‘A high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world through logical thinking and creativity, including by making links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, and how digital systems work. Computing equips pupils to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of media. It also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.’
DFE, National Curriculum
We believe computing at Fairfield Primary School stimulates and enthuses children's love for computing. A problem-driven philosophy facilitates explorative and creative experiences in which children's learning is adaptable; children evaluate and improve their work as they go along. This process is, firstly, underpinned by strong core skills in computer science and information technology. Children's understanding of computing will aid their transition into a rapidly changing world, a world in which technology increasingly plays a part both in our everyday lives and in the workplace. As such, we place a strong emphasis on developing ancillary skills such as being resilient, safe, socially responsible and effective communicators. In line with this purpose, we believe computing should be accessible to all children. At their entry point, children's learning will build upon their previous exposure to technology and aims to expose them to the unlimited potential computational thinking and skills may give them in technical careers. We aim to ensure technology is a driver for best practice across the wider curriculum.
At Fairfield, computing is taught to each class once per week by class teachers with subject leads supporting delivery for each class throughout the year. The long term delivery of computing allows for exposure to computer science, information technology and digital literacy opportunities. Delivery is supported by the ever-expanding range of hardware the school has to offer, such as: iPads, laptops, desktops, robotics and photography equipment. The majority of lessons are taught using the Purple Mash software. This provides every child a unique login and therefore allows for the recording of children’s progress and for more accurate assessment opportunities. Where possible, lesson sequences follow a ‘use, modify, create’ progression, allowing children who have not experienced a wide range of computing opportunities outside of school to familiarise themselves with processes, before utilising them themselves. In addition to these computing sessions, a bespoke e-safety programme of study is delivered by class teachers. We have identified key computing terminology, with one computing term being focused on per half term by all teaching staff in school. This is designed to increase exposure, understanding and independent use of computing terms in other situations. The use of digital technology throughout the curriculum is promoted, and is used particularly in small-group sessions. We have introduced e-safety assemblies facilitated by Google and continue to establish links with the wider community in order to bring guest speakers into school, who have a STEM background. Each class has two computing committee members, who assist with the care of technology in school and meet as a group to discuss computing issues in school.
The foundational computing skills of children are increasing throughout school. Ever developing basic skills - such as turning on the computer; logging in; accessing & saving work and independent troubleshooting - have enabled the majority of lessons’ independent work time to be focused upon the main objective of the lesson, rather than the basic skills themselves. Children’s knowledge of computer science terms, and how they are applied in programming is increasing.
Computing Leads: Bethany Smith, Matt Eitel-Smith
The Technology We Use in School
The use of class netbooks, laptops, desktop computers and iPads enables our children to have a broad experience and use of technology. We also learn with Dash robots, Bee-Bot robots, digital cameras and have Crumble and Makey Makey kits that are used in our computing clubs.
E-Safety / Online Safety
At the heart of our teaching of computing is online safety, which is taught discretely, within computing, PSHE and RSE lessons and as part of the wider curriculum, where appropriate. We aim to ensure that our children have the knowledge and confidence to keep themselves safe in an online world. Find out more about e-safety at Fairfield here.
Information for families:
Here is how to log into Purple Mash at home: