Digital

The Digital Faculty at Redden Court School aims to inspire, prepare and empower all students to succeed in a fast changing world. We are a forward thinking dynamic department that focuses on quality first teaching and learning. We work hard to ensure that all lessons are engaging and challenging to allow all our students to achieve above and beyond their expected outcomes. The subjects making up the Digital Faculty include Computing, IT and Business Studies.

Key Stage Three

KS3 Computing

The Computing department consists of three well equipped computer suites within the school. We pride ourselves in teaching Key Stage 3 students skills that will be used not only throughout their school career, but into the students’ further education and working career also. E-safety, online security, and digital citizenship are all studied along with block programming and text programming units. This variety provides students with a valuable foundation to further their studies in either Computer Science or Digital IT. In keeping with our free software policy, which enables all students free access to software used in school, the Computing department has chosen both Scratch and Python as our programming languages of choice, this ensures that all students are able to practice in their home environment during these units. Although each Computer room contains upwards of 25 computers, Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to take in and use their own individual Chromebooks, this ensures that lesson time is used effectively.


Computing is taught at Key Stage 3, one lesson per week. Computer Science has become an essential life skill due to society’s increased use of technology. Regardless of a student’s career aspirations, they will need an element of Computer Science in that career. Some of the skills learnt are:


* An understanding of how algorithms are represented as flowcharts used for solving problems.

* Discovering a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting online identities and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns.

* Using two or more programming languages, one of which is textual (Python), each used to solve a variety of computational problems.

* Understanding the hardware and software components that make up computer systems and how they interact.

* How data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text and be able to carry out simple addition.

Key Stage Four

KS4 Computer Science

At Key Stage 4 we study OCR Computer Science. This is broken down into two components. Component 1 - Computer Systems, and Component 2 - Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming.


Computer Science is a very demanding subject and only students with a genuine interest should consider taking on this subject as it requires many hours of extracurricular programming practise and dedication to self study in order to achieve a good grade. As part of their GCSE students will also complete a self guided programming project, set by the Exam Board, and be expected to complete it within 40 hours, this is at present completed independently, but may change depending on guidance from the examining board. This course requires a lot of theory work and note taking, which often surprises students when they are not on a computer every lesson.


Students are encouraged to problem solve and work out solutions independently, collaboration and peer support is expected and encouraged.

Business Studies

Intent (Aims and purpose)

At RCS we aim to create the very best Business Studies students. The aim of the Business Studies curriculum is to equip students with the appropriate knowledge and skills needed to develop their employability and identify business problems and opportunities. We do this by quality first teaching which ensures students understand underlying Business theory which students apply to a variety of familiar and unfamiliar case studies. We want students to be able to think analytically, reach logical conclusions based on data, and make judgements on future changes to markets and the economy.


Our curriculum at RCS goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable through offering trips within the UK and abroad and guest speaker events hosted in school and via online platforms. The curriculum is designed to give them life skills, entrepreneurial competencies and the ability to make effective decisions and problem solving both as consumers and prospective workforce.


Students are constantly challenged to work collaboratively and think independently when engaging in all lessons and class discussions. Through teacher modelling, we encourage our students to demonstrate manners, respect and tolerance in Business Studies lessons. This allows students to express themselves in a confident manner.


Lesson materials are engaging to promote topical discussion and encourage students to develop an enquiring mind. As a knowledge based curriculum we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. Content is delivered to students and then built upon through a variety of practice questions, with regular quality feedback being given to support student progress. The knowledge acquired then allows students to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills.


Our students are constantly introduced to a wide variety of viewpoints from some of the most influential entrepreneurs throughout history. We investigate the impact that their work has had on the world we live in and students are encouraged to make links between their studies and real life examples. Students undertake this whilst developing an increased understanding into current events happening globally.


The students are given the unique opportunity to begin to learn Business concepts from KS3 and build on this knowledge until they choose their KS4 option subjects. Thus students are able to make informed decisions regarding their educational pathway and learn how businesses operate, motivate and are successful from concept to trading.


Implementation

The course is divided into two themes. During the first theme, students discover entrepreneurial aspects of small businesses. Students investigate enterprise and entrepreneurship, how to spot business opportunities and putting business ideas together. They also explore the effectiveness and feasibility of their business ideas and the impact of external influences on a business. Theme two focuses on how to build and grow a business. Students unearth how to make marketing, product, financial and human resource decisions. The curriculum is not only intended to challenge and stretch all our students to achieve their best academically, but also to motivate them to develop transferable positive work ethics which can be beneficial to them in the future.


Collaborative, detailed and thorough curriculum planning lies at the heart of what we do in the department. We are committed to a three-year plan of developing our schemes of work. We use all available resources and teaching strategies to ensure that students have a comprehensive knowledge of the specifications and are capable of going beyond what is taught in lessons. Techniques to help develop long-term memory and help students master subject content are embedded in the curriculum. These are focused on embedding challenge, metacognition, memory techniques, numeracy and literacy into our departmental curriculum. To complement the schemes of work, students also engage in Business Studies by experiencing lessons with experienced practitioners across the department. These activities allow students to gain valuable insight into the subject and the demands of the examination.


In Business Studies we also implement our curriculum through using a variety of teaching strategies and kinaesthetic tasks as well as more traditional skills practice. All staff in the department make full use of the Google applications for education and all students use this to access the departmental resources both in lessons and remotely.


Impact

We know our curriculum is working in the Business Studies department as examination results are consistently above the national average. The quality of teaching and learning in Business has been praised during learning walks by both external and internal observers. The engagement of students in the department can be observed in lessons and recorded in Student Voice. The number of students choosing to study Business Studies at GCSE are very high and a number of our students go on to study the subjects further at college and university. More importantly, students frequently express their enjoyment of Business Studies, the quality of teaching they have received and their appreciation of the knowledge and study skills they have gained from the department.

Digital Information Technology

Level 2 BTEC Tech Award

There is no escaping the impact that Digital Information and the technology that it uses will have on all our futures. It will infiltrate every career and business opportunity that you will encounter in your lifetime. On this course students will learn a strong mix of creative design and technical knowledge. Students will gain the creativity of user Interface design elements and the opportunity to work towards a realistic work scenario. Students will also study Cloud storage and cyber security aspects that can be related to social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


The course is separated into three components. Component 1 and 2 are internally assessed whereas Component 3 is assessed externally through a written exam. The three components focus on the assessment of knowledge, skills and practices. Learners will need to achieve all components in order to achieve the qualification.


Component 1 - Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques: During the course, students will develop an understanding of what makes an effective user interface and how to effectively manage a project. They will then use this understanding to plan, design and create a user interface. Building on Key Stage 3 knowledge of computer systems and software applications and developing this to understand how effective design and planning can have a major impact on the user experience.


Component 2 - Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data: The second component, develops an understanding of the characteristics of data and information and how they can help organisations in decision making. Students will use data manipulation methods to create a dashboard to present and draw conclusions from information. This will help to develop an understanding of how to represent information in different ways to give it more meaning.


Component 3 - Effective Digital Working Practices: Learners will explore how developments in technology have led to more inclusive and flexible working environments, how regulations along with ethical and security concerns influence the way in which organisations operate. Also examined is how organisations can use technology safely while dealing with cyber security issues working in a digital organisation.

Meet the Department

Head of Faculty

Miss M Riaz


Deputy Headteacher (Teaching and Learning) and Teacher of ICT/Computer Science

Mr S. Carrington


Subject Leader of ICT/Computing

Mrs M. Devlin


Teacher of Computing

Ms K. Howard