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Computing at Jesse Gray

At Jesse Gray, we realise computers and technology are now part of everyday life. For most of us, this technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world. At Jesse Gray, children learn how computers and computer systems work, they design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. Computational thinking is an integral part of all computing lessons at Jesse Gray. It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers our children to develop their thinking. Our pupils are able to think computationally, they are therefore better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.

Computing at Jesse Gray is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes computing an extraordinarily useful and intensely creative subject, suffused with excitement, both visceral (‘it works!’) and intellectual (‘that is so beautiful’). Computing at Jesse Gray is not all screen based. Most lessons involve practical resources and technologies. Children use Sphero robots to create algorithms, controlling a physical robotic ball through their code. Through the use of iPads, children create stop motion movies, film and edit clips together using iMovie and create podcasts and commentaries explaining their learning.

At Jesse Gray, we support, develop and promote children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development through Computing. Computing develops children’s spiritual development by wondering at the power of the digital age through exploring how we use the internet, by understanding the advantages and limitations of technology and by using the internet as a gateway to big life issues. Computing develops children’s moral development by exploring the moral issues surrounding the use of data, by considering the benefits and potential dangers of the internet, and by understanding cyber bullying as a danger. Computing develops children’s social development by links through Twitter and other digital media services and by highlighting ways to stay safe when using online services and social media. Computing develops children’s cultural development by exploring human achievements and creativity in relation to worldwide communications and by developing a sense of awe and wonder at human ingenuity.

As a school that nurtures independent learners, we encourage our children to assess and understand their own ability in Computing. We provide children with a wide range of technologies, open-ended activities and the opportunities to work collaboratively on joint projects. As a dyslexic friendly school that values all learning styles, we provide our children with the opportunities to present the depth of their knowledge, skills and understanding through a variety of media. In computing, children use of a range of applications, such as Google Sites, PicCollage and iMovie as well as a variety of programs, such as Scratch, Robomind and MicroBits to showcase their learning. This means that when children’s English skills are not yet fully developed, children’s ability in Computing is not restricted.

To ensure the best Computing teaching and learning is consistent across the school, our Computing Leader and Technologies Team closely monitors planning, resources, lessons and assessment, providing CPD tailor made to the teaching and learning needs of Jesse Gray. Our staff are encouraged to share best practices and value pupil voice, ensuring that our children leave primary school with a love of Computing, and an integrated understanding of how technology can be used.