The computing curriculum at Deer Park School is designed to progressively develop children’s knowledge of computer science, digital literacy, and information technology, to enable them to confidently utilise technology . This teaching process is determined by the careful sequencing of domain-specific knowledge within our curriculum. We intend to grow our children’s declarative and procedural knowledge within and between the three strands of our computing curriculum, building a rich understanding of computing concepts and vocabulary, and accumulating a large store of computing specific knowledge. Our children’s growth of procedural knowledge in information technology is intended to support pupils in creating digital artefacts, and to develop as active participants in an increasingly digital world. Thread through our curriculum is the explicit teaching of how to use technology safely and respectfully, and to critically examine content, and how to recognise and avoid potential dangers online.
At Deer Park, we teach our computing curriculum through Purple Mash: a purpose built platform which allows pupils to access and apply the domain specific knowledge for each of the three curriculum strands in a range of contexts. We believe that the computer science strand contains the foundational knowledge required to understand and interpret digital literacy and information technology, and as such each year’s curriculum begins with a computer science unit. Computing is taught weekly in defined, sequenced units of work: digital literacy follows computer science, and information technology is taught as the third unit each year. The Purple Mash platform has been chosen for its focus on domain-specific knowledge, and for its programming language, which allows pupils to engage with wider algorithm design not facilitated by other block-based programmes. The build up of e-safety knowledge, within our digital literacy units, is carefully selected for each year group to ensure that the delivery is both appropriate for the children’s stage of development, and substantial in content. Assessment in computing focuses on the building blocks of knowledge: an assessment of learning, rather than of final product.
Our high expectations and carefully sequenced curricular progression enable our pupils to build a large store of computing knowledge over time. As a result, pupils demonstrate a strong understanding of important concepts, vocabulary and knowledge in all three strands of the computing curriculum and are able to make connections within the subject. The teaching and learning of procedural knowledge empowers pupils to be content creators and critical evaluators, not just content consumers, and the rich progression of declarative knowledge supports pupils to remember more over time. The assessment of learning rather than of achievement supports staff in quickly identifying pupils’ knowledge gaps, and as a result targeted lesson planning is able to address these knowledge gaps consistently and effectively.