to develop an understanding of computer networks. Through the use of the BBC Microbits, children in LKS2 and UKS2 have a range of opportunities to code their own digital devices (such as creating digital watches, step counters and digital badges.

Computing Impact:

As Year 6 computer scientists and digital citizens transitioning to secondary school, we aim for all learners to be digitally literate and ready to engage with the global digital community. They will be equipped not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively for their own benefit but, more importantly, safely. In this unpredictable digital world, our primary goal is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to safely navigate the internet and social media as both creators and consumers.