As outlined in our earlier article, “Computing and the new Ofsted inspection framework”, we examined some of the changes within the latest inspection framework. We also visited Eleanor Haines and Satya Maremanda, computing coordinators at Wembley Primary School (WPS), London, to find out about their experiences of a recent inspection under the new framework. Their Ofsted report (pg. 2) stated that the computing curriculum was “well thought out” and praised the school for enabling Year 6 pupils to “use their knowledge of computing to design their own games”. This article focuses on curriculum delivery, progression and scaffolding, whilst the wider curriculum, online safety, enrichment and meeting the inspectors is discussed in our subsequent article.
At WPS, computing is timetabled for one hour a week and classes are allocated appropriate devices depending on the topic being taught, either laptops or iPads, to ensure they can deliver the curriculum effectively. Class teachers are provided with detailed lesson plans in order to deliver the curriculum. The school decided to invest in a commercial scheme of work, including a programming environment with both inbuilt challenges and free coding, which they adapt to suit the needs of their pupils. In addition to this, the step-by-step guidance for the programming units makes the subject more accessible to non-specialists teachers, who had previously lacked confidence in delivering computing.
An example of a pupil task from the programming environment used by WPS
Progression and scaffolding
Progression in relation to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study is clearly outlined within the school’s curriculum map and the computing coordinators spend time with class teachers to ensure they are aware of what has been studied in previous years. Satya and Eleanor have been keen to ensure lessons focus on pupils’ skills and knowledge, rather than the platform being used, which helps get away from comments such as “we've done Scratch” and helps children to apply their learning in different contexts. WPS have also found having a single programming environment in every year group makes delivering computing CPD simpler and allows staff to effectively support their peers.
Each term within Wembley Primary School’s Computing curriculum map specifies the focus area and technology used
When using the school’s programming environment, children are only able to progress to the next stage once they have completed the appropriate steps within each task. In order to facilitate this, significant scaffolding, including tutorial videos, is available for pupils, along with knowledge organisers which focus on the required code blocks and vocabulary for the unit. The scheme of work also features open-ended tasks, in conjunction with “free code” activities, which allow pupils to go beyond the prescribed curriculum.
An example of a knowledge organiser, which WPS have adapted from their scheme of work
Find out more in our subsequent article on the wider curriculum, online safety, enrichment and meeting the inspectors.
Disclaimer - the information outlined in this article does not reflect the official views of Ofsted, Computing at School (CAS), or the authors, is subject to change and should be used for guidance only.