Alexander First School

Acquire knowledge, prepare for the future, research in action


Computing at Alexander First School


At Alexander First School we are determined to provide children with the essential computing skills to aid them in today’s modern lifestyle.


There are three main strands of the computing curriculum. At Alexander First School, we use Barefoot Computing and Computing at School to inform our planning. Additionally, we use Purple Mash and Discovery Education to support the learning of each strand of the Computing curriculum. The three main strands are: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Computer Science introduces children to understanding how computers and networks work. It also gives all children the opportunity to learn computer programming, from simple programmable toys in EYFS to programming and decoding complex codes by the time pupils reach Year 4. Information Technology focuses on the use of computers for collecting and presenting information in a range of ways and using search technology. Digital Literacy is about the safe and responsible use of technology, including recognising its advantages for collaboration or communication. At Alexander First School we support this during lessons but also through activities such as Computing Week, Anti-Bullying Week and STEM Weeks. The use of technology is used to enhance learning across the whole curriculum. Children have access to a range of resources to support the computing curriculum such as: laptops, iPads, cameras and programmable toys.


The Computing Subject Lead Team

As computing subject lead team, it is our role to support teachers where necessary, prepare children for the increasing digital future and monitor the progress of children.

To support the progress children make, we have created a progression map focused on the three areas set out in the National curriculum, Computer science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. We have also included the vocabulary that the children should know and be able to use when explaining their computing work.


To support this document we have used resources available on Purple Mash to ensure the skills link to the units the children will be covering.


In order to gain an understanding of how computing is taught across the school, we ensure our subject is monitored termly, gaining evidence from lessons and pupil voice. This informs the strengths and areas for development in this subject, which we share with staff.

We believe teaching children the skills to keep themselves safe online is of paramount importance. To support this, we share information on online safety through lessons and assemblies.

Another part of our role is working closely with our IT technician to ensure resources in school are up to date and meet the demands of the computing curriculum.  We are currently working together to increase the amount of laptops available for the children to use.



The objectives for Computing in KS1 and KS2 are clearly set out for each year group in the National Curriculum:

Key Stage 1:

Pupils should be taught about:

  • Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • Create and debug simple programs
  • Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.


Key Stage 2

Pupils should be taught about:

    • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
    • Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
    • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
    • Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
    • Use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
    • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
    • Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.


Early Years Foundation Stage

Whilst Technology is no longer part of the Early Learning Goals, we believe it is still important to give the children foundational knowledge, skills and experience of working with Technology, ready to start the Computing curriculum in Key Stage 1 and to begin learning how to be a global citizen. In Nursery and Reception, the children have daily access to computers with appropriate games and apps to support their learning. They also have access to a range of technology including programmable toys, an interactive whiteboard, computers and ‘cause and effect’ resources.


The contribution of Computing to teaching in other curriculum areas

Children have access to Purple Mash in school and at home. Purple Mash is a creative educational website for children. Purple Mash is a cross-curricular resource covering everything from maths and English to computing and art. We are determined to provide the children with opportunities to develop their computing skills when working in other areas of the curriculum. The children use a wide range of computing skills including:

  • Word processing to write stories, poems or letters
  • Databases to record information, e.g. minibeasts databases
  • Spread sheets to create tables, charts and graphs
  • Desktop publishing to design posters, leaflets or cards
  • Multimedia presentations to present text, pictures and sound
  • Drawing programs to create pictures and designs
  • Using search engines to find information
  • Cameras/ iPads to record what they have done in class or on a visit
  • Using Purple Mash to produce a range of work showcasing their understanding in different subjects including - newspaper reports, animations and whole class mind maps.
  • Playing educational games online to support learning
  • Apps to record changes in light, sound and temperature
  • Simulations to explore real and imaginary situations


Computing and SMSC


Computing supports Spiritual development by providing children opportunities to use imagination and creativity in their learning. Online Safety, in particular the development of a safe online identity, is an important part of the curriculum. Children develop spiritually through a positive sense of identity and self-worth – another important part of our online safety curriculum. Technology is used in school for research and to add to the discussion of different cultures, further developing a tolerance of individual’s beliefs.



Computing supports Moral development by developing children’s ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England. Computing will develop an understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions. As well, children are able to think about how developments in technology have had an impact on the environment as technology has meant that old ways of working have been “made greener”.



Computing supports Social development by allowing children to use a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working with other pupils. Children are required to understand about social media and the advantages these sites have brought as well as the numerous problems such as cyber bullying. These discussions help children to develop respect for one another both online and in person.



Computing supports Cultural development by allowing children to think about the impact technology has had on not only their own lives, but the lives of others. Technology has had an impact of different cultures and backgrounds in different ways and through the curriculum at Alexander First School; children are able to see that the pace of changes varies from country to country.



Safer internet day

Every February, all classes complete activities linked to online safety. Discussions focus on: the importance of keeping personal information private, who keeps them safe online, what to do if they don’t feel safe, internet jargon and what the internet actually is.


Assessment for learning 

Children demonstrate their ability in computing during computing lessons, but also through their use of technology during other lessons. At Alexander First School assessments are carried out in various forms as appropriate to the age of the pupils and the nature of the topic studied. These include questioning and discussions during the input, teacher observations during lessons and opportunities throughout the unit of study to support addressing misconceptions and extend children's learning. End of unit quizzes, conferencing and end of unit reflections are used at the end of a unit of study. Additionally, pupils also have a unit overview tracker comprising of key vocabulary and success criteria which is checked by pupils and their teacher after every lesson to indicate understanding and monitor progress. We find this is a very valuable assessment tool for our Service pupils who often join mid-unit. We are able to quickly identified aspects of learning and knowledge missed by our newly arrived Service pupils and therefore put support in place to ensure they do not fall further behind. 


Teachers use a traffic light system on our schools electronic assessment system to assess children's learning throughout and a summatively at the end of a unit of study. In the EYFS teacher judgements, Tapestry and observations are used to pupils against the Early Learning Goals.