How to plan a Primary Computing Scheme of Work
Primary Computing Scheme
Many teachers are tasked with planning computing schemes of work for their schools.
Having produced many for iCompute, I know how huge and time consuming the task is. Here I share my tips about how to plan a computing scheme of work which ensures your school has a broad, balanced, rich and progressive scheme of work that will engage and challenge pupils of all abilities.
- Use free software and tools – you don’t need to buy a thing in order to meet the objectives of the computing curriculum
- Practise – helps you understand the knowledge, skills and understanding the software and tools help develop
- Look for progression – you will start to see that particular tools are suitable for specific age groups
- Look for full coverage – Computing is not just about coding
- Understand how to assess computing – know where your pupils are and where they need to go next
- Adapt – make it fit your school, staff and needs of your pupils
Read on to find out more about each stage … Continue reading
Laying Solid Foundations for Primary Computing
Our children grow up surrounded by technology. Their everyday interactions and experiences involve it, whether that is inside their homes, at school, out shopping or playing.
Their world is an ever-changing digital world. We owe it to our children to prepare them for living in it. I believe that it is never too early for children to start learning the fundamental principles of computer science because, as Edsger Dijkstra supposedly famously pointed out “Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes”.
Much of computing as a subject can be learned without using computers at all. Primary aged pupils are perfectly capable of executing algorithms. They do so every day: they use algorithms to solve problems in mathematics, learn letter sounds, spell, use grammar – I could go on and on! Algorithms are designed and can be applied in a myriad of different situations.
Computing is much more than the computer, the device or the tool. It’s about developing computational thinking skills (more on that in this post) so that our children can become effective, analytical, problem solvers. It’s also about equipping them with an understanding about how computers and computer systems work so that, combined, they develop transferrable skills which will enable them to design, develop or even just adapt to new tools and technologies in this ever changing digital age. More than that, they develop important skills that will help them in their everyday lives, throughout their lives.
The best practice for EYFS is where computing activities:
- are imaginative and fun
- involve being creative
- require collaboration and sharing
- involve listening, understanding, following and giving instructions
- encourage describing, explaining and elaborating
- encourage investigation
- involve problem solving
- include lots of ‘unplugged’ activities: computing without computers
By offering your children an imaginative, engaging, introduction to computing you help them form solid stepping stones towards their KS1 computing and beyond.
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