Computing Curriculum - Whitemoor Academy

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Computing Curriculum

Introduction

 This page, outlining the policy of Computing at Whitemoor Academy, reflects the school’s commitment to this exciting area of our work and is written during a period of considerable change with regard to the school’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities.

Computing has been successfully embedded within life at Whitemoor Academy for many years. Furthermore, it has been a key element in ‘Beyond Expectations’ ethos within the school as it is frequently used as a vehicle for raising both attainment and achievement across the curriculum.

This document should be used in conjunction with the Internet Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy. We have just introduce a new Computing Curriculum following the Rising Stars programme.

 

The Significance of Computing

 Computing is concerned with the storage, processing, presentation and communication of information by electronic means. This includes the measurement, modelling and control of external events. Computing continues to evolve very quickly and has now become firmly entrenched in many aspects of everyday life, both at home and in the workplace. At Whitemoor Academy we aspire to use Computing:

  • To solve problems, both academic and real-life
  • As a source of information either via the internet or by the use of software and hardware
  • As a vehicle for understanding the implications of Computing in society

 As Computing underpins today’s modern lifestyle it is essential that all pupils gain the confidence and ability, that they need in this subject, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. The use of Computing will also enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum whilst developing motivation and social skills.

 

Aims and Objectives

 The overall aim for Computing at Whitemoor Academy is to enrich learning for all pupils and to ensure that teachers develop confidence and competence to use Computing, both in the effective teaching of their subjects and in their own class management.

 Our aims at Whitemoor Academy are to ensure that children:

  • develop good Health and Safety attitudes and practice by using computers safely and conscientiously using the childnet SMART rules;
  • develop a positive approach to Computing, understanding how it can be used to improve, simplify or enrich their learning;
  • explore their attitudes towardsComputing, its value for themselves, others and society, and their awareness of its advantages and limitations;
  • understand the capabilities and limitations of Computing and gain insight into the implications of its development for society;
  • and allow staff to develop professionally by enhancing their teaching skills, management skills and administrative skills.

 Our objectives at Whitemoor Academy, with regard to Computing, are for:

  • children to naturally use Computing safely when set problems and tasks;
  • children to be working at a level at, or beyond, that expected of them nationally;
  • evidence of children’s Computing work to be clearly seen around the school and embedded within the children’s portfolio of work;
  • and staff to confidently use Computing both in terms of their teaching and administration.

 

Resources

 In summary, Whitemoor Academy currently has the following ICT equipment available to pupils:

  • 32 desktops based in the ICT suite
  • 20 Apple iPads
  • 15 Smartboard interactive whiteboards
  • digital cameras in each phase
  • each teacher has an iPad

 In addition to this, there is a variety of other Computingequipment in school including; digital microscopes, roamers, tape recorders, CD players, radios, televisions, videos and headphones.

 Principle for the Learning and Teaching of Computing

 With finite Computing resources available to the children, it is essential that the organisation of these resources be such that there is a demonstrable equality of access. This is achieved by adopting the following organisational and teaching strategies as appropriate to the activity being taught:

  • Planning activities that allow sufficient time for all individuals to take part according to a whole-school Computing resources timetable.
  • Effective teaching input (whole class, group or individual) to allow completion of task without further teacher intervention.
  • Planning short, time limited, skills focused activities.
  • Identify clear learning objectives in planning and teacher input.
  • Working individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
  • Splitting larger projects into clearly defined pieces with different groups or individuals taking on responsibility for specific parts.
  • Clear instructions in the event of being “stuck” or equipment failure (e.g. use of class “experts”).
  • Allow opportunities for work to be printed for display, evidence, publishing on the school web site etc.

 

Computing and Every Child Matters

The every child matters approach to education is thoroughly embedded within the teaching of Computing at Whitemoor Academy. This can be seen in the following ways:

Be Healthy:

  • The children are not expected to work at computers for prolonged periods and are briefed on aspects of Health and Safety that they should be aware of
  • Computing is used to promoted challenge in order to encourage mental well-being, allow achievement and that are fun.
  • Children are protected from, and taught how to deal with, abusive behaviour such as cyberbullying, thereby helping to maintain their psychological well-being.
  • Shortcuts and automation techniques are taught and encouraged, thereby reducing the amount of time the children need to spend at the computer

Stay Safe:

  • Children are always supervised by an adult.
  • Health and Safety checks are carried out regularly
  • Children and parents are briefed about the dangers of the internet and class teachers have posters and leaflets available for the children to use.

Enjoy and Achieve:

  • Flexible arrangements are facilitated by technology: there is a wireless network to promote the anywhere, any time model of learning.
  • Children have control over their work, e.g. through the use of e-portfolios.
  • Children are taught a wide range of skills though the use of Computing to help them achieve in other areas of the curriculum

Achieve Economic Well Being:

  • Children are taught why it’s necessary to be computer-literate.
  • Children are taught about current and likely future trends in computing in “the real world”.
  • Children learn about other cultures through the internet and software programs.

Make a Positive Contribution

  • The school buys software that enables children with learning difficulties to make a positive contribution.
  • Children are taught how to use presentation software well.
  • Children are taught how to develop systems for others, and which take  account of feedback by others.
  • Teachers take advantage of the provisional aspect of Computing in order to encourage pupils to try out different approaches and solutions. 

Health and Safety

 Children should not be responsible for the movement heavy equipment around the school. They may use websites in accordance with the school’s internet access policy.

