The Computing department at Townsend CE School aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to participate in a rapidly-changing world through challenging and engaging topics.
Students will develop an understanding and application in the fundamental principles of Computer Science by having the opportunity to understand the principles of computational thinking, write programs, design webpages and be confident digital users beyond school.
Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.
The Computer Science course follows the National Curriculum, covering a series of topics across key stage 3.
Program of study aimed at equipping students to use computational thinking for a digital world so that they;
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
Program Of Study – all topics and relevant material are located on the Google classroom platform
Checking progress made from ks2 to ks3, baseline assessment to establish target setting for whole school assessment
Introduction to Townsend network / Google Classroom
An introduction to how to access the school network, login details and how to access the Google classroom platform. Whole school and subject expectations.
Computational thinking and E-safety refresher unit
Understand 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. The 3 key areas covered in this unit uses the BBC bitesize website and include:
- Online dangers
- bias and reliability
- The Law and ethics
- Students are also introduced to computational thinking through a series of activities covering the four strands:
Modelling data – Spreadsheets
This unit focuses on spreadsheet skills. Students will be shown how to:
- Use cell references
- Use the autofill tool
- Format data
- Create formulas for add, subtract, divide, and multiply
- Create functions for SUM, COUNTA, AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, and COUNTIF
- Sort and filter data
- Create graphs
- Use conditional formatting
Focusing on Binary, image and text representation.
Programming essentials in Scratch – part I
To build learners’ confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs. Students are not expected to have any previous programming experience and offer learners have the opportunity to expand on their knowledge throughout the unit. The main programming concepts covered in this unit are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration.
Networks from semaphores to the Internet
Students are introduced to networks, defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols.
The types of hardware required are explained, as is wired and wireless data transmission. Learners will develop an understanding of the terms ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’, and of the key services and protocols used.
Programming essentials in Scratch – part II
Continues from ‘Programming I’. Learners will build on their understanding of the control structures’ sequence, selection, and iteration (the big three), and develop their problem-solving skills. Students will be shown how to create their own subroutines, develop their understanding of decomposition, learn how to create and use lists, and build upon their problem-solving skills by working through a larger project at the end of the unit.
Checking progress made from year 7 into year 8, baseline assessment to establish target setting for whole school assessment
Computer Systems online
A tour through the different layers of computing systems: from programs to the operating system, to the physical components that store and execute these programs. Students also look at two interesting contemporary topics: artificial intelligence and open source software.
Developing for the web
In this unit, learners will explore the technologies that make up the internet and World Wide Web. Starting with an exploration of the building blocks of the World Wide Web, HTML, and CSS, learners will investigate how websites are catalogued and organised for effective retrieval using search engines. They will also consider the hidden network technologies that protect us from the threats that a connected world brings, as well as looking at the impact of these services and technologies. The practical aspects of this unit involve students creating their own web page using HTML in notepad.
(Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems)
A yearly problem solving competition where students are given a series of challenging questions. The top students that meet the required level, move on to the next challenge produced by Oxford University.
Programming (using Python)
This unit introduces learners to text-based programming with Python. Starts with simple programs involving input and output, and gradually moves on through arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration. Emphasis is placed on tackling common misconceptions. Techniques used include pair programming, live coding, and worked examples.
(use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]
IT project – phone apps
- undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users
- create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
The students’ work is continually assessed through informed observations, verbal questioning, recall starters and exit quizzes and some unit tests on special activities designed to judge progress. How students are assessed is explained on Google classroom.
Students are given a project based activity to complete based on the homework timetable that is set at the beginning of the year. Students are given a set number of weeks to complete the project task and could involve collaboration with others.
Where can Computer Studies take you
Any role that involves technology, creative thinking or problem solving
- Computer Programmer
- Software Developer
- Hardware Engineer
- Systems Manager
- Web Developer
- Software Engineer
- Database Administrator
- IT Architect
- Network Administrator
- Systems Analyst
- Security Analyst
- Information Researcher
How can parents support their child’s learning
- Ask about the topics being covered. What have they learnt? Can they explain it to you? Could they review using some online resources.
- Encourage your child to go through what has been learnt in the lesson. This is especially important for students regularly checking and reviewing skills learnt from a piece of software. All topics covered can be found on Google classroom.
- Watch the news including click on the BBC channel to support understanding of new technology that is being introduced.
- Scratch online · for programming units in year 7
- BBC.co.uk.bitesize · computational thinking/e-safety unit
- Code for life – alternative curriculum access
- Uk Bebras – computational thinking challenges
- Code.org – App lab- unit on mobile app development
- Replit for programming
- Oak national academy to access videos of lessons.
- Seneca learning for networks unit in year 7.
- Web browser/notepad for web development creation in year 8.