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Computing at English Martyrs' Catholic Primary School

We live in a digital age. Never before has technology been so involved in every aspect of our lives, from how we do our jobs to how we spend our free time. Technology really is everywhere.

 

Because of this, at English Martyrs', we believe it is of vital importance to equip our children with the skill sets required to interact with technology. A large portion of the computing curriculum at our school is delivered through Purple Mash, an award-winning, online learning platform designed to aid children access computing.  It contains apps enabling children to write, blog, create graphs, code and much more.

 

Through these apps, we aim to deliver a thorough curriculum that covers the three strands of computing: Digital Literacy, Information Technology (IT) and Computer Science.

Digital Literacy:
E-safety is of vital importance in our computing curriculum. As well as delivering units on e-safety through our computing curriculum, we teach standalone e-safety lessons over the year. Our goal is to teach our children to be capable digital citizens, who can monitor their behaviour online and understand responsible internet use.

 

Information Technology (IT):

We aim to provide the children with opportunities to use software for different purposes. They will create presentation and Word documents, edit images and videos. They will also start to build an understanding of information handling in spreadsheets. They will accomplish this by utilising a wide range of apps in Purple Mash. 

 

Computer Science:

Teaching computational thinking is an important part of computer science. This is the ability to break a complex problem into smaller parts and to logically find paths to solutions. One way to train this type of thinking is through programming. We use the 2Code app in Purple Mash to allow children to write code to solve a wide variety of problems and debug code that has been written incorrectly. The children will also look into how computer networks are formed.

School Closures / Home Learning:

Regarding school closures, there are a number of ways in which you can continue your child's education in Computing from home.  One way that you can do this is through Purple Mash, the site that we use to teach Computing in our school.  The children already have accounts set up and there are many activities linked to computing and other curriculum areas for you to use through their website.

 

On top of this, there are a number of other sites that can be used to educate your children in Computing from home.  Written below are a select few with information on what to expect from them.

 

  1. https://lightbot.com/flash.html - Lightbot is a video game where the player is given a small number of tools that they must use to make their character light up the correct blocks.  The game introduces children to simple and complex problem solving as well as some programming-specific tools such as loops and procedures.
  2. https://scratch.mit.edu/ - Scratch is another free program made by MIT.  Scratch is a basic visual programming piece of software designed to help introduce children to programming.
  3. https://code.org/athome - Code is a website dedicated to providing a place to learn all about computing.  On the Code at Home section of the website, you will find a variety of tasks, educational videos and other resources to help your child continue to learn at home.
  4. https://www.kodugamelab.com/ - Kodu Game Lab is a free program made by Microsoft that enables children to create simple video games by using a visual programming language.  There are many guides available on the web and many tools and graphical elements are built into Kodu for children to use.
  5. https://turtleacademy.com/ - Turtle Academy is a website that teaches children to draw simple shapes using programming functions such as loops and procedures.  It starts off simple, explaining every step of the way and provides hints and solutions should your child get stuck.
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