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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

KS4 Computing

The National Curriculum – Computing (KS4) All pupils must have the opportunity to study aspects of information technology and computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career.  

All pupils should be taught to:  

  • develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology  
  • develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills  
  • understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns  

The Piggott School Curriculum  

At The Piggott School, using computers is factored into the curriculum delivery of many subjects. We have 3 dedicated IT suites as well as 17 other classrooms where computers are available across the school. Further to this, we have large study spaces in the 6th form block and in the library, where a further 100 computers are located. Computers in the library are accessible to all, and support with home learning, revision and lessons. The 6th form computer area is dedicated to 6th form learners – helping them complete coursework, NEA work, revise or prepare for lessons. There are also numerous banks of Chromebooks – situated across a number of departments, and for use by all pupils. 

At KS4 the Computing curriculum is delivered through a combination of Computing lessons for those who have chosen GCSE Computer Science or Creative iMedia, as well as being integrated within other subject areas.  

PSHCE lessons focus on the safety aspects and reporting of concerns surrounding staying safe online. Further topics explored during PSHCE include; cyber bullying, the influence of role models and the media, sexting, attitudes to pornography, revenge porn, the dangers of gambling and issues surrounding radicalisation and extremism – including learning about misogyny and links to other extreme views. Finally – pupils are encouraged to critically evaluate online content – including propaganda, manipulation and misleading information. Internet subcultures are also addressed in PSHCE lessons, with pupils learning the possible dangers of such.  Pupils are taught about both the short and longer term consequences for failing to stay safe online – for perpetrators and for any possible victims. Online safety evenings are also designed and presented to parents. These sessions have been run remotely in recent years. Pastoral staff lead assemblies and other structured tutor time activities and discussion surrounding many of the issues outline above.  

Many subjects also use Computing as part of their curriculum access and delivery. Pupils will develop their knowledge often by using focussed research requiring effective use of the internet.   

Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their IT literacy and capability using subject relevant applications, particularly in geography, mathematics, Design & Technology and media studies.  

Examples of creative and purposeful IT use include that of using GIS software such as Digimap to support learning in GCSE geography lessons. Both Art and Photography lessons rely heavily on editing software, GCSE music allows pupils to engage with digital recording, compositions and mixing. Food Technology has a dedicated computer suite where pupils can research dishes and recipes. The PE department use IT to enhance the teaching of dance, and to record individual performances that can then be analysed, studied and improved. Pupils in Business lessons are often encouraged to carry out research into various aspects of the specification – as well as then using ICT skills to present to wider audiences. All pupils who study French, German, Spanish or Mandarin have timetabled lessons in a computer suite each fortnight, allowing each pupil to engage in software to support their learning, examples include Duolingo. Pupils are also widely encouraged to research different cultures and environments to support their learning in MFL.  

In English, pupils are encouraged to use internet sources to research contextual key terms to support the learning of poetry. Pupils are also able to utilise ICT skills to support their ‘Speaking and Listening’ element of the GCSE course – with presentation software supporting their assessment in many cases. The History department has a dedicated computer room that is utilised to support the learning which takes place in the department. Pupils are encouraged to use internet sites to source material as well as using ICT for presenting to small groups within lessons.  

Within all subjects, pupils will also use and develop their ICT skills to carry out research, analyse data, produce written reports making use of graphs and charts to visually illustrate and allow analysis of data, skills that will be important at university, in employment or further training and beyond. 

Most subjects make use of Computing to support the setting of homework, exam preparation and revision – thus helping develop skills required for both GCSE and beyond. Developing and applying analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills are part of the GCSE Computer Science course and in addition aspects of these skills are developed within other subjects including mathematics and Science.  

The school ensures that all Pupil Premium pupils receive a Chromebook to support their learning, as well as providing some families with internet connections at home.  Chromebooks are also assigned to all SEND pupils who require them. 

We believe that the learning experienced by our students across all subject areas is enhanced through the creative and effective use of technology and that these combined experiences do offer all of our students the necessary skills and knowledge required to progress to higher levels of study or training and onto successful professional careers in the future. We also believe that teaching staff demonstrate effective use of online tools to support effective learning for periods of time when lessons may need to be delivered online.