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Maths & ICT

Computer Science

Curriculum Overview

Intent: Our purpose and ambition
Subject Vision:

Computer Science is an exciting subject in a growth area for jobs. We aim to combine the key concepts related to computational thinking, information technology and digital literacy to provide students with knowledge and skills across the main elements of computer science.

At its core is computational thinking, problem solving, and logical thinking skills used by computer scientists and programmers to solve complex problems, which can also be applied to real world issues in many other subjects and disciplines.

Writing programs allows students to put these skills to the test, and to develop their ability to work through problems and find solutions. Technology has a large impact on our lives so it is also important to consider the ethical, moral and safety issues it can bring.

Scheme of Work:

The scheme of work draws heavily upon material provided by the National Centre for Computing Education. The resources provide a consistent approach to our teaching with resources that become familiar to pupils.

Our scheme also covers all of the requirements of the National Curriculum Computing PoS. This is broken into four distinct strands:

  • Programming
  • Information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information)
  • Digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully)
  • Data and data representation (how data is represented and used in computers and technology)

In programming, it is the intention of the curriculum to introduce, develop and secure, the understanding of the three key concepts of programming:

  • Sequence
  • Selection
  • Iteration

Understanding of these concepts is crucial to understanding programming and will sit at the core of all programming that is done, whether it is Scratch or Python.

The units undertaken start with block based programming on Scratch, moving onto Python text based programming and HTML in Year 9. Alongside the key concepts, pupils will develop their problem solving skills through a wide range of programming tasks and activities. They will also look at how to use variables and functions.

It is not the intention to turn KS3 pupils into programmers, this process is started at GCSE level.

Our key aims from the curriculum follow the federation’s ASPIRE strapline.

Ambition- We want our students to have the ambition to see the ever increasing computing industry in their futures.
Success- See how the world of computing can shape the world by starting with small ideas. Achieve success with these and move on to bigger things.
Progress- Gain knowledge and understanding of key computing concepts, working increasing levels of programming. Gaining a wider knowledge of digital literacy and how it affects then every day.
Inspiration- Be inspired by the scope of just what computers can do in the modern age. Want to be a part of it.
Respect- We want our students to be respectful of each other, their environment, their equipment and their teachers. We help pupils with this by showing respect ourselves as teachers.
Equality- All pupils are treated the same in terms of opportunities and experience in the classroom. In return, we expect pupils to treat others with equality, regardless of race, religion, colour, gender, orientation
What do we expect students to get from Computing?

At its core, our scheme aims to provide pupils with computational thinking, problem solving, and logical thinking skills used by computer scientists and programmers to solve complex problems, which can also be applied to real world issues in many other subjects and disciplines.

Pupils will also gain an understanding of digital literacy, allowing them to use skills across subjects to create effective presentation of their work in a variety of formats. Pupils will also gain an understanding of what it means to be a safe and respectful member of online communities.

Implementation: Design, Pedagogy and Assessment
How does learning develop over the five years?
Year 7:

Programming: Using Scratch, a block based programming language which enable pupils to focus on structure rather than coding grammar and syntax.
Digital Literacy and IT: Pupils look at Being safe and respectful online, researching and presenting information, digital imaging and manipulation.
Data and Data Representation: Using spreadsheets

Year 8:

Programming: Starting with block based Javascript event-based programming, moving on to typed Python at the end of the year.
Digital Literacy and IT: Computer systems, media project, networking
Data and Data Rep: Binary, and binary conversions, Boolean Logic, representing sound and images.

Year 9:

Programming: Text based Python using turing lab, coding web pages using HTML and CSS.
Digital Literacy and IT: Cyber security and its implications for personal data security, creating Vector Graphics, create a comic strip.
Data and Data Rep: Securing personal data, vector graphic representation.

