The aim of learning Computing is to enable students to become active participants in the world. It isn't just about producing programmers.
Some will look at computing as a (very well paid!) career, but everybody will use technology in their everyday life. This means that it is vital that we (and the whole school) support pupils to be respectful users, in considering people at the other end of a connection. They will be taught how to stay safe and how to get help when things do go wrong. They will learn to search efficiently for information and avoid fraudulent sites and emails.
Pupils will learn some coding techniques. This is not just important to prepare for a career in computing. Learning to break down a problem and solve it in a novel way is excellent for developing thinking skills and is shown to support their learning in other subjects. The resilience developed through debugging and retrying will help in many aspects of their lives.
Finally, they will learn to use computers to support their learning in every subject and to undertake creative projects. This might be around photo or video editing, designing comic strips (which can be used to storyboard videos) or even designing displays.
At KS3, all pupils now have two computing lessons each week. They follow the national curriculum with these three strands:
These roughly correspond to the three paragraphs above.
T Hewetson - Curriculum Lead, based at the Grove Centre .
A Kapur and R Parmar- Firsbrook
S Griffiths and T Hayward - Kings
K Ansell - Link
E Davies - Millpool
BBC Bitesize is an excellent start, with information, quizzes and video clips.
We take part in the Hour of Code each December, but the resources are available all year-round. They include some computing activities that don't need the internet or even a computer!
A Raspberry Pi (the 'zero' is from ~£10) is a tiny computer that can connect to a TV or monitor and has been used for amazing projects while being a great introduction to coding.
The NSPCC has excellent resources to help keep children and families safe online.
Our safeguarding advice for parents page contains some further resources for online safety.