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In a world where ICT and Computer Science are present in every aspect of modern society, at Gosforth Academy we see this as an increasingly important area of learning for our students. We believe that offering this subject in the school’s curriculum goes some way to future-proofing our students in an often challenging but exciting digital era. We want our students to understand and play an active role in the digital world that surrounds them. The opportunities for young people are endless through the use and understanding of technology and we aspire to give our students the knowledge, skill and qualities needed to flourish and succeed.

Whether a student is studying ICT or Computer Science, we aim to provide them with a substantial body of theoretical and practical subject specific knowledge, by using a set of powerful techniques for analysing, modelling and solving problems. By embedding key principles and concepts into the early stages of the curriculum, we want students to develop their knowledge as they progress through their education. Skills development also plays a vital role in our ICT and Computer Science curriculum, not only subject-specific but transferable, cross-curricular skills which are essential in many other areas of learning. Whilst it would be obvious to allow our students to build these skills using computer systems and programming languages, we also encourage our students to use their logic in a range of non-computing related problems in order to show them the importance and relevance of these skills in other parts of the curriculum. Applying the principle of using a life cycle methodology gives our students the opportunity to encompass a range of techniques to develop and showcase the skills they acquire. Encouraging our students to be confident logical thinkers, independently solve problems and creatively and innovatively develop solutions is at the heart of what we aim to do.

Numeracy is fundamental in ICT and Computer Science and we believe that all of our students should have a solid understanding of the numerical and mathematical concepts associated with the subject. Literacy, too, plays a key role in our lessons and curriculum. We want our students to continuously improve their understanding of the subject by extending their vocabulary and using technical terms with confidence, both in a practical and theoretical way.

We believe that our curriculum enhances students’ lives as well as their life skills. With our approach, we aspire to develop their character and personal qualities and allow them to be inventive, resourceful, resilient and persistent, preparing them for a world that does not yet exist, involving technologies that have not yet been invented, and that present technical and ethical challenges. We teach our students to technologically know right from wrong, be ethically and morally appropriate on a digital level and to endeavour to be safe in this environment.

Our ICT and Computer Science curriculum also ensures that our students become digitally literate and competent at a level suitable for any future workplace, allowing them to participate in any job market or (career) industry. By using a range of real-world and applied contexts, we have planned our curriculum to give students an insight into the IT industry and encourage them to explore the possibility of venturing and progressing into future opportunities and a career in this area. We do this by providing career-related enrichment experiences with industry links and experts and visits to IT companies on a local, national and worldwide scale.