|Knowledge, skills & mastery
The Computing curriculum in KS3 intends to submerge pupils into all factors of Computing and Business, including programming, digital literacy, practical skills and online safety. Within KS3 pupils will study topical components of all three subject disciplines, which is outlined in our curriculum knowledge maps, to allow them to experience the depth and range of these specialist areas as well as ensuring pupils cover all requirements of the Computing National Curriculum.
At Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to further their study of Computing and Business by opting to studying GCSEs in the respective subjects.
The curriculum has been designed as a pupil-centred curriculum, covering age-appropriate topics and practical skills to address the needs of each year group, i.e. Year 7 would need an introduction to secondary school systems in term 1. Lessons are scaffolded to ensure all pupils including pupil premium, FSM, EAL and SEN, can access the learning and skills required, and pupils are stretched through challenge tasks built into the lesson. We are currently developing relationships between primary, secondary and Sixth form to ensure a smooth transition and appropriate progression and challenge between KS2, KS3, KS4 and KS5.
Topics are reviewed annually to ensure the curriculum remains at the cutting edge of technology. They build upon previous learning and will enhance each pupil’s knowledge and skills with the intention of preparing them for further education and the outside world. There are cross-curricular links within each subject, which expand the learning and promote the breadth and depth of pupil knowledge. Assessment provides opportunities for pupils to reflect upon their learning journey, review and check their progress and retention of knowledge through retrieval practice and personal learning checklists.
|Literacy & Numeracy
Literacy & numeracy is important in all the disciplines, particularly literacy at KS4 in Business and numeracy in Computer Science. Across the academic year, there are a wide range of reading opportunities through the whole school approach of topic texts and reading codes. At KS3, we have planned strategic reading tasks that are topic specific to reflect the learning intention and may be poignant in the news at the time, both of which allow all pupils access to a wide range of genres. Examples of articles include ‘Women in IT’, ‘Gaming and Mental Health Explained’, ‘What is bitcoin?’. This encourages pupils to practice extracting relevant information and deepen their knowledge by engaging in written responses and discussion in class which explore their interests and opinions. Over time the intention is that pupils will link thoughts and opinions to their learning and develop a sense of depth and breadth to their experiences of the role of technology and business in the wider world. At Key Stage 4, the same approach is applied from Key Stage 3, with the addition of exam written responses.
Extended written responses are a critical element across all subject disciplines. At KS3, pupils are supported in developing the skill to write an extended written response per term. Each week pupils are assisted in gradually creating an extended written response with the aim to have a full version each term.
Cross-curricular links with English and maths are identified and acknowledged at relevant points in the curriculum, e.g. binary and Boolean logic (Maths), audience and purpose (English).
|Entitlement & Engagement
All pupils have the potential to perform in an area of Computing and Business, due to the vast nature of topics and natural ability pupils have in one or more of these areas. In computing, schemes of work have been produced to encourage pupils to view the bigger picture. Key Stage 3 projects are designed to allow pupils to have some creativity and autonomy over the way they fulfil the requirements of the brief and engage with the learning and provide self-motivation whereby pupils turn ‘Potential into Performance’. Personal Learning Checklists in each topic enable pupils to take ownership of their learning journey and identify strengths and areas for development.
Enhancing the school notion of ‘spirit of adventure’ and curriculum exposure further, pupils are entitled to engage in extra-curricular activities. These activities include trips to National Computing Museum. Our curriculum is flexible enough to take advantage of competitions and extra-curricular opportunities as they arise. Examples include participation in the Student Investor challenge, Cyber Challenge, Code Club and Amazon Future Engineers.
|Aspiration & Wellbeing
Here at Abbey Park, we are keen for pupils to have an enquiry approach, questioning the world we live in and having opportunities to investigate all viewpoints thus providing balance. Our aim is to provide pupils with the transferable skills they need to progress to their next steps, as well as ensuring they are equipped for their everyday life by adapting our teaching to cultural shifts, considering SMSC and British Values and our own APS PROUD.
Pupils are inspired through in-school events. For example, they explore the history of technology through the annual ‘Technology Week’. The school hosts talks and workshops from external businesses to promote career pathways. Pupils develop leadership skills, confidence, ambition and general interest in Computing and Business through cross-Trust projects, e.g. KS4 pupils support younger pupils in creating a computing-based project.
Within the KS3 curriculum, topics such as Mental health, psychology of gaming, health & safety are taught to ensure the whole-being of a pupil is addressed. All staff within the department are tutors, supporting the whole school ethos and well-being both pastorally as well as in the classroom.
|Community, respect & enrichment
Pupils receive regular Online Safety lessons as part of their curriculum which compliments the Trust Online Safety Policy. These are tailored to each year group and age range to encourage pupils to develop knowledge, awareness of community and respect Online. This includes the impact of actions or events that can happen online and sign posting what to do if issues occur.
The department contributes to the wider school community through the development of pupil led teams which focus on school productions and events. These teams currently cover three areas: Production Team (lighting, sound and behind the scenes), Technical Team (IT skills to edit or program media projects around the school) and a Broadcast Team (developing the radio station and Abbey Park News broadcasts). The hope is this will develop into linking with local businesses and the wider community. These opportunities will be open to all key stages and enhance the interpersonal skills of pupils as they work together in cross curricular and age range projects.
These opportunities promote tolerance, cultural diversity, British values as well as evolving skills and attributes in order for Abbey Park Pupils to be kind, knowledgeable and safe in the world of today.