Year 10/11:

The curriculum used is based upon the Teach Computing SoW. The Teach Computing Curriculum has been written to support all pupils. Each lesson is sequenced so that it builds on the learning from the previous lesson, and where appropriate, activities are scaffolded so that all pupils can succeed and thrive. Scaffolded activities provide pupils with extra resources, such as visual prompts, to reach the same learning goals as the rest of the class. Exploratory tasks foster a deeper understanding of a concept, encouraging pupils to apply their learning in different contexts and make connections with other learning experiences.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

Catch-up and revision sessions.

Impact: Attainment, Progress, Knowledge, Skills and Destinations
What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

KS3 – end of unit formative assessment tests.
KS4 – Unit formative assessments, programming skills are assessed throughout, mock exams using past papers.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

Most pupils will be engaged in their learning and show a willingness and enjoyment of the subject. Current curriculum has been extensively modified to help ensure success.

How do we support ‘High Attaining’ pupils?

Computing is a subject where high attaining pupils thrive. Programming inherently lends itself to complexity which is easily extendable for HA pupils. The theory element can be very technical and again helps HA pupils extend their knowledge. In some areas, extended reading is provided to widen subject knowledge.
Teach To The Top.


Curriculum Overview

Intent: Our purpose and ambition

We believe that students deserve a creative and ambitious mathematics curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares them well for everyday life and future employment. Our mathematics curriculum will give students the opportunity to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

Our key aims from the curriculum follow the federation’s ASPIRE strapline.

AMBITION – We want our students to be driven and to explore how mathematics is linked to every aspect of life and the exciting career opportunities that become available.
SUCCESS – Understanding the role of mathematics in our world and the wider society, thus enabling our students to apply logic and problem solving skills learnt through mathematical techniques
PROGRESS – Knowledge and understanding of key mathematical skills and concepts allowing pupils to grow into logical thinkers, problem solvers and numerically confident human beings.
INSPIRATION – Motivate students to see mathematics beyond the classroom and to ignite and sustain a love for mathematics.
RESPECT – Students’ lessons will be based on mutual respect. We will nurture academic and personal confidence by allowing all students to feel confident even when mistakes are made and use resilience in solving problems.
EQUALITY – Every pupil is given the same opportunities to achieve regardless of their background. Through our curriculum, pupils appreciate their equality but recognise the inequality that exists locally and globally.
What do we expect students to get from Maths?
Deep Understanding

Our practice embeds the importance of deep understanding , as equating progress with learning new procedures and rules means many students will miss out on a depth of understanding. We achieve this by allowing the pupils to represent concepts in a variety of different ways using both objects and pictures.

Mathematical thinking

We believe that it is essential for students to develop mathematical thinking in and out of the classroom to fully master mathematical concepts. We want students to think like mathematicians, not just DO the maths. We believe that during the learning experience students should: explore, wonder, question, conjecture, experiment and make theories in order to guide their own journey.

Mathematical Language

We believe that pupils should be encouraged to use mathematical language throughout their maths learning to deepen their understanding of concepts. The way students speak and write about mathematics has been shown to have an impact on their success in mathematics.. We therefore use a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introducing and reinforcing mathematical vocabulary throughout maths lessons, so students have the opportunity to work with word problems from the beginning of their learning.

Implementation: Design, Pedagogy and Assessment

How does learning develop over the five years?

Year 7:

In our secondary curriculum, we start with algebra as this is key to the secondary curriculum as well as being comparatively new for pupils. Again we carefully order the skills – understanding notation, one-step equations, then two-step equations etc., revisiting the concepts in other areas of the curriculum and making sure that topics are covered so pupils experience variety as well as consolidation. Number is revisited and developed further as we explore directed number and types of number.

Year 8:

These concepts are taken further in year 8 as we build on number skills with fractions and standard form as well as sequences. New algebraic concepts like the Cartesian Plane are introduced while sequences are explored further. Topics such as data are built on from year 7.

