At key stage 3, students are taught the new Computing curriculum in discrete lessons. All students complete a baseline assessment in year 7 to establish an understanding of Computing and ICT when they come to us from their primary schools.
The curriculum covers the three main three strands of the new Computing curriculum; Digital Literacy, Computer Science and Information Technology. It allows individuals to explore the ever- changing world of computers, applying their skills and knowledge to a range of different scenarios in the form of projects.
By the end of key stage 3, students are taught to become independent users of computers, able to adapt where and when necessary within the evolving world of technology. They are taught how to become aware of the link between the classroom and the real world through engaging topics such as e-safety and the gaming world.
Students gain knowledge and confidence in the use of software application in a variety of scenarios. The topics are independent to allow students to develop individually and at their own pace and level.
The key areas covered include:-
A general introduction to the school network, email system and e-safety updates.
Students gain an understanding of a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.
How graphics are stored. Students gain an understanding of how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.
Basics of computer hardware
Students recap/gain an insight into what makes up a computer. This is a general theory module aimed at empowering individuals with the knowledge to buy their own computer, the hardware, software, input process and output.
Programming using Kodu.
Students are introduced to a visual form of programming to create their own world and program individual characters.
A creative project where students search and select information to use. They then combine multiple applications to achieve challenging goals. This includes collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.
Students apply their knowledge gained in year 7 to take their confidence and abilities to apply to the next level. Students in year 8 are taught in projects.
Some of the projects include:-
Digital Literacy/Computer Science
How the Internet works?
Key areas covered include: To have a basic understanding of how the internet works. How a search engine works. What the cloud is and how to utilise cloud services; gain knowledge of a range of digital online/offline applications; How to transfer skills from one application to another; How to use search engines effectively; How to identify accurate information in the digital world; To discuss the use of blogs, social networks and other online digital tools and the positive and negative effects of ICT on their lives.
Extended understanding of Computer systems
Students are given the opportunity to understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. In particular: to learn about the hardware components inside a computer/tablet/smartphone; to learn what an operating system is and why it is used; to understand the history of Computer Science, as well as key figures in history and to learn what local area networks are.
An introduction to a high level programming language and related computational terminology.
Students create a website project aimed at a particular audience and for a particular purpose. Students gain knowledge on the importance of evaluating existing digital, to consider audience and purpose when designing and creating digital products content. How to effectively combine text and images to produce effective digital products; to learn how to effectively edit, re-purpose and combine digital elements. The importance of self and peer evaluation; to be effective when working independently as well as when collaborating with team.
Students are taught ICT through other subjects. Students use their knowledge and understanding gained in years 7 and 8 to apply in areas practical areas of:-
Digital Literacy, IT and Computer Science.
Course - Edexcel
Students opt to complete a GCSE in Computer Science. The particular syllabus is from Edexcel and involves getting to know the key principles in Computer Science. Students complete an on-screen controlled assessment. The brief is supplied by the exam board and is worth 25% of the overall grade.
Students also complete an exam paper worth 75%.
Further information is available from the subject leader.
From September 2016
The Pearson EdExcel Level 1 / Level 2 GCSE (9 - 1) in Computer Science consists of two externally examined papers and a non examined assessment component.
The two exams equate to a total of 80% of the final grade whilst the non examined assessment component is worth 20% and is covered over 20 hours under controlled supervised conditions.
For more information please see the document downloads on the Sixth Form section of our site