Computing

 

The Computing curriculum

Promotional video for KS4

 

The aim of the Computer Science Department is to:

  • Develop computational thinking and creativity in order for pupils to be able to solve problems and to understand an ever more technology driven world.
  • Develop pupils who understand how IT systems work and are able to use this knowledge to create their own programs, systems and content.
  • Ensure that pupils become digitally literate –being able to use, develop ideas and express themselves through the use of information and communication technology.
KS3 Year 7 curriculum overview Click here
Year 8 curriculum overview Click here
Year 9 curriculum overview Click here

 

KS4
Computer science
Year 10 curriculum overview Click here
Year 11 curriculum overview Click here
SoL overview Click here
     
KS4
Creative imedia
Year 10 curriculum overview Click here
 Year 11 curriculum overview Click here

 

INTENT

In order for our vision statements to be realised, it’s our intent:

  • To teach pupils computational thinking, ICT and Computer science through a balanced curriculum designed to appeal to both boys and girls.
  • To develop a deep understanding by delivering a spiral curriculum where topics are revisited in subsequent years with the opportunity to build on knowledge and skills previously developed.
  • To provide opportunities during each year to enable pupils to extend their learning in a variety of contexts and to develop links between the theoretical and practical elements of the course. For example, creating sound files for use in Modern Languages in Y7 and the creation of a Maths calculator in the Y8 programming unit. 
  • To teach pupils to be responsible users and creators of resources both in and out of college by using a range of resources across a wide range of contexts.
  • To teach pupils to be problem solvers and be able to respond positively to changes in society both in terms of technological developments and in terms of current national concerns. 
  • To introduce pupils to a range of computer systems, both dedicated and embedded in order to increase their digital literacy. 
  • To enable pupils to use and evaluate a range of digital technologies, both new and unfamiliar and encourage the use of all the technology available to them. Pupils will become responsible creators of information and users of communication technologies.

IMPLEMENTATION

Key stage 3

In this key stage, pupils undertake projects based around the following themes:

Hardware and processing: In year 7, learn how basic computer systems are constructed looking at simple hardware and software. They also study the process by with a CPU fetches instructions from memory, decodes and then executes them. In year 8 this is extended to the Von Neuman architecture and the use Systems software. In year 9, pupils go on to study addressable memory and utility applications.

Programming and development: In year 7, pupils typically arrive with a very mixed experience of programming with the best having received some teaching of Scratch ( a block based programming language ). Pupils in year 7 will study the the 3 basic programming constructs of Sequencing, Iteration and Selection through the use of Scratch before being introduced to some basic programming skills using Python. In year 8, pupils develop their coding skills wholly through the use of Python, constructing a maths calculator using Procedures, Functions and a range of mathematical operators. In year 9 pupils extend their knowledge to the use of lists and more complete string manipulation tools.

Communications and networks: In year 7 pupils develop a basic understanding of how the internet works and how search engines enable data to be found. In year 8, pupils develop a basic understanding of HTML and the hardware needed to develop a network. In year 9, pupils develop their knowledge further by learning about internet protocols.

Data and data representation: In year 7, pupils develop a basic understanding of how computers use the binary number system. In year 8, pupils study how text, images and sound are stored on a computer system. In year 9, knowledge is developed further to include how binary is used in electrical circuits.

Algorithms: In year 7, pupils develop a basic understanding of algorithms and how they can be represented. A range of real life situations are studied where the process of decomposition is used. In year 8 and 9, pupils go on to look at the performance of algorithms and study a range of classic algorithms used in computer science.

Information technology: In year 7, pupils will use a range of hardware and software and learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of their solutions. They do this through the process of creating a Year 7 languages blog. In year 8, pupils develop their understanding in using a  range of applications and through the evaluation process, build feedback into their work. In year 9, pupils use criteria in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their work.

Extra opportunities: A raspberry Pi club run outside of normal class times enables pupils to write software and then see the code working in the real world, through hardware connected to a Raspberry Pi.

 

KS4 content

At Key Stage 4, teaching builds on prior knowledge acquired during KS3. Pupils have the option to choose 1 of 2 courses:

Computer science: “The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage learners and get them thinking about real world application.” 

The course encourages pupils to:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.  GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science OCR 2018

Creative imedia: “The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip learners with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, learners will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products. The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will also challenge all learners, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum.”  OCR 2013 Cambridge Nationals

Through the use of 3 coursework projects, pupils develop skills in the areas of sound creation and editing, image creation and game design and production.

IMPACT

KS3

Google chrome: All work, at both key stages is produced within the Google environment. Pupils are taught how to use a range of tools and develop techniques that can be applied across the college.

Assessment: A range of assessment tools will be used throughout the keystage to ensure that pupils will enter KS4 being digitally literate, being able to use a range of applications across platforms and for specified purposes. Pupils will be able to evaluate effectiveness and be good problem solvers in new and unfamiliar situations.

Assessment tools include:

  • Socrative -  used to test pupils pre and post unit delivery.
  • Google assignment - pupils produce evidence of work produced, work is commented and then improved by pupils
  • Google test - online google forms used to gauge understanding. Gaps in knowledge are identified. Additional tasks are generated to fill these gaps.
  • Literacy homework tasks are used to promote reading and communication skills- based on current IT issues in society.
  • Homework tasks - these are set to reinforce and develop understanding of the topic being covered in class.

 KS4

Creative imedia - Progress is measured through:

  • Progress test marks ( gathered during the training section of each unit )
  • Coursework marks ( at the end of each of the 3 coursework units )
  • Mock exam ( Y11 ) and terminal examination for unit R081
  • Homework tasks

 Computer science - Progress is measured through:

  • Progress test marks ( gathered during each section of the specification )
  • Mock exam ( Y10, Y11 ) and terminal examination for Paper 1 and Paper 2
  • Homework tasks completed in their workbooks
  • GCSE pod tasks
  • Seneca tasks completed