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“Teaching is outstanding. Pupils make rapid gains because of the effective approach of teachers in consistently asking probing questions to deepen their learning.” – Ofsted 2018
“Highly engaged pupils enjoy their learning and respond very well to guidance from their teachers about how to improve their work.” – Ofsted 2018

Intent

Through our computing curriculum at Ambler, we aim to give our pupils the life-skills that will enable them to embrace and utilise new technology in a creative, as well as responsible way. We want our pupils to be able to operate in the 21st century workplace and we want them to know the career opportunities with Digital organisations around Islington including Google, BT and Microsoft, as well as Old Street (“Silicon Roundabout”).

We want children to become autonomous, independent users of computing technologies, gaining confidence and enjoyment from their activities. We want the use of technology to support learning across the entire curriculum and to ensure that our curriculum is accessible to every child.  Not only do we want them to be digitally literate and competent end-users of technology but through our computer science lessons we want them to develop creativity, resilience and problem-solving skills. We want our pupils to have a breadth of experience to develop their understanding of themselves as individuals within their community but also as members of a wider global community and as responsible digital citizens.

Implementation

Islington School’s computing service, working with lead teachers and advisors, have developed an Islington Computing Scheme of Work 2021-2022. At Ambler, we map out this scheme of work to fit with each year group’s curriculum (please see to our Computing Curriculum Overview). Currently, two computer science units per year group are taught by our in-house Islington Computing lead teacher, Ms Del-Pozo. The ICT and Digital Literacy strands of the curriculum are delivered by class teachers, with planning and delivery support from Ms Del-Pozo.

This computing SoW uses the DFE funded ‘Teach Computing’ resource, https://teachcomputing.org which has been customised for Islington schools to include relevant digital and learning resources. The Islington scheme of work aims to:

  • Adopt the new DFE Funded Teach Computing Curriculum Structure
  • Enable improved Progress Assessment and Portfolio Development
  • Embed effective legacy of Remote Learning
  • Provide more structured weekly lessons and progressive half termly units of work for all three strands of the curriculum,
  • Make explicit links and use localised Online Resources from LGFL, Inc. Busythings, J2E
  • Maximise the best national and global open resources for Teachers Computing Inc. Phil Bagge, Barefoot Computing and Common Sense Media.

Children at Ambler primarily make use of our three trolleys of Google Chromebooks for Computing lessons, though other hardware such as ‘Beebots’ and ‘Raspberry Pis’ may also be utilised. We also have a suite of 15 desktop computers for children to use in our attic.

One-off trips for classes are also used as an opportunity to boost children’s computing skills and give them a memorable and enjoyable experience at the same time.​ Previous trips have included Three Discovery, Amazon and the Islington computing celebration at the Emirates Stadium.

Ms del Pozo also offers a weekly Code Club for those children wishing to develop their coding skills outside of the normal school day.

Impact

Our approach to the curriculum results in a relevant, engaging, and high-quality computing education. The quality of children’s learning is evidenced in online folders and portfolios on Google Classroom, Scratch and Busy Things.

Evidence such as this is used to feed into teachers’ future planning, and as a topic-based approach continues to be developed, teachers are able to revisit misconceptions and knowledge gaps in computing when teaching other curriculum areas. This supports varied paces of learning and ensures all pupils make good progress.

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brockman.eric@gmail.com