Computer Science

Computer Science Curriculum Intent

The intention of the Computing and IT curriculum is to ensure that students are equipped with a broad range of skills and knowledge that will enable them to actively participate in the digital world in which they live. The breadth of our Computer Science curriculum will encourage students to become critical thinkers when solving real life problems. It will also enable them to work independently to create systems, programs, and a range of content. The intention of the IT curriculum is to support student’s creativity skills and develop their confidence to use technology safely and respectfully. We want students to have a range of experiences and opportunities to develop transferable skills which can be applied to further studies, their future career and the wider global community. 

The overall aims of the Computing department are to enable pupils to become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

In order to enable pupils to achieve these goals, the Computing department will aim to:

  • Provide pupils with opportunities that develop within them a sense of enjoyment and achievement
  • Develop pupils' recognition that computational thinking is an essential skill for life
  • Develop pupils' ICT capability; technical skills and techniques, understanding to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly in learning, everyday life and employment
  • Provide pupils access to a broad, balanced, relevant, dynamic and motivating computing curriculum that ensures suitable progression paths from entry in KS3 to KS4 and beyond.
  • Provide a curriculum that promotes pupils to develop as independent learners, critical thinkers, decision makers, problem solvers and reflective learners.
  • Provide curriculum opportunities that promote pupils to work as individuals, as pairs, in small groups and teams as well as develop the skills to self manage their learning within any of these groupings
  • Develop pupils understanding of and demonstration of safe and responsible use of ICT for both themselves and others.

School Trips

A number of school visits are arranged throughout the course of the year.  Details of trips which have taken place this year or are planned in the future can be viewed in the School Visits, Enrichment area of the website.

Facilities

The curriculum area consists of four dedicated ICT suites which are well equipped and updated regularly with the latest software.  All students have access to the Internet, a school email address and Showbie, a powerful learning platform, to share ideas, take tests and submit work from home.

Useful Links

  • www.teach-ict.com  -   This site is dedicated to teaching ICT and Computing at all levels. Students will find revision notes , along with plenty of quizzes, competitions and polls to keep things interesting
  • www.bbc.co.uk/click  - Click is the BBC's flagship technology show across TV and radio. On TV it is broadcast throughout the week on BBC One, the BBC News Channel and BBC World News. Click is also available to watch and listen to online after broadcast in iPlayer.
  • http://gadgetshow.channel5.com-  The Gadget Show is a television series focusing on technology and is broadcast on Channel 5.  The show previews and reviews the latest gadgets, broadcasts the latest technology news and is available via Channel 5’s on demand service.

KS3 ICT

Years 7 and 8

All KS3 students complete work which is not just about the acquisition of ICT skills but is also concerned with developing an awareness in our students of the techniques, equipment and resources available that may help them decide the best solution to a problem.

Year 7

Year 7 ICT is taught for one period each fortnight by specialist staff.  Topics include: Computer Hardware, Binary, Python Programming and Photoshop.

Year 8

Year 8 ICT is taught for one period each fortnight and the curriculum is designed to prepare students for study at KS4 in a fun and interactive way.  Students will develop their skills in graphic design using Photoshop. They will also study Python Programming and Introduction to Boolean Logic.

What skills students develop

Students in KS3 will have the opportunity to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Basic ICT skills  
  • Designing and creating professional presentations and promotional materials
  • Programming
  • The use of devices such as  iPad to encourage ICT and social skills

How students are assessed

Each student completes ICT assessments, which assess their skills and understanding across six strands. Student progress is tracked against these strands, and they are given opportunities to evaluate their own strengths in each strand.  

Homework

Students complete homework tasks throughout the year, complementing the work completed in their ICT lessons.  Some of these tasks are available via Showbie, our learning platform.

How parents can help

As a parent you can also help by discussing how ICT has changed within your own lifetime and the impact it has had on everyday life.  This may include topics such as online shopping, entertainment and social networking.  Keep an eye out for documentaries or news clips on TV which look at how ICT is being used in innovative ways.

KS4 Computer Science GCSE Graded 9 - 1

Board and Exam

OCR Computer Science 9-1

The Course

Students will complete three units of work.

Full course specification

Computer systems

This unit will assess all topics and will be comprised of a 1hr 30 minutes written exam.  Topics include:

  • Systems architecture 
  • Memory and Storage
  • Computer networks, connections and protocols
  • Network security 
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology 

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This second unit is assessed through a 1 hr 30 minutes written exam where the focus will be on understanding, interpreting, amending and creating algorithms.  It will also provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of developing program code.

What skills students will develop

Students will develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts.

  • Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies
  • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Develop skills to work collaboratively
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of, and issues related to, the use of computer technology in society.

How students are assessed

Students are assessed in three units.  They will complete 2 written exams each worth 50% of the overall qualification.

Homework

Homework is set once every week to consolidate the learning that occurs in the classroom and provides an opportunity for students to develop their independent skills.

Extra-curricular Activities

There are after school coursework sessions open to most students.

How parents can help

  • Make sure you are aware of when controlled assessments are taking place and support your child in ensuring they attend lessons when these are scheduled.
  • Ensure adequate revision is taking place in preparation for written examination
  • Encourage your child to spend quality time completing homework assignments
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