Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.  

Edsger W. Dijkstra

At Van Gogh Primary, Computing has significant value both as a standalone subject and through its application in the wider curriculum. Computing enables children to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to the appropriate use of technology in all aspects of their lives. Our school appreciates the importance that technology plays in preparing children for ICT use in further schooling and future workplaces. We aim to fulfil the National Curriculum requirements for Computing whilst using digital technology to support and enhance learning opportunities for other subjects. 

The aims of Van Gogh’s Computing curriculum are to develop learners who:

  • Are confident, competent and digitally literate users of information and communication technology;

  • Are able to keep themselves and others safe, engaged and happy while online; 

  • Can apply their learning in various contexts (home and school learning) and across a broad and balanced curriculum;

  • Can use ICT skills to create, develop, express and present their ideas; 

  • Are able to understand and apply the fundamental concepts of computer science, computational thinking and information and communication technology;

  • Know how information can be stored, used, retrieved, shared and manipulated online.

Key Curriculum Principles

1. The Bigger Picture: The computing curriculum equips young people with the necessary digital skills to solve real-world problems through coding, programming and computational thinking. It also provides children with the opportunity to explore key concepts such as E-safety and digital literacy which will support them in safe and sensible use of ICT in later life.  

2. Knowledge Rich: Throughout both Key Stages, children will be expected to understand the National Curriculum’s key components such as algorithms, program creation, reasoning and E-safety, networks and safe use of search engines. 

3. Retrieval: Much of coding and programming requires children to recall previously-learnt processes and instructions.

4. Deliberate Practice: Understanding the basic fundamentals or factual details to coding or programming will not be useful unless children are able to write their own code, build skills and debug programs consistently.


How is Computing taught in KS1?  

At the very beginning of their schooling, Early Years children will be taught key foundational concepts such as the importance of internet safety and how valuable technology is to everyday learning and understanding of the world. At Van Gogh, Key Stage 1 children will begin to understand what algorithms are, know that programs must follow precise instructions and be able to implement these algorithms on digital devices such as Beebots. Additionally, they will be taught to protect themselves online, keep personal information private, identify where to go for help and support and use technology respectfully. 

In Key Stage 1, children will complete activities such as:

  • Design multimedia postcards about themselves and their friends; 

  • Use Paint to create pictures;

  • Use search engines to research a project;

  • Debug simple programs;

  • Using digital devices to take photos and videos;

  • Use Scratch to create and alter a digital character; and

  • Program Beebots to travel around the classroom.

How is Computing taught in KS2?

In Key Stage 2, children will build upon earlier Computing knowledge to develop their subject skills and understanding. They will be shown how to use the internet for various purposes and will begin to understand the opportunities (as well as the risks) it offers for communication, collaboration and learning. They will use search technologies effectively and be discerning when evaluating digital content. As well as continuing to create, write and debug programs to achieve end of unit goals, they will deepen their analytical reasoning by explaining simple algorithms and correcting programming errors. As responsible online users, they will be able to explain how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly, recognise and report unacceptable online behaviour and identify numerous ways to report such concerns. 

 In Key Stage 2, children will complete activities such as:

  • Creating PowerPoints to present learning;

  • Explore how search results and returned and ranked;

  • Taking photos using digital cameras;

  • Creating a class blog to discuss weekly activities;

  • Developing a simple game through the use of coding programs such as Scratch.


SEND and Inclusion

At Van Gogh Primary School, the expectation is that all learners will advance and progress through quality-first teaching, as well as differentiated instruction and questioning. Children with additional learning needs will be supported through the Computing curriculum through a range of online software, programs and learning outcomes which will allow them to demonstrate their progress, skills and knowledge, express their opinions and ideas, improve their digital literacy and improve autonomy and self-confidence. For example, SEN children can be assisted in their learning through the use of social stories, video screencasts, interactive online activities, programs for visually impaired learners and many more. Additionally, technology can facilitate the inclusion of EAL children as many software and programs (such as Scratch) allow for languages other than English. Translation programs can also assist in the wider curriculum. 

Feedback and Assessment of learning

Teachers should use both formative and summative assessment strategies to accurately measure children’s knowledge, skills and progress as well as identify key learning gaps for enrichment or correction. Using a range of assessment strategies will inform future teaching for Computing teachers. Assessment in Computing can also be linked to planned schemes of work and cross-curricular needs. These assessment opportunities could be, but are not limited to, any of the below:

  • Teacher observation and questioning

  • Pupil self-assessment

  • Pupil peer assessment

  • Assessment quizzes

  • Verbal reminders of ‘next steps’ to challenge and enrich learners

Staff professional learning

National Curriculum and school expectations are easily accessible in the school Drive and have recently been communicated to all staff during a Computing inset. Additionally, teaching and support staff have recently received G Suite Introductory Training. The London Connected Learning Centre have also arranged numerous professional learning opportunities during the year, including half-day coding inset, twilight sessions and CPD events. 

Cross curricular links

Where possible, teachers should plan for and promote the cross-curricular links between Computing and other subjects. These may include:

  • Mathematics: Using coding software to code Maths calculations, presenting role plays in front of green screens 

  • English: Computing technology to encourage children to read and write, digital media to explore narrative writing, creating video or photo montages of story maps, creating comic strips using Comic Life

  • Art and DT: Involving technology in the design cycle (design, make and evaluate) for practical technology projects, using simple 3D design tools to create programmable objects, explore how current artists are using technology in their work (artists using digital media, fashion designers generating digital prints, theatre directors using video content, etc.), building birthday cards using HTML, creating posters and presentations using HTML

  • Geography and History: Creating virtual tours of places across the globe, measuring temperature, humidity and air pressure through the use of outdoor weather stations

  • Science: Using the AR Anatomy 4D+ to explore 3D models of the human body, setting up motion detection cameras to take photos or videos of wildlife 

  • Music: Using technology to compose music, using tools such as Soundtrap, Isle of Tunes and Mad Pad

Curriculum Overview


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 1

E-safety: Using the internet safely

Digital Literacy & E-safety: Using a computer/device

Coding with Codeapillars/Beebots

Digital Literacy: Bug hunters

Digital Literacy: Potty painters

Coding: Scratch Jr. (Introduction and fundamentals)

Year 2

E-safety: Staying safe on the internet

Digital Literacy & E-safety: Using a computer/device

Coding: Scratch Jr.

Digital Literacy: Bug hunters

Digital Literacy: Taking and using photos

Coding: Scratch Jr. (Introduction and fundamentals)

Year 3

E-safety: Google - Share with care

Digital Literacy & E-safety: Using a computer/device

Digital Literacy: Explore a topic with research and collaboration 

Coding: Animations (Space)

Coding: Sound and music (Rock band)

Coding: Project

Year 4

E-safety: Google - Don’t fall for fake

Digital Literacy: Research and develop a topic

Coding: Interactive (Chatbot)

Coding: Game (Boat Race)

Digital Literacy: Childnet video competition

Coding: Project

Year 5

E-safety: Google - Secure your secrets

Digital Literacy: Plan an event

Coding: Scratch (Space Junk game)

Coding: 'Catch the Dots' game

Digital Literacy: Childnet video competition

Coding: Project

Year 6

E-safety: Google - It’s cool to be kind

Digital Literacy: Explore a topic with research and collaboration

Coding: Scratch Maths (Building with numbers)

Coding: Scratch memory game

Digital Literacy: Childnet video competition

Coding: Project

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