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Est. 1921

Computing

INTENT:

What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to use technology in support of the broader curriculum aims of the school.

  • To enable students to become confident and responsible users of technology and develop the transferable skills necessary for success in the modern workplace.

  • To equip students with the necessary experience to choose appropriate qualifications in the sphere of computing to allow them to pursue their career goals.

  • To ensure students enjoy computing.

What do we expect students to get from this subject?

  • Students will develop an appreciation of the impact technology has on their lives and be able to use it to enhance achievement across the curriculum.

  • Students will be well versed in computing safety and security and know how to use social media in a responsible and safe manner.

  • They will be educated in computer crime and taught the skills necessary to protect their personal data. Students who choose to study courses leading to formal qualifications in this subject area will achieve recognised qualification that facilitate further study in Computing or related disciplines leading to careers in a variety of economically rewarding areas.

IMPLEMENTATION:

How does learning develop over the five years?

  • Year 7 is a bridging year, designed to close gaps in practise of our feeder primaries and give students a solid baseline in internet safety, digital literacy, computing fundamentals and programming.

  • Year 8 builds upon this to study Computing theory in more depth, and develop skills necessary for modelling and an understanding of web technologies and extends students programming by exploring the text-based programming paradigm.

  • Year 9 acts a bridge to GCSE, giving students an experience of the topics they would be studying should they continue to study iMedia or Computer Science as qualifications, with units focusing on pre-production techniques and video editing, as well as programming and cyber-security.

  • Two qualifications are on offer in Years 10 and 11: Computer Science GCSE and Cambridge Nationals iMedia.

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

  • Underlying all our curriculum decisions has been the concept that the “Digital Literacy” strand of the National Curriculum underpins student’ ability to make good progress in all other subjects.

  • We make Digital Literacy the core of our curriculum at the beginning of Year 7 to ensure students can use technology to support their learning in all subjects.

  • Alongside this our curriculum combines traditional ICT topics such as modelling and Computer Science necessary to equip students with the understanding required for further study in Computing at GCSE and beyond.

  • The current curriculum was developed to ensure that studies in Year 7 to 9 needed to properly prepare students for qualifications. However, our curriculum needs to do much more than just prepare students for Computer Science GCSE.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • We have integrated external competitions such as the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Competition, MOSAIC Challenge, Bloodhound SSC Rocket Competition into our approach to learning to provide students with holistic opportunities to put their work in Computing into a practical context.

  • We have organised educational visits such as the Year 12 trip to the National Museum of Computing to allow students the opportunity to experience technology in its historical context and in a hands on manner.

  • We feel the broadness of our offer really allows students the opportunity to personalise their learning in Computing and choose a course that allows them to exploit their own particular strengths.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop…?

  • Cultural diversity and identity

  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles

  • Community participation

  • Careers and enterprise

  • Technology and the media

  • Creativity and critical thinking

Our entire curriculum is centred upon the last two dimensions listed: Technology and the media & Creativity and critical thinking. We fundamentally view Computer Science as a problem-solving discipline with a focus on creative problem-solving and critical thinking. Students are given opportunities to develop their problem solving skills by tackling challenging algorithm problems and constructing creative solutions.

Our iMedia course has a strong media and creative-use-of-technology focus where students use a broad range of media and techniques to create solutions to client requests for videos, websites and graphics. Where possible in Years 7 to 9 we actively engage with opportunities for students to participate in career and enterprise focused events such as the MOSAIC challenge.

IMPACT:

What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

  • Years 7 to 9: End of topic, formative tests to measure understanding, Portfolio work assessed to gauge students’ skills-development. These are used to inform future learning and curriculum development.

  • Years 10 to 11: End of topic, formative tests, practice papers, practice portfolios, marked programming tasks. All used holistically to help students achieve their target grade by identifying strengths and weaknesses relative to the appropriate specification.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

  • Student-voice surveys.

  • Uptake of the courses on offer at (when computing is optional).