 Food and drink should not be consumed near  equipment.

 It is the responsibility of staff to ensure that classroom  equipment is stored securely, cleaned regularly and that their class or themselves leave the communal equipment clean and tidy after use with any faults reported to the  technician.

 Staff should ensure that the children are seated at the computers comfortably and be aware of the dangers of continuous use (e.g. eye/wrist strain etc).

 An adult should always supervise children when they are accessing information via the Internet. The service provider does filter information but staff are ultimately responsible for information accessed by pupils. Staff are advised to check image searches before using them in lessons.

 

Data Protection Act

Any individual has the right in law to view information held about him or her on a computer system. Care should be taken about any sensitive information concerning child protection issues etc. If a report is composed and printed on the system, it should be stored in a secure, staff accessible, area of the server and hard copies kept in the appropriate files in the care of the Child Protection Officer.

 

Entitlement and Acceptable Usage

Pupils have access to the Computing equipment for a minimum of one hour each week, with further slots being available for the equipment to be ‘booked’ by a member of staff dependant on a pupil’s current work. This can be at an individual, group or class level due to the flexibility the combination of a wireless network and laptops provides.

When pupils wish to access the internet they should be supervised the whole time by staff.

Use of peripheral class Computing equipment, for example interactive whiteboards, iPads, digital cameras, microscopes is at the class teacher’s discretion as long as it is in accordance with the Internet Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.

 

Planning

Each teacher must provide separate medium term  according to the school’s planning policy. These should reflect the objectives for the appropriate age group and, where appropriate, can be added to by a teacher’s own ideas. They should clearly identifyComputing learning objectives and organisation and staff should also explicitly identify where Computing is being used to support other subjects within that subject’s planning.

Each class has at least 1 hours allocated Computing time per week to use the Computing suite. This includes time for teaching skills, knowledge and understanding for practising and consolidating them as well as using them for tasks across other areas of the curriculum. To supplement this time allocation, use of  resources in the classroom or booking extra time in the Computing suite is encouraged.

 

Target Setting, Assessment, Recording and Monitoring

Across the curriculum at Whitemoor Academy there is a concerted effort to plan for high abilities and differentiate down. This is applied within the Computing curriculum through extensive skills lists and staff planning.

Targets are set and assessed using a basic traffic light system based on the Briklands curriculum and now the Rising Stars programme.

Within any half term it is expected that children are taught a minimum of a 5 week block of lessons focussing on one of the skills areas. A final lesson should be used to assess the previous skills area.

Reporting to parents is done informally at parents’ evenings, by appointment etc, and in the written reports each year, which focus upon attitudes of the child to Computing, skills, and competence in a variety of applications.

Monitoring takes place during work scrutiny times, lesson observations and through analysis of ongoing records. This is carried out by the subject coordinators or class teacher.

 

Equal Opportunities

All staff take steps to ensure that there is equal access for all children to enjoy all aspects of Computing.

 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Consideration is always given to children with special educational needs and disabilities and tasks are allocated accordingly if they are considered necessary. We also pro-actively investigate how the extra access of IComputing may be of particular benefit to some children with special needs. In line with this, a child may be given a laptop which is solely for their use.

 

Gifted and Talented

 Computing is regularly used as a vehicle for producing ‘Take Care Work’ at Whitemoor Academy. Children are encouraged to use the Computing skills that they have been taught in lessons to assist them in producing excellent pieces of work. For children who have demonstrated a talent for computing (or a specific area of another subject in which they wish to use computing to assist them) the computing suite may be made available over lunch and break times for them to use with staff supervision.

 

Staff Training

 Staff training is available to all staff, either as staff meetings or INSET days in accordance with the staff training plan, or as individual sessions as given by the Computing Coordinators and/or outside agengies.

 

Role of the Computing Coordinator

 The term “staff” should be regarded to include administrative staff, non-teaching assistants and other adults accessing the network.

 The responsibilities of the Computing Coordinators include:

  • maintenance of the Computing policy that reflects current technology and attitudes;
  • maintenance of a Scheme of Work that reflects current resources, national frameworks, staff and child skills etc;
  • monitoring of implementation of the Scheme of Work throughout the school including issues such as equality of access, planning and assessment etc;
  • organisation and distribution of hardware and software throughout the school;
  • maintain central resources (audited annually) such as software masters, digital cameras, control and monitoring equipment in an organised and accessible manner;
  • maintain the network software infrastructure including the addition and deletion of users, e-mail accounts, new software etc with assistance of IT support from Nottinghamshire County Council;
  • plan and implement INSET or staff meeting programmes according to staff needs, as agreed with the Headteacher;
  • provide an annual development plan for the maintenance and development of the school’s Computing resources;
  •  to liaise  with the school’s health and safety officer to ensure safe use of Computimg in school;
  •  to liaise with other curriculum co-ordinators regarding the purchase of resources for their subject area;
  •  to provide support in the delivery of the school’s Scheme of Work through monitoring, advice, provision of sample lessons and activities etc according to the needs of the individual member of staff (this will include reporting to the Headteacher when appropriate);
  •  to monitor new developments in Computing (through the attendance of appropriate INSET) and integrate these into action plans, schemes of work and policies where appropriate;
  •  to liaise with the shadow co-ordinator, especially in the area of network maintenance to ensure that the integrity of the system is not threatened in the event of illness, staff departure etc.

  

Miss Hallam

Feburary 2015


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