ICT and Computing
WHY ARE WE TEACHING A KNOWLEDGE-RICH CURRICULUM; HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
The Computer Science and ICT curriculum is designed to enable students to become confident and able digital citizens. The knowledge rich curriculum uses a skills focus, developing across the key stages to allow students to revisit and develop knowledge with application of skills in a range of software. Knowledge is also developed so students understand how the components inside a computer function and how they can be controlled through programming. Both ICT and computer science are subjects rich with technical language and can only be understood when pupils have an understanding of keywords.
WHY ARE WE TEACHING THIS CONTENT?
We teach this content to ensure that students are digitally competent for what is a technology focussed world. Students develop skills that enable them to use mainstream software and learn transferable skills which will allow access to bespoke packages in the work place. We revisit and develop skills in software and computer science to allow independent thinking and problem solving which will later aid future learning and working practices.
WHY ARE WE TEACHING IT IN THIS ORDER?
Our curriculum is taught in an order to ensure students understand the fundamentals of both computer science and ICT. We cover a range of software and skills to ensure that key stage 3 have a breadth of software experience and each year we build on previous learning and develop skills. Each revisit to software adds new transferable skills and without the prior knowledge cannot be developed – for example block based sequencing is taught in year 7 to build a foundation of understanding of basic programming commands before Python can be taught in year 8, which is then advanced in year 9 by adding searching and sorting algorithms. We also ensure we have covered a full spectrum which enables any choice of IT based KS4 course being suitable.
WHAT DO PUPILS NEED TO REMEMBER AND BE ABLE TO DO IN THIS SUBJECT?
Pupils need to remember and display the key transferable skills between software from the main software packages. They need to remember how information is stored, accessed and processed within the computer system. Pupils should then be able to use technical language to take a problem and break it into small, specific steps (algorithm).
WHAT METHODS DO WE USE TO HELP PUPILS SECURE THIS KNOWLEDGE IN LONG-TERM MEMORY?
Methods used are quizzing at the start of each lesson, with a mixture of more recent questions but always including questions from previous topics and previous years in our knowledge recall starters. This is along with regular class discussions and individual question and answer sessions. Students also complete end of unit assessments (every 6 -8 sessions).
WHAT METHODS DO WE USE TO HELP PUPILS SECURE THIS KNOWLEDGE IN LONG-TERM MEMORY AND APPLY IT IN COMPLEX TASKS?
Students complete tasks and activities that involve multiple pieces of software to produce a final piece, initially starting with two pieces of directed software. As students' understanding extends, the projects become more complex, involving planning through to completion, allowing students to select what they consider to be the most appropriate software. Encouragement of independence is also developed throughout KS3 resulting in a full integrated project using a combination of computer science and IT skills. Each end of unit assessment involves both theory and practical tasks. It is also ensured that common features of specific software is recognised and thus enable familiarity with different, same brand, software.
To view the ICT and Computing Curriculum Overview click here.
More information on the ICT and Computing can be found on their website here.