  • Attendance at extra-curricular clubs and activities.

  • University destinations.

CURRICULUM CONTENT

KEY STAGE 3

YEAR 7 UNITS

YEAR 8 UNITS

YEAR 9 UNITS

7.1 Computing Skills for Learning

The unit includes:

  • An Introduction to Cloud Computing and Google Classroom
  • Understanding that different pieces of software are used for different tasks
  • Describing the differences between Word Processing, Presentation, Spreadsheet and Collaborative Learning Software
  • Creating a report using a word processor
  • Using a spreadsheet to model a real-world situation
  • Working collaboratively to analyse data and present findings

8.1 How Computers Store Information 

The unit includes:

  • Why computers use binary (base 2) to store information
  • How AND, OR and NOT gates behave
  • Using a truth table to record a logic gate’s behaviour
  • Convert binary (base 2) numbers into denary (base 10) (and vice-versa!)
  • How text is stored in a computer
  • Compare bitmap and vector images
  • Comparing WAV and MIDI music  

9.1 Computer Crime and Security 

The unit includes:

  • Naming the major Acts concerning computer use
  • Protecting online identity and how to report concerns
  • Copyright Law when using written text, downloading music etc.
  • Health and Safety hazards associated with computer use
  • How to safely dispose of an old computer

7.2 Using the Internet 

The unit includes:

  • Comparing the Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of different Internet sources
  • Understanding the dangers posed by cyber-bullying
  • Understand the dangers posed by social networking
  • Choosing strategies for using social networking safely

 

8.2 Introduction to Python 

The unit includes:

  • Understanding the key features of textual programming languages
  • Comparing Scratch and Python versions of the same Algorithm
  • Writing a “Hello World” program in Python using IDLE
  • Use variables and loops in a Python program
  • Create a Python program

9.2 App Development in App Shed 

The unit includes:

  • Evaluating a simple GUI (Graphical User Interface)
  • Creating a simple GUI (Graphical User Interface) within a web application
  • Explaining the processes involved in building an app
  • Understanding the term ‘Home Screen’
  • Building a photo gallery

7.3 What is a Computer 

The unit includes:  

  • Defining what is meant by the word “computer”
  • Describing the different components used in a typical computer
  • Choose components for a computer system
  • Considering what computers do  

8.3 Modelling 

The unit includes:

  • Storing modifying and searching data in a database
  • What is meant by the terms spreadsheet and model
  • Storing and modifying data in a spreadsheet and using formulae to carry out calculations
  • Create and use a spreadsheet to model a financial problem
  • Using a database to support a decision
  • Presenting findings in a written report

9.3 Networks 

The unit includes:

  • The meaning of the terms “domain name”, http protocol
  • Giving examples of LANs and WANs
  • Understanding three different network topologies
  • Describing what is meant by a client-server network and state some of its advantages
  • Stating why some transmissions are encrypted, and using a simple algorithm to encrypt and decrypt a message

 

7.4 Kodu/Games Programming in Scratch 

The unit includes:

  • Understanding the key words algorithm and programming
  • Creating a sequence of instructions to solve a problem
  • Understanding how computers store information
  • Comparing different data types
  • Using variables in a computer program 

8.4 HTML and Website Development 

The unit includes:

  • Writing HTML code to create a simple web page and display it in a browser
  • Creating a simple navigation system using HTML
  • Using a design to create a template for a web page using HTML
  • Creating a multi-page website
  • Inserting text, images and links on web pages

9.4 Further Python / Programming with GameMaker 

The unit includes:

  • Designing simple algorithms to solve problems
  • Sequencing instructions in order to make things happen
  • Using variables in programming structures
  • Using simple Boolean operators in programming code
  • Pupils identifying and using screen objects in their own GameMaker game
  • Carrying out simple tests to debug pupil projects

KEY STAGE 4

For more information about Computing and Creative iMedia at GCSE, click here to visit the Key Stage 4 courses page.

KEY STAGE 5

For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 5 courses page.