Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in our digital world.
The new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing 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.
Winton with the Prime Minister launching the ‘Hour of Code’ campaign at an event in 10 Downing Street which saw 50 school children learn to code, and a digital ‘hangout’ with four other schools.
The new Computing Curriculum at Winton
There are three strands to the new Computing curriculum, Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Throughout the school year, children at Winton have the opportunity to write their own code using programs such as Scratch, Espresso Coding and Kodu Game Lab. We also explore a range of LGfL programs and the interlinked J2 software to create and publish apps and animations through the school blog.
We have been running an after school Code Club for 2 years now in successful partnership with Bloomberg. At Code Club, the children have learnt advanced Scratch projects and are now writing and designing their own webpages using HTML!
In December 2014 we were lucky enough to be invited to Number 10 Downing Street to launch the Hour of Code with the Prime Minister! You can read more about this amazing experience here on our school blog. We have also showcased our Computing skills at the Creative Technology Day held at Central St Martin’s, the Islington Computing Celebration at the Emirates Stadium, and in partnership with Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Secondary school.
Year 4 set up their Makey Makey banana piano’s at the Emirates Stadium!
Links, resources and ideas for you at home
At Winton we are using a wide range of exciting programs in our Computing lessons, many of which are available for you and your children to use at home. Ask your children what they have been learning about in class and follow the links below to see their computing skills in practice!