Year 9:

They will develop their skills in ‘working mathematically’. Develop fluency in the number system, the language of algebra and mathematical terminology. Practise their mathematical reasoning; making links between numerical, algebraic and graphical representations, deducing mathematical relationships and constructing mathematical proofs or counter examples. Develop their problem solving skills and begin to model problems mathematically. These skills are particularly important, both as students progress through their mathematical studies as well as throughout their lives. Problem solving questions and word problems feature widely in GCSE papers as a way of testing students’ understanding of maths topics and their ability to work mathematically. Reasoning and deduction, along with the ability to form arguments and solve problems are skills that will benefit our children for the whole of their lifetime. Students should be given the opportunity to develop these skills throughout different areas of the Year 9 maths curriculum by getting them regularly thinking about applied questions and solving problems.

Year 10/11:

Students will enter Y10 with a certain set of ingrained attitudes and habits towards maths. The curriculum is formed of two closely related overlapping strands. They are carefully designed to maximise progression and allow flexibility. The Foundation Strand- By the end of year 11 the Foundation strand will cover all the content in the Foundation GCSE allowing students to attain a grade 5. The Higher Strand all of the Higher GCSE content is covered allowing access for students all the way to Grade 9. Some content will inevitably be covered earlier in the Higher Strand than in the Foundation Strand. For those students not yet attaining as highly as their peers, there will be more time for consolidating and revisiting concepts before moving on to new concepts. We firmly believe that all students can achieve in Mathematics. The scheme may be challenging for some, however we feel that the vast majority should be aiming for this standard.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

Some Maths topics lend themselves especially well to meaningful, real-world contexts, such as arithmetic, ratio and proportion and geometry. For example we show real life videos to classes and we are now in the process of developing as a faculty the meaning behind the Maths. “What’s the Point” maths display posters. 3D displays to provoke links between Maths and other subjects. We are also developing resources that will be used in lessons so that all teachers can articulate how careers are linked to the topics we teach. We are in the process of pioneering STEM days so that students can have a more rounded view of the curriculum. We will be working with Science, Technology and Computer Science to develop an extensive programme for years 7-10.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop resilience and problem solving?

Problem solving is at the heart of mathematics. By structuring our curriculum so that all students in a year group are learning the same content at the same time, they have longer to focus on each topic. Our aim is to create the optimal conditions for students to learn through problem solving and to learn to solve problems to develop lifelong transferable skills. Throughout our curriculum we also aim to ensure our pupils gain a love and appreciation for all the mathematics around them and will fully enjoy mathematics.

Impact: Attainment, Progress, Knowledge, Skills and Destinations
What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

All students will sit the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (1MA1) specification. You can access a detailed copy of the specification on the Edexcel Website Edexcel GCSE and GCE 2014. There are two tiers of entry available to students. GCSE Mathematics has a Foundation tier (grades 1 – 5) and a Higher tier (grades 3 – 9). Students must take three question papers at the same tier.

Each paper has a mix of question styles, from short, single-mark questions to multi-step problems. The mathematical demand increases as a student progresses through the paper. Content from any part of the specification may be assessed on each paper. Paper 1 is non calculator whereas papers 2 and 3 are calculator papers. All papers are 1hour and 30 minutes long and are worth 80 marks each.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

Our curriculum is based on the government guidelines for GCSE Maths. We are on a 5 year curriculum path using the Whiterose Maths Scheme. The curriculum provides ample opportunity for us to assess and ensure that students are on the correct course to match and meet their ability(Higher or Foundation). We also prepare students for Higher or further education with links being made to the VI Form curriculum. We are also preparing them for their own real life experiences. We have adapted our curriculum and pedagogy where necessary and will continue to do so to ensure positive outcomes for all students. The whiterose maths SOW allows us to sequence lessons so that prior learning links to current learning. Students will be able to articulate and recognise skills acquired in previous lessons. A large Majority of students will demonstrate strong independent learning skills with sustained responsibility to apply their learning to real life and make connections between areas of learning for deeper meaningful mathematical experience.

How do we support ‘High Attaining’ pupils?

Our classroom strategies for challenging all students, particularly the HAPs include:

  • Rich questioning techniques to elicit higher level responses
  • Higher order and abstract thinking skills
    Problem solving and enquiry
  • Development of language skills, particularly with advanced subject specific vocabulary
  • Development of meta-cognition techniques
  • Support for transference of skills across curriculum areas.