Why is the Computing curriculum as it is

Bede Academy’s Christian ethos underpins our Computing and Business curriculum. The powerful impact of technology on our world is unquestionable, and people’s gifts of wisdom, imagination, skill and analysis are amongst the key ones that have led to this technological ‘age’. But throughout our study of ICT we must reflect critically on the values that shape our technological world, and the consequences that can reveal technology – its processes and products – as a potent tool either for righteousness and justice, or as one that enslaves and can undermine a peaceful and just society. It is therefore critical that the moral, social, political and legal challenges of technology are considered alongside its virtues. A technological ‘belief’ has become prevalent in our society: that all of society’s ills can be addressed through further application or development of technology and often leading away from personal commitment and responsibility. Such belief in technology as the solution is at odds with Christianity and, whilst technology can bring enormous benefits to mankind and to his stewardship, awareness is needed of its limitations and problems.

ICT provides tools for supporting creatively across the curriculum, through our development of problem solving and leadership which ultimately develops students in the future for good stewardship – and developing students understanding that computing theories and the development of business practices may themselves have faith elements (the awe and wonder of both elements of the curriculum. The powerful impact of business and technology on our world is unquestionable, and people’s gifts of wisdom, imagination, skill and analysis are amongst the key ones that have led to this technological ‘age).

At Bede Academy, we recognise the importance of both Computing and Business in every aspect of daily life. As a core subject throughout EYFS, KS1, KS2 and KS3 and then an optional subject at KS4 & 5; all objectives are at least as ambitious as The National Curriculum for Computing and linked to the Exam Board specifications for KS4 & 5 Courses.

We recognise the importance of Computing in every aspect of daily life. We aim to deliver a high quality computing education that equips students to confidently use a range of key skills, computational thinking and creativity in their further education and as they become active participants in a constantly changing digital world. It is our intention to enable students to find, explore, create, analyse, exchange and present information as well as use information in an effective way.

The curriculum includes Computer Science where students will develop computational thinking skills, learn how digital systems work and put this knowledge to use in through their use of resources and programming. The curriculum also aims to develop students’ understanding of the risks associated with technology and provide them with the skills to think critically and keep themselves safe.

Our aim is to give all children a strong understanding of how technology and business affects the world around us. Both Computing and Business come hand-in-hand, as they both work collectively together to help shape the technology of the future – Substantive knowledge is developed to ensure our students are secondary ready for the specific disciplines of in Computing: computational thinking, information technology and digital literacy. While in Business studies the key areas of: Marketing, Finance, Operations and HR. Key concepts are built on and re-visited in order to ‘make it stick’. This model allows children to build on prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for topics whilst embedding this knowledge into their long-term memory.

Disciplinary knowledge (programming skills for Computing and Financial literacy for Business) are embedded into each topic the children study and are re-visited and developed throughout the school. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning, developing, investigating and testing models, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their computation and business structure-based questions.

Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of programming and business terminology students learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant questions. We encourage students to be involved in investigations and project-based and case-study related learning to gain an understanding of seeing a project through from beginning to end and problems solving any obstacles that may occur along the way.

Where possible, links are made to our local context of Blyth- especially the port of Blyth and Tharsus – where we strive to enthuse our students into thinking of careers in the future.

Enrichment opportunities, such as Enterprise activities, careers visits and the Career’s Fair are planned for in order to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of both substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Some of these events also involve families and the wider community.

Linking to local, national and multi-national businesses is paramount in promoting this subject to all students; especially in light of a gender gap, especially in Computing, where it is seen more male students are engaging with it than female students. This helps show students that all avenues are possible no matter what gender, background or ability you can succeed.

We endeavour to ensure that the Computing and Business curriculum we provide will give students the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.

Relevant values to be developed in students include: honourable purpose, humility, compassion, integrity, accountability, courage and determination.
However, we also strive to develop their intellectual character in:

• Curiosity
• Openminded-ness
• Independence
• Thoroughness
• Carefulness
• Attentiveness
• Tenacity

Subjects include GCSE Business Studies, BTEC Digital Information Technology, A-level Business Studies and BTEC National in Information Technology.

Year 1
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Year 13