Sarah Coleman, Headteacher of Lindale CE Primary School, shares her school’s experience of teaching primary computing using iCompute.
Choosing a Computing Scheme of Work
Being a small school with little funding, Computing was a sadly neglected area of our curriculum. We needed a cost-effective, teacher-friendly, scheme of work that enabled our teachers to feel confident about teaching an unfamiliar subject quickly. We wanted to invest in a scheme that provided full coverage of the National Curriculum, included lots of support, resources and had engaging lessons that secured progression year on year. iCompute ticked all of the boxes we were looking for and it came highly recommended by other schools.
Being supported is one of the key reasons for choosing iCompute. We needed hand-holding in the first instance as our subject knowledge and technical skills were pretty poor. The scheme is very supportive, with step-by-step lesson plans and screenshots and pre/partially written computer programs; which have proven a real time-saver for whole-class teaching. It’s also packed full of resources like worksheets, pupil support materials and guides.
Our teachers feel they can pick up the planning for a computing lesson and are confident that everything has been covered. It’s written in language that young children can understand which benefits our teachers too.
The video screencasts provided on the website and teacher guides about how to use some of the software and tools have both been important aspects of why the scheme has worked so well for our teachers.
iCompute is full of innovative ideas for activities and appeals to children with different learning styles. We saw computing to be a rather dry subject and envisioned our pupils sat in front of computers each session but iCompute often takes learning away from computers and engages the children in fun, physical, (unplugged) activities which really helps them understand the sometimes abstract concepts covered. Lessons involve lots of collaboration enabling all children to be actively involved in learning. Lots of our children go home and download the free applications we use and work on projects at home. Our children absolutely love their computing lessons.
Each lesson is progressive, building on the knowledge, skills and understanding the children acquire with clear links to where they have come from and are going to within the unit. Achievable objectives are matched with clear success criteria and each lesson has built-in differentiation and extension/enrichment ideas enabling all children to work at an appropriate level and achieve. Lessons are fun and interactive ensuring all children remain on task.
Each unit has detailed end-of unit assessment guidance and there is a comprehensive assessment toolkit provided with pupil progress trackers, progression guides and pupil-friendly ‘iCan’ statements for each strand of the National Curriculum to support accurate assessment.
The variety of the software applications and tools the scheme uses ensure that each half-term the children are keen to find out what they are moving on to next. Crucially, their learning in used elsewhere throughout the curriculum facilitating computing mastery and enhancing other subjects.
iCompute has equipped and empowered our school to teach computing creatively and well. Progress has been phenomenal! Attainment has risen and, since adopting iCompute, we have been appointed a Lead School on the Network of Excellence for Computing Teaching. We share our good practice with other schools through CPD, inspire, motivate and support teachers, enabling many more pupils to benefit from a high quality computing education.
I cannot recommend iCompute highly enough!