Effective practice in teaching primary computing involves rigour. To help achieve this, the precise identification of key computing knowledge and vocabulary is key.
As part of my work in primary computing assessment, developing a comprehensive assessment toolkit for iCompute, I have produced detailed skills progression guides for all four strands of the National Curriculum:
• Computer Science
• Information Technology
• Digital Literacy
I’ve recently added computing knowledge organisers for each iCompute unit and computing vocabulary progression grids. Combined they identify discrete unit-specific vocabulary and knowledge and help children make links with prior and cross-curricular learning. iCompute schools can access the resources at the computing assessment area of the member dashboard.
With Ofsted focus now on pupils acquiring and retaining subject knowledge, many schools are now using Knowledge Organisers in the classroom.
What are they?
A knowledge organiser is a document containing key facts and information that pupils can use to help acquire basic knowledge and understanding of a topic or concept.
Most will include:
- key facts presented in a format that is easy to take in
- key vocabulary or technical terms and what they mean
- images such as charts or diagrams
What they include depends on the subject. In Computing, for example, a ‘Programming’ knowledge organiser includes definitions of sequence, selection and repetition along with images of Scratch blocks given as examples.
How can we them?
There are lots of different ways they can be used in the classroom but here are some ideas:
- Use the knowledge organiser for regular revision and assessment. Create mini quizzes
- Use them for discussion; talk through them and ask higher-level ‘why’ questions to stretch and challenge
- Identify gaps in knowledge and understanding
- Determine whether the children know more than the knowledge organiser contains and encourage them to make their own additions
- Improve teacher subject knowledge
- Link knowledge organisers to enable children to make links between topics. For example, draw comparisons between an ‘Algorithms’ unit and a ‘Programming’ unit. What concepts/vocabulary are the same?
- Use the them as a handy vocabulary reminder. Keep them accessible and encourage the children to use the correct vocabulary when discussing their work
Get Primary Computing Knowledge Organisers
If you have a current iCompute Primary Computing Curriculum licence, we have uploaded knowledge organisers for all of our KS1 and KS2 primary computing units to iCompute online; providing coverage for all strands of the National Curriculum for Computing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
If not, you can download a template to adapt for your own use here.
Computing Assessment Toolkit
Further to my previous post on how to assess primary computing, I’ve been working on the primary computing assessment toolkit for iCompute’s primary computing schemes of work.
Along with the end of unit assessment guidance, new-look computing pupil progress trackers have been updated for each year group. This also now includes the Early Years Foundation Stage and revised P-Scales for computing to reflect the addition of our EYFS Computing pack and to support inclusion, computing and SEN.
We’ve also added a Quick Look Computing Skills Progression Grid to use alongside the other guidance and tools.
Computing Skills Progression
Out now is our whole-school primary computing assessment tests and tasks. Online diagnostic tests and end-of-unit assessment tasks that feed directly into our pupil progress trackers within the primary computing assessment toolkit.
Click to download a sample from our main website
Existing iCompute schools can access the full toolkit by logging in to our main website at www.icompute-uk.com Our Assessment Tests and Tasks pack will be an optional extra.