Curriculum Intent

At St Joan of Arc Primary School, we want all pupils to understand and apply the fundamental principles of computing; including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation as well as digital technology.  We place great importance on children staying safe online and being aware of both the benefits and challenges that the use of technology presents. 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 and safe way in order to succeed.

Our computing curriculum is based on the Islington Computing Scheme of Work. This scheme of work incorporates high-quality resources and research from organisations such as Computing at Schools (CAS), Barefoot Computing, Common Sense Media and The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE).

Curriculum Implementation

Three distinct strands within computing have been identified by the Royal Society, each of which is complementary to the others: computer science, information technology, and digital literacy. Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Essential Characteristics:

  • Competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects
  • The ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity
  • An understanding of the connected nature of devices
  • The ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum
  • The ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively

At St Joan of Arc School, children will have one timetabled lesson of computing per week. This can be used for teaching discrete computing material or for the use of computers related to other curriculum subjects. Pupils have access to Chromebook laptops enabling lessons to happen within the classroom. Digital devices are used within the wider-curriculum and pupils use the suite of online tools available via Google Classroom such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive.

Children have the opportunity to apply their computing skills in other subject areas through the use of a range of technology including; ipads and other tablets, interactive whiteboards and programmable devices such as bee-bots.

Children will learn about staying safe in computing lessons and through wider RSE lessons. All pupils will agree to the school’s user level agreement, presented in an age-appropriate way, before being able to use technology on site. This clearly explains to pupils how they should use technology safely and how they should interact safely with others.

Our scheme of work for 2022-2023 uses DFE funded Teach Computing ( which has been customised for schools to include relevant digital and learning resources. We also use a range of online resources from LGFL (including BusyThings & J2E), Discovery Education, Barefoot Computing and Common-Sense Media.

Curriculum Impact

Children at St Joan of Arc have a positive view of computing due to the breadth of the curriculum which enables them to explore the varying components of the subject and wider digital world.   Pupils develop a growth mindset, knowing mistakes are celebrated as this provides a learning opportunity. For example, in coding pupils learn that ‘de-bugging’ is specifically looking at how to identify and fix errors in a program.

At extended schools, KS1 and KS2 pupils have access to code club sessions which provide further opportunities for learning and applying programming skills using block-coding.

Staying safe online and understanding the challenges that our pupils face is a priority. Our Digital Leaders are a group of passionate and inspirational year six pupils who lead online safety week and support younger learners with their computing learning.

We encourage our pupils to develop confidence, use technology independently and make connections across areas. We ensure that every child can access our curriculum by utilising technology to promote learning. Through our computer science lessons, we hope to help children develop their creativity, resilience, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and digital literacy. We want our students to have various experiences that will help them better grasp who they are as people in their neighbourhood, as well as members of a larger global community and responsible online citizens.