Assessment presents particular challenges for computing and many schools have not yet addressed how to accurately assess pupil progress and provide evidence of it. Let’s see what David Brown, former HMI Ofsted’s National Lead for Computing, had to say about computing in schools.
Mr Brown’s message is overwhelmingly that of outcomes with no specific advice about how to achieve them. Having taught Computing in primary schools since 2013 and developed a comprehensive computing assessment toolkit for iCompute, I have found that the time required to cover the programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is one hour of computing each week for Years 1-6, coupled with cross-curricular work to practise and consolidate skills in other subjects.
How to Assess Primary Computing – Summary
Evidence – Use e-Portfolios such as SeeSaw or maintain individual folders on the school network for each pupil to contain digital work
Teacher Feedback – Face-to-face or by using digital ‘marking’ strategies such as adding text comments in digital work or adding audio of your comments
Self/Peer – Blogging, Vlogging or Video Screencasting provides excellent opportunities for pupils to reflect on work
Diagnostic Testing – Creative online interactive quizzes (e.g. Kahoot) provide engaging opportunities to assess pupil understanding and bring a gamification aspect to assessment
Assessment Projects – Using end-of-unit open-ended project tasks allow pupils to demonstrate learning
Progress Tracking – Understanding where pupils are and planning next steps to meet age-related expectations
Computing – Including Pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEN/D)
We passionately believe that Computing has the potential to empower pupils with SEN/D and transform their lives. With the right blend of progressive, imaginative planning, exposure to a broad range of tools and technologies, and comprehensive support it is possible that all children can be fully included and fulfill their potential – in computing and throughout the curriculum.
Computing and Information Technology are essential tools for inclusion. They enable children with SEN/D, whatever their needs, to use technology purposefully in ways that make the curriculum accessible and fully include everyone in activities and learning.
iCompute offers children with SEN/D varied and engaging ways to communicate, collaborate, express ideas and demonstrate success. From making and editing video/audio footage, programming animations, games and apps to creating rich web content – all pupils have an opportunity to participate, be challenged, learn and progress.
iCompute supports children with SEN/D by providing:
Familiarity – Lessons follow similar patterns and all involve aspects that appeal to various learning styles and include ‘unplugged’ activities to support children’s understanding of abstract concepts
Progression – Structured, termly/yearly, progressive units of work providing full coverage of the National Curriculum for Computing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Flexibility – All units have Core, Easier, Harder activities as well as a number of Extension/Enrichment/Homework ideas allowing teachers to cater for the individual needs of their pupils
Resources – Colourful pupil support materials; engaging worksheets; video screencasts; imaginative unplugged activities and interactive online activities support pupils learning enabling them to achieve
Assessment – Comprehensive end of unit assessment guidance supported by detailed pupil progress tracker spreadsheets matched to CAS (Computing At Schools) Progression Pathways enable teachers to accurately assess progress and set targets. If appropriate, end of unit assessment guidance and/or year group progress spreadsheets can be tracked back to find more suitable performance descriptors from earlier year groups. In addition, for those children working below levels expected of their age, iCompute offers a progress tracker with descriptors in line with P-Scales
Rich variety of software and tools – A wealth of free software and online tools allow SEN/D pupils to demonstrate skills and progress, express ideas, improve digital literacy and boost self-confidence