Curriculum for Computing at Drumbeat


The updated computing curriculum scheme of work was written in response to the needs of our pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities. It aims to provide ideas, resources and guidance for teaching the Computing Curriculum to learners working from a very broad range of abilities using the Drumbeat steps from 1 to 10.

The Drumbeat computing curriculum has been based around the 6 strands of the national curriculum for computing:     

  1.       Developing computer skills
  2.       Multimedia: Communication & Data, creative
  3.       IT in the community
  4.       Programming & Algorithms
  5.       Internet safety
  6.       Employability skills (KS3 and above)

The scheme provides the breadth of content that covers the three areas of the national curriculum for computing: Information Technology, Digital Literacy and Computer Science, whilst providing relevance to and meeting the priorities of learners with special educational needs.

The aim of this curriculum is to ensure that computing at Drumbeat is taught in a progressive and sequential manner. The students will move on to learning key computing skills and building competence in these before applying the skills into a wider context outside of school. This is progressive in the manner of the time period becoming longer throughout the curriculum. The computing curriculum provides a framework for progressive learning to take place surrounding the core drumbeat levels linked to the following:

  •          Knowledge of the world
  •          My creativity
  •          My Independence
  •          My health and wellbeing

Cross-curricular delivery

The scheme was written so that activities could be taught as part of a larger cross-curricular topic, or to support other subjects such as English, maths and science as well as life skills.

With this model, in a school year made up of 6 half terms, 2-3 would cover multimedia units, 2 would involve programming and algorithms and 1 would look at data. This is only a recommendation, and different cohorts may benefit from a different balance.

This scheme works best by matching activities to cross-curricular themes, and this would determine the order in which strands are taught and the specific activities covered. It is envisaged that the Developing computer skills strand is taught alongside other strands, primarily at the start of the year to revise key skills.

By following the curriculum the students will build knowledge and independence in applying this to their wider lives and futures.

Computing lends itself to introducing a range of cross curricular learning including Maths, (sequencing, counting, handling data), Literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), key individual communication targets and promoting independence e.g. ordering shopping online, using technology out in the community). The aim at Drumbeat is for computing to feed into as many areas of the curriculum as possible as well as support students in achieving their SCERTS, personalised plan and attention autism targets. 

Through the key targets for computing at Drumbeat we are looking to reinforce learning from across the school and apply this to different settings.

Teaching and learning

Why Internet and digital communications are important

  • The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The school has a duty to provide students with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience.
  • Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils.
  • The internet allows pupils to search and locate information relative to their own interests and those related to the school curriculum
  • For some pupils on the autistic spectrum this includes using familiar website to reduce anxiety as part of coping strategies.
  • The school Internet access is provided by Babcock 4S and LGfL and includes filtering appropriate to the age of pupils.
  • Pupils will be taught what Internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use (See attached guidance notes).
  • Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation (See attached guidance notes).
  • Pupils will be shown how to publish and present information appropriately to a wider audience.