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          St Michael’s Computing Executive Summary             

Computing Vision


Our vision is to develop ‘thinkers of the future’ through a modern, ambitious, inclusive and relevant education in computing. We want to equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to be active participants in the digital world. It is important to us that the pupils understand how to use ever-changing technology to express themselves, as tools for learning and as a means to drive their generation forward into the future. 

We want pupils to develop as respectful, responsible and confident users of technology and be aware of measures that can be taken to keep themselves and others safe online.


This vision links closely to Curriculum Driver 2 Learning skills – Aspiration and Attitude and Curriculum Driver 4 Exploration – Adventure and Discovery.


Our vision is achieved by:

  • A curriculum that develops knowledge, skills and understanding of the three main content areas: computer science, information technology and digital literacy
  • A curriculum which cultivates creativity, builds resilience and develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills through Computer Science (computational thinking)
  • A clear programme of study where pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting declarative and procedural computing knowledge
  • Giving pupils the opportunity to explore and gain a deep understanding of the concepts learned and to make connections with other learning experiences
  • Providing an inclusive and ambitious curriculum which builds on prior learning so that all pupils can succeed and thrive
  • Regularly referring to online safety when teaching all strands of the computing curriculum


Implementation of the Computing Vision


Early Years Foundation Stage - Reception

In Reception Class the children develop computational thinking using ‘Barefoot Computing' activities. Computational thinking is a set of problem solving skills, which can be learnt away from the computer. This is called an ‘unplugged’ approach. We occasionally use online activities to practise some aspects of computational thinking skills. Computational thinking involves six different concepts and five approaches to working:


Concepts: Logic, Algorithms, Decomposition, Patterns, Abstraction, Evaluation

Approaches: Tinkering, Creating, Debugging, Persevering, Collaborating


Our planned activities provide foundational experiences for the children to build on. The children learn these skills through a wide assortment of familiar play-based activities, such as water play, outdoor play, games and challenges that focus on building children’s listening skills, curiosity, creativity and problem solving. Children in Reception Class are taught key vocabulary that will support their future learning in computing (Building Blocks of Vocabulary in Computing).


Teaching and Learning in Computing - Years 1 – 6

At St Michael’s we have chosen to use ‘Teach Computing’ to support the delivery of our Computing curriculum. The resources cover all aspects of the Computing National Curriculum (Computer Science, Information Technology, and Digital Literacy) and build on the computational thinking skills introduced in EYFS. This curriculum was chosen as it has been created by subject experts and is based on the latest pedagogical research. It includes a progression of skills and knowledge (both declarative and procedural) from Year 1 to Year 6, ensuring that pupils are well-equipped for the next stage of their education.


  • Declarative knowledge- this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. It consists of facts, rules and principles and the relationships between them. It can be described as ‘knowing that’.
  • Procedural knowledge– this is knowledge of methods or processes that can be performed. It can be described as ‘knowing how’. It is through procedural knowledge that children gradually become more expert in their computational thinking and as creative, safe users of ICT.


Long Term Planning

The curriculum is mapped to the National Centre of Computing Education’s taxonomy of ten strands: algorithms, computer networks, computer systems, creating media, data and information, design and development, effective use of tools, impact of technology, programming and safety and security.  The teaching units are based on a spiral curriculum where each of the strands is revisited regularly building on prior learning.  


Every year group learns through units within the same four themes, which combine the ten strands.

Each year group completes a unit of work every half term. Each unit focuses on one of the four main strands. These are outlined in the long term plan Years 1-6 (see Appendix A)


The remaining strands are present in all units but are not always taught explicitly. These are highlighted on the Teach Computing Curriculum Journey (see Appendix B).


Primary themes

Computing systems and networks


Data and information

Creating Media

Taxonomy strands

Computing Systems


Computer networks





Design and development


Data and information

Creating media


Design and development

Effective use of tools

Impact of technology

Safety and security


Medium Term Planning

Each Computing unit is informed by a medium term plan which outlines the declarative and procedural knowledge the pupils will learn, the National Curriculum coverage, prior learning, intended outcomes and end points of learning including assessment criteria.


The medium term plan can also be seen visually through the learning graph for each unit. This demonstrates the progression through concepts and skills.



Short Term Planning

  • Engagement activities including reference to prior learning
  • Learning Objectives with success criteria
  • Focused activities to meet the learning objective
  • Plenary including self assessment
  • Preparation for the next part of the learning journey


Online Safety and Digital Citizenship

When implementing our computing curriculum the safety of our pupils is paramount. We teach pupils the necessary skills to keep themselves safe online. Pupils have a right to enjoy childhood online, to access safe online spaces and to benefit from all the opportunities that a connected world can bring them, appropriate to their age and stage. Online safety and responsible use of technology are taught in Computing and PSHE lessons, in assemblies and during events such as Safer Internet Day.

For further information please go to the school website to read our Online Safety Policy.


Resources for the Teaching of Computing

To ensure effective delivery of the computing curriculum we have a variety of hardware available, including:

  • laptops
  • iPads
  • Bee-Bots
  • Easi-Scope Microscope
  • Easi-Speak Audio recorders
  • Recordable Buttons
  • Crumble Controller
  • Micro:bit


Each teacher is provided with:

  • A laptop and/or desktop PC
  • Interactive Whiteboard
  • Visualiser


All children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are provided with Google Education Suite and Office 365 Education accounts and work can be accessed in school and remotely.


Technical support is provided by INTERM IT and curriculum support is provided by Sandringham Computing Hub.


Further documentation

Appendix A - Curriculum progression document

Appendix B - Teach Computing Curriculum Journey

Appendix B – Building blocks of Vocabulary in Computing




Opportunities are taken to embed Computing across the curriculum. Coding Club is held weekly with Year 5 and 6 pupils. Focus days are run across the year e.g. Safer Internet Day. Dream Catcher Assemblies with a focus on careers that require computing skills.


Measuring the Impact of the Computing Vision and implementation

Formative assessment

Formative assessment (or Assessment for Learning) takes place throughout every session and is the basis on which teachers tailor learning to the needs of the children they are teaching. Teachers use observation, questioning and where appropriate marked activities to assess understanding, and this informs subsequent lessons.  


Summative assessment

Summative assessment takes place twice a year. End of unit assessments (Multiple Choice Quiz or Rubric) are used to inform summative judgements. Teachers also assess children on the end learning points in each unit as outlined on the medium term plans. The assessments support teachers in planning and adapting learning appropriately to the pupils’ needs.


The Computing Subject Lead analyses this data twice a year to:

  • identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
  • provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups) and to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age
  • Support teachers in developing the curriculum in their year group in response to the needs of the cohort



Subject leader monitors provision in computing through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • teacher/subject leader discussions
  • Scrutiny of pupils’ saved work
  • pupil voice activities


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leadership action plan which is updated twice each year.


Continuing Professional Development

EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of Understanding of the World through association with Herts for Learning.


EYFS Leader and Computing Subject Lead receive updates on the teaching of computing in early years through association with Barefoot Computing.


Subject Leader meets termly with other Computing Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.


The Senior Leadership team has regard to any Ofsted subject specific reports or reviews when monitoring provision in Computing at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice is adapted to reflect the most recent research.


Further resources available to enhance teachers’ continued professional development include:

  • Barefoot Computing
  • National Centre for Computing Excellence
  • Teach Computing
  • Sandringham Computing Hub
  • The National College


The Computing Executive Summary is reviewed annually.

Latest revision: April 2024

Please click on the link below to find our Online Safety information.