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“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” Stewart Brand


At Essa, we want all children to be confident using technology in our increasingly digital world. As a society, we are becoming ever more reliant on technology in every aspect of our lives and therefore it is imperative that children are comfortable in their use and understanding of computers. Computing is intrinsically linked to technology and we aim for all pupils to have access to, and learn to use, a wide variety of digital tools and devices. As technology becomes essential for many jobs and careers, we want the children’s knowledge of technology to support their learning across the entire curriculum to prepare children for life beyond school. As technology advances, we also believe that it is important that we model to our children how to use technology in a responsible manner, allowing them to become respectful digital citizens. Our curriculum is ambitious and engaging, allowing children to develop a deep understanding of the main disciplines within computing: digital literacy, computer science and information technology, whilst embedding knowledge of how to keep themselves safe online.

The children deepen their understanding of computing through learning key facts linked to the three main disciplines (substantive knowledge) and applying this knowledge by developing their skills in the concepts of coding, connecting, communicating and collecting (disciplinary knowledge).

The knowledge and skills that the children develop are progressive from EYFS to Year 6 and reflect the skills they need now and in the future. When selecting the content of the curriculum, teachers have taken into account what the children need based on their prior knowledge and experiences.

To ensure that this progression is embedded, we use 'Big Ideas' as 'golden threads'.

The Big Ideas for Computing are linked to the three disciplines and the four concepts:


  • Computer Science

  • Information Technology

  • Digital Literacy

  • Coding

  • Connecting

  • Communicating

  • Collecting

These golden threads run through our curriculum planning from Reception to Year 6 and allow children to explore common themes across different units of work. Careful consideration is given to building a schema of substantive and disciplinary knowledge and following a well-sequenced curriculum to allow children to make links over time and between themes.

Regular opportunities are built in throughout our computing curriculum for retrieval practice. This allows the children to make these links and ensure that powerful knowledge is embedded in the children's long term memory. Our computing curriculum is built on the premise of keep up, not catch up and there are regular opportunities for children to revisit and summarise their learning throughout a unit and over time. We recognise that, in addition to quality first teaching, some children may need adaptations to enable them to access the curriculum. In computing, this is achieved through:

  • A pre-teach of topic specific vocabulary as an additionality task 

  • A reader to support when using fine motor skills  

  • Mixed attainment group/pairs 

  • More time allocated to process information or instructions broken down into manageable chunks. 

Computing Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is built on the foundation of three 'Es':

Entitlement or core curriculum offer

The development of technology skills begins in EYFS, when children explore the technological world through problem solving and creativity, accessing activities such as taking photos, searching for information on the internet, playing interactive games, using mechanical toys and watching video clips in continuous provision and through role play.

In KS1 and KS2, computing is delivered in units of work across the year which allow the children to begin with the basic building blocks of Computing and progress towards becoming digitally literate. The computing curriculum is underpinned by the Purple Mash scheme of work and online safety is built into every unit. All children have access to high quality resources such as chromebooks and iPads.


Children who demonstrate a love of computing have the opportunity to develop this in a number of ways:

  • Coding club

  • Running a student led-club

  • Accessing animation club at lunchtime



Children who excel in geography have the opportunity to pursue their talents in a number of ways:

  • Becoming a digital leader

  • Being a part of the STEM department in Pupil Parliament



All of our school community (staff, senior leaders, governors and children are involved in measuring the impact of our Computing curriculum in different ways. This is planned for through the School Development Plan, and using our annual monitoring cycle and termly development plan to map out monitoring and review over the year.


Impact is measured by:

-       Collecting data from formative assessments (whole-class quizzes, assessment cups, exit tickets)

-       Pupil voice to determine what children have remembered over time

-       Staff voice to determine effectiveness of scheme of work and the impact of professional development

-       Parent voice in our annual survey

-       Reviewing learning that has been recorded

-       Reviewing progress made against steps to success each lesson and across a sequence of lessons

-       Governor visits to evaluate different areas of Computing

An impact statement is written each term by subject leaders to assess effectiveness of current provision, progress against objectives on action plans and inform and identify next steps.

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