Dronfield Junior School

Dronfield Junior School
Reaching Potential


"Computers are good at following instructions, but not reading your mind."

Donald Knuth

Our Computing Lead is Mrs E van Gemeren

Computing Intent

At Dronfield Junior School, we teach computing so that pupils will learn how to confidently and competently work with a variety of software tools and programmes. They will develop knowledge and skills that can be applied today, beyond school and in to adult life, including potential career paths.

In a world where any information is accessible at all times, and any information can be posted and shared by anybody, we value the importance of equipping children at Dronfield Junior School with the understanding to consistently make safe choices online.

Computing Implementation

As computing is such a comprehensive subject, we teach it discreetly in weekly sessions to ensure children have regular interaction with technology. We follow a clearly sequenced and progressive program of study, based on the National Curriculum.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation; how digital systems work; and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of digital content. This scheme ensures we are covering the Computing National Curriculum through broad and balanced lessons
which will equip pupils with all they need to progress through the years. Teachers ensure planning is based on a thorough understanding of children's needs, building upon prior learning and accounting for children with SEND. Pupils learn how computers and computer systems work, as well as design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.

Classes have access to laptops, Window’s Surface Pros, Chrome Books and          i-pads.

As well as stand-alone computing lessons, pupils use computing equipment during the day, including: reading books online, completing cross curricular tasks and presenting their work in a digital form.

A different unit of work is planned for each half term and coverage of all three strands of the computing curriculum is ensured. Some aspects of digital literacy, with a focus on online safety, are covered in PSHE lessons as well as in whole school assemblies.

Computing Impact

Firstly, the pupils are able to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solving problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. They are able to use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.

Dronfield Junior School pupils are able to use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs. Furthermore, they understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.

Our pupils are able to use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Moreover, our pupils are able to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.

Finally, our pupils are to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

Within the subject, children develop the life skills and knowledge associated with technology that they might not have access to at home especially those children that are disadvantaged. They also become more capable and confident using technology as a means of doing school work both at school and at home.

Computing topics

Computing progression map

Computing Policy

 Research Project with Cambridge University starting June/July 2024

We have been invited to take part in a study investigating computing education and physical computing. This project is being carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge.  There are only 17 schools in the UK that are taking part so it is a terrific opportunity for our pupils and Mrs van Gemeren.


Physical computing involves combining programmable hardware with software to create an interactive, physical system that senses and responds to the real world. An example of such a device is the BBC micro:bit. Through the BBC micro:bit - the next gen campaign, over 500,000 micro:bits have been distributed to UK schools. Previous research has found that the micro:bit is beneficial for young people, in terms of their motivation, creativity, and programming skills. Young people find the micro:bit engaging and like how tangible and easy to use it is. However, researchers do not yet know whether initial experiences with the micro:bit translate into long-term impacts on their attitudes and beliefs such as confidence and creativity.

The Exploring Physical Computing in Schools (EPICS) project is a five-year longitudinal project that aims to investigate this. The researchers at the University of Cambridge will also be investigating the role teachers’ play in the development of pupils’ digital capital, as well as any gender differences in how children engage with the micro:bit. The research project is funded by a donation from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, the BBC, and Nominet.

This project

As part of this project, the researchers are collecting an initial set of data this summer, to inform the longitudinal aspect of our research project. For this initial round of data collection, they will be conducting focus groups with pupils in Year 4 and interviews with their teachers. Our school is being invited to take part as we received our class set of micro:bits through the BBC’s micro:bit - the next gen campaign.  Mrs van Gemeren will be asked to deliver a 6 week unit of work introducing the micro:bit to our Year 4 classes.  The researchers will interview Mrs van Gemeren asking questions about physical computing, the micro:bit, and how they think it can support the development of young people’s creativity, confidence, agency and digital capital.

If you would like to know more about the project click on link below