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Computing

Staff

Role 

Miss A. WadeHead of Faculty
Mr R. ArnoldTeacher of Computer Science and IT
Mr A. CrookTeacher of Science and Computer Science
Mr J. HaworthTeacher of Science and Computer Science
Mrs K. HughesTeacher of Technology and Computer Science 
Mr M. KenyonNetwork Manager


Brief overview of the KS3 curriculum

The Computing curriculum features various units that will equip students with knowledge of programming fundamentals, cyber security and other key topics that are relevant to the modern world. The overarching objective of the Key Stage 3 curriculum is to ensure students can not only use computers and technology, but also explore how they work. The content covered during Key Stage 3 also provides a foundation to future studies if students decide to choose Computer Science as an option at Key Stage 4.

Programme of Study KS3

Year 7Year 8Year 9
Using computer safely
Cyber Security
General Computing
Understanding computers
Computer Networking
Cyber Security
Introduction to programming (Scratch)
Web Development
Computer Networking
Thinking like a computer
Python programming and algorithms – Next Steps
Advanced Python Programming
Programming in Python
Binary, Hexadecimal and Data Representation
Creating Algorithms


In addition to the one lesson of computing students have per week, the subject is part of a technology carousel that gives year 8 and year 9 students an additional two lessons per week over a ten week period. During this time, students complete two projects. One of the projects focuses on ethical, environmental and legal issues in Computing. The aim is to identify and produce a solution to an identified problem involving technology and computing. Pupils then complete a physical computing project where they plan and create a working device using a BBC Micro:Bit, Raspberry Pi or Arduino. This allows them to appreciate the challenges when programming robots or other physical devices.

The curriculum is reviewed regularly to ensure it meets the needs of the students whilst also being topical and relevant to the world in which we live.


Brief overview of the KS4 curriculum

GCSE Computer Science

At the end of year 9 all students are given the option of selecting to complete a GCSE in Computer Science. This develops on from previous learning. The current qualification is 100% exam based which is assessed with 2 exams during the summer exam window of year 11. There are various topics that cover a wide range of Computer Science. Component 1 predominantly focuses on computer systems whereas component features computational thinking and programming. Further information can be found on the OCR website.

There is also a compulsory 20-hour programming project that develops students’ skills in computational thinking and programming, but does not count to their overall grade.

Exam Content – Topics Studied

Exam AExam B
Systems Architecture  Flowcharts and Pseudocode
Memory and Storage
Sorting and Searching Algorithms
Wired & Wireless Networks
Computational Logic
Network Topologies, Protocols and Layers
Programming Techniques
System Security
Producing Robust Programs
System Software
Translators & Facilities of Programming Languages
Ethical, Legal, Cultural, Environmental Issues in Computing
Data Representation


Cambridge National in Information Technologies

The Cambridge National in Information Technologies improves students’ knowledge of the digital environment and their confidence with IT. They learn about data management issues and develop practical skills by planning and creating an integrated technological solution to communicate information. The assessment includes one examination and one extended piece of coursework. As both assessments have connections the content is taught through modules.

Cambridge National in IT – Course Content

Modules

  • Stages of the project life cycle
  • Mitigating risks for a project
  • Planning and reviewing project phases
  • Creating, updating, deleting and using data
  • Presenting information in a meaningful way
  • Final evaluation for a project
  • Collecting and storing data
  • Cyber security – threats and preventions
  • Legislation and data reliability


ICT across the curriculum

The department appreciates the need for pupils to be competent in using word processing, presentation and other relevant software. Skills are taught both implicitly and explicitly across KS3 and KS4. We encourage students to be able to transfer their skills across the curriculum and make informed decisions on how best to use their ICT skills to enhance their work.


Facilities

There are 2 discrete ICT rooms that are fully equipped with multimedia computers.

There are a further 2 rooms that are used by all departments in school. These rooms are available for use by other subject areas so that ICT can be used to enhance the learning experience of students.

The department also heavily invests in innovative learning tools that will engage and inspire pupils. There is currently a substantial number of micro controllers and sensors that are frequently used to teach parts of the curriculum. There is also a number of other robotics equipment also used for teaching.


Extra-curricular activities

The Computing/ICT area opens every lunchtime to allow students to use the facilities. Students use the Computing/ICT facilities to complete homework tasks and socialise with their friends. This resource is fully supervised by staff. Key Stage 4 pupils have a dedicated day in which they can use the Computing/ICT classroom to complete work related to their studies.

During this academic year, clubs will also commence allowing pupils to develop their subject interest even further. Further details will be given to pupils in their Computing classes.


Useful Links

Course webpages

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