At St Elizabeth’s, we aim to prepare our pupils for the future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an everchanging digital world.

Knowledge and understanding of Computing is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment.

Our Computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, computer science and information technology to ensure that children become competent in safely using, as well as understanding, technology. These strands are taught discretely through a range of units during children’s time in school to ensure the learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed.

Our intention is that Computing also supports children’s creativity and cross curricular learning to engage children and enrich their experiences in school.


Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth in Computing. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our students appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities. Our curriculum drivers are community, spirituality, culture, democracy and possibilities.

Cultural capital gives our students the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values.

Curriculum breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.

Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and ‘Curriculum Themes’. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.

Curriculum Themes tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same themes over and over and gradually build understanding of them.

In Computing, these curriculum themes are;

  • Coding and Computational thinking
  • Spreadsheets
  • Internet and Email
  • Art and Design
  • Music
  • Databases and graphing
  • Writing and Presenting
  • Communication and networks.

Golden Threads

These ‘Golden Threads’ help students to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form strong, meaningful schema. In Computing these Golden Threads include:

  • Computing Science
  • Information Technology
  • Digital Literacy.

Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if students are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for students to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which taken time.


For each of the Curriculum Themes, learning is planned by year group, each of which includes the procedural and Golden Threads in each subject, giving students a way of expressing their understanding of the Curriculum.

Cognitive Domains

Within each year group, students gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: Remembering, Knowing and Reasoning. The goal for students is to display sustained mastery at the ‘Knowing’ stage of understanding by the end of each phase (EYFS, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2, Upper Key Stage 2) and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘Reasoning’ stage.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Strategies

As part of our progression model, we use a different pedagogical style in each of the cognitive domains of Remembering, Knowing and Reasoning. This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who argue to direct instruction in the early stages of learning and discovery-based approaches later. We use direct instruction in the Remembering domain and problem-based discovery in the Reasoning domain. This is called the reversal effect.

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.

Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

By revisiting Golden Threads, pupils are able to build a strong schema, and develop skills to become a competent user of compute.

​​​​​​​In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time. Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema. Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.