Features of a Computing Lesson
Most Computing lessons at Parkfield follow this typical structure to provide consistency and promote attainment of all pupils.
RETRIEVAL QUIZ Children login to our Showbie online learning platform to complete a low-stakes, online, multiple-choice quiz based on prior learning and content on their knowledge organiser. Questions cover all four strands of the curriculum and are sequenced in time order - with the most recently-covered material covered first to ensure as many pupils as possible access these questions. Their success and progress in answering these is displayed on the board so attainment can be praised.
SETTLING TASK Children then do a short activity after they've completed the retrieval quiz, to prepare them for work later in the lesson. Examples of settling tasks include: finding and saving images from the web to insert into a document later on, matching Computing vocabulary that will appear later on with their definitions or logging into the Discovery Coding website and preparing their program's workspace ready to fill in later on.
MAIN TEACHING This begins by: addressing any difficulties with particular questions from the retrieval quiz. going through any answers from the settling task and recapping prior learning to place this current lesson into context. After this, the lesson's learning intention is shared with the children and they are taught the knowledge and skills they will be expected to learn or implement. Strategies for teaching this include: a whole class read of some non-fiction material (e.g. from the BBC Bitesize website), watching a mini video clip of an e-safety scenario and demonstrating how to complete a process with help from the children, whilst talking through the reasonings behind making different decisions (e.g. why editing choices are made or why a process is the most efficient). The etymology of any subject-specific, 'tier three' vocabulary is also taught as it is introduced here.
INDEPENDENT WORK Next, children complete a pleasing, informative or functional piece of Computing work independently to help them consolidate the knowledge or practice they the skills they've just been taught. They might be given: an instruction prompt sheet, WAGOLLS from previous years or a checklist to help them achieve the success criteria on the Good>Great>Super expectations. These are presented in the order to be completed in (e.g. a presentation needs text/images adding first, then a nice design creating then animations applying; a game needs a character inserting to control around an environment first, then items for them to collect adding, then hazards like baddies inserting). Adults in the room monitor children's progress and support as many as possible to reach 'Great' (at age-related expectations) or 'Super' (above age-related expectations). Formative assessment happens here as children's actions are monitored and they are given instant feedback to help them improve their work. Children might be given the chance to share their work/ideas with others to gain inspiration or help them correct any mistakes - this might be with their partner or as a whole class with a particular piece of work being displayed on the board for discussion. They are encouraged to show creativity in their work as much as possible - creating their own storyline for a programmed game, editing pictures before inserting them into a document, choosing a unique colour theme/design layout etc. Once complete, children are asked to save their work onto Showbie and sign out ready for the next class.
PLENARY Children are given a few pre-planned questions to help secure their learning - identify real-life uses of a piece of software, recall key facts they've just learnt, correct design mistakes in document, identify bugs in some code etc. Questions to prompt deeper thinking might also be asked - 'What would happen if...?' Reference to their knowledge organiser will be made and the value of the lesson in supporting the development of their cultural capital will be made too. These questions will likely be answered with their partner first before reviewing as a whole class so all pupils remain engaged and actively included.
STICKER QUESTION Prior to the lesson, a multiple-choice question will be have been shared with the children on Showbie linked with its topic (e.g. a common misconception or a vocabulary definition). All the children who engaged with this at home by answering it are rewarded with a sticker to end.
Computing lessons are personalised wherever possible to match pupil’s individual needs and interests, such as the context for a particular piece of work (e.g. programming a game or making an information app on a theme/topic of their choosing) or letting them pick which search engine they prefer to find things on. Giving pupils the chance to make decisions like these: allows them to have more involvement in how their own learning progresses, give them greater ownership of their work so it’s more individual and makes the lesson seem more appealing to them.
Throughout a Computing lesson, whole school initiatives will also be referenced too - encouraging children to:
behave exceptionally well and have their names moved to the green side of the 'Behaving Like a Parkfielder' display board to be rewarded with a house point at the end;
use their 5Bs to show resilience and attempt to ask their partner or use materials provided to solve challenges themselves before asking an adult;
use their Parkfield Learning Powers to concentrate and put good effort into their work.
Promoting Inclusion and Achievement for All Pupils
A wide range of strategies are used to ensure all pupils are included in Computing lessons and achieve good outcomes:
A range of adaptive teaching strategies
Prompt sheets (instructions/sentence stems)
Progressive success criteria (Good à Great à Super)
Skills checklists – small steps
Wide range of questioning
Encouraged to work to the best of their ability – no attainment limits
Carefully thought out groupings/pairings
Use of teaching assistants for individual support
Promoting pupil metacognition fostering independence