Aims of the Department
The main aim of Enquiry skills is to enable pupils to develop a knowledge and understanding of technology and different methods of communication using that technology.
Enquiry Skills introduces a number of different competencies and subjects throughout KS3. These are:
- Digital Literacy
- Computational Thinking
- Business Studies
Strengths of the Department
The department has developed links in the local Business community and makes use of these links to provide opportunities to take pupils learning beyond the classroom. This year pupils in year 7 had the opportunity to work with Lloyds Bank on a digital innovation day. Some of our year 8’s attended an event with JP Morgan and GCHQ to learn about encryption and cryptography. Some year 9 pupils attended a Barclays tech awareness event at Barclays World Technology Centre.
The delivery of the ES curriculum also help students to make informed choices about the KS4 options they can take within our department which are:
- Computer Science
- Enterprise and Marketing
- Creative i-media
These have proven very popular with our students, making us one of the largest option subjects within the school.
This is the main focus throughout year 7, developing the IT literacy skills in terms of general office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher and Powerpoint. This is to enable pupils to develop skills that can be applied in a range of contexts to support their learning across the curriculum. They will need to consider audience and purpose when creating digital content.
A growing focus of the curriculum delivery is preparing students to consider their safety when using technology, and will be introduced to e-safety, in terms of the risks and benefits of making use of digital tools.
In this pupils learn key concepts in Computer Science. In year 8 they are introduced to algorithmic thinking, decomposition, computational mathematics and design methodologies. This will be covered through a range of topics from Media Influences, looking how the media influences Society and discussing a range of topics from Body Image to mental health. We will also introduce computational mathematics and how images are stored on computers. Flowcharts will then be used to introduce algorithmic thinking, decomposition and design methodologies.
These themes are then continued in a practical programming unit using scratch as an object orientated programming language. This is then developed further in year 9 through the teaching of a script based programming unit in python. Pupils will bring together their learning to create a project of their own in python.
During year 7, pupils will be introduced to business concepts such as; trade, politics and law. These themes will continue throughout the year 8 curriculum until they will be taught a discreet Business unit in year 9. In year 9 pupils will develop an understanding of the different forms of ownership, the legal status of different business types and why different businesses exist. They will then learn about marketing and how business makes use of promotions.
As the majority of students will work for, or run their own businesses once leaving education, the aim is to provide an insight into the world of business and the factors that influence the success or failure of a business.