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Computing

Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Its primary aspects of theory, systems and applications are drawn from the disciplines of Technology, Design, Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

Through the Computing Curriculum at Unsworth Primary School our intent is to develop children’s ability to:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
  • Analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
  • Evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
  • Be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

The Unsworth approach is built around 5 key areas which you can explore in detail by expanding the tabs at the bottom of this page:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Programming
  • Online
  • E-Safety
  • Data

Computing is taught throughout all subjects from Reception to Year 6 with an emphasis on children learning how to choose the technology that will enhance their learning. Within enquiry themes in each year group, teachers will choose computing skills to be taught or consolidated by looking at the 5 skills strands for their specific year group or tracking back/forward depending on the cohort. The fundamental aim of the curriculum is to ensure 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.

In each year group skills for each of the 5 areas are broken down and bold titles indicate projects that can be fitted within an enquiry to teach the skills. The Children will need opportunities within other themes to independently use and apply the taught skills. In addition to this the multimedia strand is pivotal to children becoming digitally literate and needs to be used throughout literacy sessions so that children are able to confidently make decisions about which technology can best match their needs.

Creating an effective work flow system is our priority over the last two years. Work flow is the means by which children can save and share the work that they produce. As a school we have used the app Trello to collaborate and share our resources and the children have learnt to use the app within school to create a digital portfolio of their work using technology. 

Digital Literacy

Multimedia is often referred to as digital literacy. Crucially, it is essential for successful participation within a society connected by the World Wide Web. It is the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge and create media. Below is some guidance from webroot.com about the implications and goals of digital literacy.

Many of us grew up doing research that required going to a library, writing down call numbers, finding books, and then taking notes on the needed information. Now, many children can complete their homework research conducted on a phone or tablet and most can access information through the internet or download entire articles to their laptops for later reading.

This amazing access doesn’t just apply to academic information, the internet allows incredible access and sharing of music, photos, videos, and all kinds of art. With this amazing access, comes the necessity for ethical and critical information interaction–a skill as important as learning to read and write.

What are the goals of digital literacy?

Find - Help young people learn where and how to find reliable sources. This includes search engines for research, but also legal platforms for downloading music and art.

Sort – Help young people learn how to identify relevant information for their project or research.

Evaluate – Help young people learn how to determine the value of a source. This includes: credibility, reliability, authority (of the author, publisher, organization, study, or media).

Manage – Help children know and understand how to use information. For example, how to properly cite a source, how to apply copyright or creative commons laws, or how to safely and legally download media files (including music).

Create – Help children know how to create their own work without plagiarizing or infringing on the copyright of other works.
 

Most children would never dream of stealing a CD, but many do not understand the copyright violation involved in downloading music files from a friend’s iPod. Plagiarism takes on a whole new danger, when copying information word for word is as easy as clicking a button. Young people who do not understand how to engage ethically with media may unintentionally violate laws. However, if parents keep current, keep communicating, and keep checking, they can help their children learn how to critically and ethically interact with this information–an essential skill for successful citizenship which will ultimately help them both professionally and academically.

Programming

Today, most people don’t need to know how a computer works.  Most people can simply turn on a computer or a mobile phone and point at some little graphical object on the display, click a button or swipe a finger or two, and the computer does something.  An example would be to get weather information from the net and display it.  How to interact with a computer program is all the average person needs to know.

But, since children are going to learn how to write computer programs, they need to know a little bit about how a computer works.  Their job will be to instruct the computer to do things.  Basically, writing software (computer programs) is describing how to do something.  In its simplest form, it is a lot like writing down the steps it takes to do something – a process, a procedure.  The lists of instructions that they will write are computer programs, and the stuff that these instructions manipulate are different types of objects, e.g., numbers, words, graphics, etc.

So, writing a computer program can be like composing music, like designing a house, like creating lots of stuff.  It has been argued that in its current state it is an art, not engineering.  Instead of just learning to use programmes created by others, it is vital that children learn to create their own programmes.

What is programming?

Programming is a form of problem-solving. It involves locating your problem, analysing it, designing a framework for the solution, writing the actual code for it, testing your algorithm, and, finally, writing a documentation for it. Computers are essentially a system that receives input, processes the data, and outputs the processed inputs. Inputs to a computer system are known as data and the outputs are known as information. In order to process data, a computer must receive instructions or commands. However, it would be unfeasible to make the user input commands for everything. Even something as simple as saving a document or opening a browser takes thousands or even millions of lines of code. In response to this problem, stored programs have been invented.

