The Forest of Dean displays average levels of deprivation on the whole, however Cinderford (a town in the catchment area) ranks in the top 20% most deprived places in the country. In Forest of Dean 17% of the Authority's population live in rural areas and are under 19 years of age. Consequently there still exists a digital divide with a number of students having limited access to digital devices at home or suitable internet speeds due to their remote rural locations.
Taking this into account it is essential that our curriculum provides opportunities for all to develop core computer literacy skills within the school environment through lessons and wider opportunities. We aim to give students essential knowledge and skills at each key stage that will prepare them for the next stage of study or the workplace. With an aim to help students become effective workers in a digital future, we guide students to become progressively more independent and develop a range of life skills:
- problem solving and critical thinking
- logical thinking
- communication and collaboration
Our Computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, computer science, information technology and online safety to ensure that students become competent in safely using, as well as understanding, technology.
Covid has had a big impact on the practical hands on application of our curriculum, with students online or in bubbles. Consequently, our new curriculum for this academic year has focused on lots of physical computing with Micro:Bits and Microsoft Arcade controllers.