In order for our vision statements to be realised, it’s our intent:
- To teach pupils computational thinking, ICT and Computer science through a balanced curriculum designed to appeal to both boys and girls.
- To develop a deep understanding by delivering a spiral curriculum where topics are revisited in subsequent years with the opportunity to build on knowledge and skills previously developed.
- To provide opportunities during each year to enable pupils to extend their learning in a variety of contexts and to develop links between the theoretical and practical elements of the course. For example, creating sound files for use in English in Y7 and the creation of a Maths calculator in the Y8 programming unit.
- To teach pupils to be responsible users and creators of resources both in and out of Computing lessons by using a range of resources across a wide range of contexts.
- To teach pupils to be problem solvers and be able to respond positively to changes in society both in terms of technological developments and in terms of current national concerns.
- To introduce pupils to a range of computer systems, both dedicated and embedded in order to increase their digital literacy.
- To enable pupils to use and evaluate a range of digital technologies, both new and unfamiliar and encourage the use of all the technology available to them. Pupils will become responsible creators of information and users of communication technologies.
Key Stage 3
In this key stage, pupils undertake projects based around the following themes:
Hardware and processing: In year 7, learn how basic computer systems are constructed looking at simple hardware and software. They also study the process by with a CPU fetches instructions from memory, decodes and then executes them. In year 8 this is extended to the use Systems software. In year 9, pupils go on to study utility applications.
Programming and development: In year 7, pupils typically arrive with a very mixed experience of programming with the best having received some teaching of Scratch (a block based programming language). Pupils in year 7 will study the 3 basic programming constructs of Sequencing, Iteration and Selection through the use of Kodu before being introduced to some basic programming skills using Scratch. In year 8, pupils develop their coding skills wholly through the use of Scratch, constructing a maths calculator using Procedures, Functions and a range of mathematical operators. In year 9 pupils extend their knowledge to the use of lists and more complex tools.
Communications and networks: In year 7 pupils develop a basic understanding of how the internet works and how search engines enable data to be found. In year 8, pupils develop a basic understanding of HTML and the hardware needed to develop a network. In year 9, pupils develop their knowledge further by learning about internet protocols.
Data and data representation: In year 7, pupils develop a basic understanding of how computers use the binary number system. In year 8, pupils study how text, images and sound are stored on a computer system. In year 9, knowledge is developed further to include how binary is used in electrical circuits.
Algorithms: In year 7, pupils develop a basic understanding of algorithms and how they can be represented. A range of real-life situations are studied where the process of decomposition is used. In year 8 and 9, pupils go on to look at the performance of algorithms and study a range of classic algorithms used in computer science.
Information technology: In year 7, pupils will use a range of hardware and software and learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of their solutions. They do this through the process of creating a Year 7 languages blog. In year 8, pupils develop their understanding in using a range of applications and through the evaluation process, build feedback into their work. In year 9, pupils use criteria in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their work.
At Key Stage 4, teaching builds on prior knowledge acquired during KS3.
Computer Science: “The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage learners and get them thinking about real world application.”
The course encourages pupils to:
- understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
- analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
- think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
- understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
- apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.
All work, at both key stages is produced within the Office365 environment. Pupils are taught how to use a range of tools and develop techniques that can be applied across the college.
A range of assessment tools will be used throughout the Key Stage to ensure that pupils will enter KS4 being digitally literate, being able to use a range of applications across platforms and for specified purposes. Pupils will be able to evaluate effectiveness and be good problem solvers in new and unfamiliar situations.
Assessment tools include:
- Kahoot - used to test pupils pre and post unit delivery.
- Teams assignment - pupils produce evidence of work produced, work is commented and then improved by pupils
- MS Forms test - online forms used to gauge understanding. Gaps in knowledge are identified. Additional tasks are generated to fill these gaps.
- Homework tasks (optional)- these are set to reinforce and develop understanding of the topic being covered in class.
Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural
Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and
values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; be reflective.
The wonder of technology: Students look at how ICT can bring rapid benefits to discussions and tolerance to an individual’s beliefs. However, students are also exposed to the limitations and abuse of the internet where they question and justify the aims, values and principles of their own and others’ belief systems. Within these discussions an appreciation for the intangible concepts such as truth and goodness are developed.
Students’ eyes are opened to the awe and wonder of the Internet and how this, along with other developments in technology, has completely transformed the world which we live in. They also look at how technology will be developed in the near future
Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Care and use of equipment:
Making clear the guidelines about the ethical use of the internet and how we keep ourselves and others safe e.g. discussing the moral and social implications of cyber-bullying.
This issue is addressed by students looking at the safe disposal of old ICT equipment and how this could potentially be passed onto more disadvantaged people. Students learn that any equipment which is scrapped should be done to Government standards. Student also look at how ICT developments have had an impact on the environment as technology has meant that old ways of working have been changed to help the environment been changed to help the environment.
Lessons in awareness of the moral dilemmas created by technological advances.
Use a range of social skills; participate in the local community;
Working together: Students complete a lot of group work within lessons as well as practical tasks when looking at theory topics.
Students will need to work with a variety of people when they go into the world of work and these exercises will develop their social skills.
Also, students are required to understand about social media and the advantages these sites have brought as well as the numerous problems such as cyber bullying.
Students also learn about the social isolation that ICT has brought to some jobs as workers find themselves sat at computers and not necessarily working face to face with other people.
Celebrating achievement through peer-marking, rewards, as well by sharing objectives and criteria in the assessment process with the students, means there is transparency, fairness and Integrity in our judgements.
Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Use of web sites to find information: Preparing the children for the challenges of living and learning in a technologically enriched, increasingly interconnected world.
Acknowledging advances in technology and appreciation for human achievement.
How development in technology has impacted different cultures and backgrounds in different ways.
More developed countries are able to keep pace with the developments in technology whilst less developed ones can’t. Students learn about how this can impact on the people in the country and form larger skills gaps.
Appreciating how different cultures have contributed to technology
Careers Education Information and Guidance
Pupils are taught to:
· design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
· understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem
· 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]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
· understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal]
· understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
· understand 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
· 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
· 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.