E-Safety & Online

The growing use of the internet for communicating and the many ways we can now access the internet means whist it is of huge benefit to us all in our daily lives it is also an increasing potential danger. Many of us are unaware of the possible challenges of keeping children safe online. In our school, our scheme of work ensures that children start to consider e-safety from Reception and that each year these experiences are built on in a progressive way. Rather than viewing it as a separate area we ensure that e-safety is weaved throughout our curriculum so that by the time children leave in Year 6 they are able to safely make choices about the technology that they use. We want children to see the benefits of technology and we aim to use technology in our own practice as a model to the children. With this in mind we set up a school Twitter account as social media is a growing part of everyday life. Due to our commitment to e-safety and the quality of our provision within school, we achieved the E-safety Quality Mark in February 2017.

Our scheme of work considers three key elements:

Content - what children view, download, search for and access.
Contact - what and who they come into contact with.
Conduct - how they behave as an individual and towards others whilst using technology.

We strive to regularly review our policies and teaching to ensure that new and emerging technologies are incorporated within our curriculum. Through our approach, we aim to teach children how to use the Internet safely and securely, so that they are able to make the best possible choices when online. Our Internet filtering is inline with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) recommendations and our provider is listed on their approved list, which can be accessed here. Personal security is a fundamental part of this and ensuring that children know where and who they can get help from if they see or experience problems whilst being online.

Personal security is a fundamental part of this and ensuring that children know where and who they can get help from if they see or experience problems whilst being online. This page aims to provide resources and research for learning more about the online world and how we can keep both ourselves and our children well educated and safe.

Vodafone have provided a useful free resource called “Digital Parenting” magazine, which gives excellent advice on E-Safety and various guides on how to protect children on-line. CEOP are an association who are working to protect children online and they have a website entitled “ThinkuKnow” where there are free resources and guides to keeping children safe online. There is some really valuable information on the website and it is updated on a monthly basis.

For more links and information about ways to keep your child safe with technology and to view all our E-Safety & Online Policies, visit our Policies page.

Data

This strand of our computing curriculum focuses on the use of and creation of data. In its simplest terms data is a collection of facts, such as values and measurements. It can be numbers, words, measurements or even just observations. Within our daily lives we collect and generate vast amounts of data and often seek to interpret what this data tells us.

Often this involves graphs, charts, tables, indexes, diagrams, photographs, measurements/readings, spread sheets, drawing, notes or databases. Technology can really help to analyse and store data, but it is crucial to learn which technology is best for different types. Below are some useful notes taken from http://www.igcseict.info/theory/7_1/data/. This site explains the handling data process and has further notes on how computers control and measure things, so it is worth a look!

 

Why Use Computers to Store Data?

It can be useful to use computers to keep track of data. Data that is stored on a computer (as opposed to data written on paper) can be easily:

  • organised / sorted in  different ways
  • displayed / printed in a  variety of styles and layouts
  • searched for specific things
  • updated – adding / changing /deleting items
  • backed-up – a copy can be made with  just a few clicks
  • stored / moved – a memory stick is much smaller than a cupboard full of paper!

 

What Might You Store on a Computer?

 

Your Address Book

Most people need to keep track of lots of telephone numbers, postal addresses, e-mail address, etc. We can use a computer (don’t forget your phone is a computer too!) to help keep this data organised in an address database. A typical computerised address book might store:

  • Name
  • Address

  • Phone number (home)

  • Phone number (mobile)

  • Phone number (work)

  • E-mail address

  • Birthday

  • Photograph

  • Etc.


    Most address book applications have features that help you organise the records so that you can quickly access the ones you want:

  • Place your entries into groups (e.g. ‘Family’, Friends’, ‘Work’, etc.)

  • Search (by name, groups, address, etc.)

  • Synchronisation with other devices (computer, phone, PDA, etc.)
     

    Results of Surveys

    Many groups / organisations undertake surveys to try to discover what people like / want / think.  Surveys can be performed using paper questionnaires, and then the results entered into the computer by:

  • Typing data in

  • Scanning the paper forms, using OMR technology

    Alternatively, results can be entered into the computer directly, using an on-screen form (e.g. if using a tablet PC) The survey results are best stored on a computer so that they can easily be analysed. Survey results on a computer allow:

  • Data to be quickly and easily queried (filtered)

  • Charts to be easily created

  • Summary reports to be created
     

     

    Sales Records for a Tuck Shop

    It’s important, when selling things, and dealing with cash, to keep track of the numbers involved. A computer spreadsheet is an good way to record which items you have sold, and also to perform calculations on the data (calculate totals, averages, etc.).  A typical sales spreadsheet might contain the following columns:

  • Item code

  • Item description

  • Item cost

  • Number sold

  • Total cost

  • Profit made