This exciting and innovative department has embraced the new changes within ICT teaching and now offers the opportunity to study Computer Science as well as driving forward digital literacy at Regents Park Community College. To accommodate these new changes, the department has seen the introduction of coding and programming skills in Python taught across Key Stage 3 and 4.
Our aim is to provide a high quality computing education which equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The curriculum will provide key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of different computational systems, whether or not they include computers.
By the time they leave Regents Park, students will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring solid grounds for future learning and beyond.
At Regents Park, computing is taught using a blocked curriculum approach. This ensures students are able to develop depth in their knowledge and skills over the duration of each of their computing topics. Students in Key Stage 3 receive 1 period per week in Year 7 and 2 periods in Year 8, during which they are taught a balanced coverage of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. The students will have experience of all three strands in each year group, this will give them the opportunity to make the right choice when choosing their Key Stage 4 options. Assessments are taken regularly in different forms depending on the topic covered and consist of examinations and short duration projects along with practical tasks. Peer and self-assessment along with regular quality teacher feedback monitors and improves the progress of students in Key Stage 3. Our Key Stage 4 students, through Years 9 to 11, have 3 periods per week. We offer them OCR Computer Science and an applied ICT course, at the moment OCR Creative iMedia. The applied course is subject to change, depending on any consultations by JCQ. Students will be supported to make the right choice between the two options by their ICT teacher. Students choosing Computer Science, will have a text book and classroom books for taking notes and a revision guide in Year 11. They are also encouraged to use the online Seneca Learning for cementing their learning of the different topics. Students are assessed via multiple choice questions given after each lesson, this is peer assessed and an end of unit test which is self-assessed. Students will learn exam style questions to equip them for their GCSE exams which are currently assessed by two written papers equally waited. The creative iMedia is currently run with 3 creative coursework tasks, that must be completed in school under the supervision of their teacher, and one written exam that is 25% of the final mark. Students are given guidance but must complete the coursework independently. Students are also encouraged to access the online platform of Google Classroom to support with their learning for the exam unit. After school revision clinics are also provided for both courses on three days per week.
Students’ progress is closely monitored with classroom teachers regularly reporting on progress. This is tracked and monitored by the Curriculum Leader who then reports to the Senior Leadership Team link for this area. Any under-performance is highlighted and interventions put in place. Assessment is varied across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and allows students to demonstrate the knowledge acquired as well as building and developing the key skills for the three strands. The Curriculum Leader and Assistant Curriculum Leader routinely monitor the data presented across all classes. There are regular lesson drop ins and student voice is gathered to ensure quality assessment and feedback are in place.
Our lessons equip students with experiences which will benefit them in further education and future workplaces. From research methods, use of presentation and creative tools and critical thinking, ICT and Computing at Regents Park give students the building blocks that enable them to pursue a wide range of interest and vocations in the next stage of their lives.