ICT & Computing
Key Stage 3
The ICT Curriculum at key stage 3 comprises of 3 sections which are: E-Safety, Information Technology (IT) and Computing.
Introduction to the school network, Safe use of Email and School VLE
Introduction to programming using scratch – Concepts covered include: moving and animating sprites, repetition and iterations, conditionals, variables – input and output, managing events, basic maths on variables, Boolean and comparative operators, lists and working with sound. The unit culminates in a game design project.
Computer Basics: Students are introduced to some computer science basics such as hardware, software, data representation (Number systems) and networks
Computer Modelling: Students are introduced to data modelling using spread sheets. The topic uses water as focal point – students model their water usage and explore the global issue of water usage. They compare their water usage to people in under privileged areas of the world. They discuss ways in which they can save water and model these ways using a spread sheet.
Term 1: Code web pages using HTML and CSS Technologies
Students undertake a web design project - skills they acquire include – Responsible use of the internet (E-safety), basics of HTML, code web pages using HTML, use div tags to layout content, control layout and presentation of web pages by writing external style sheets. Learn about image properties, optimisation and creation of hyperlinks both internal and external links.
Term 2: Introduction to programming using a textual language (Python)
Students are introduced to a text based programming language. They solve computational problems by applying the following concepts: Sequencing, selection and repetition.
Term 3: Computer Science Theory
Game Design with Game Maker
Students study the following topics building on work covered in year 7, Data representation (Number systems and conversions, introduction to logic gates (AND, NOT and OR), Computing hardware and software – computer systems model (input, process and output), The CPU and the Fetch –Decode-Execute cycle). They learn about computer networks and introduction to network hardware.
Term 1: Multimedia Design Project
Students undertake a project to design an interactive multimedia product for a year 8 student. Within the multimedia product they summarise the Computer science concepts covered at year 8. Students acquire the following skills through doing this project:
- Computer Systems Fundamentals – Computer systems model, importance of computer systems in the modern world, The CPU and the fetch decode execute cycle. Writing Basic assembly coding programs using Littleman computer Simulator, different types of memory and importance of memory. The operating systems, its functions and different types of user interfaces
- Data representation – Why data in computer systems is represented in binary, number conversions – binary to denary, binary to Hex, Hex to denary and vice versa, character sets ASCII and UNICODE encoding. Representation of images and Sound.
- Computer science skills studied at year 8 are revisited – in preparation for KS4 courses.
Term 2 and 3: Skills projects in preparation for GCSE ICT courses.
Areas covered include:
- Creation of digital video
- Creation and editing of existing audio tracks
- Effective search techniques
- Creation of a digital postcard using skills acquired in term 1
Key Stage 4
Compulsory ICT Course - GCSE ICT
Awarded by: Edexcel
The Edexcel GCSE ICT course involves students undertaking two units, one examination worth 40% of the total marks, and one controlled assessment worth 60%. Students who follow this course will undertake the following units:
UNIT 1: Living in a Digital World
In this unit, students explore how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. Students learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts (learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and well-being, on the move). They develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice.
Assessment Type: Written paper
UNIT 2: Using Digital Tools
This is a practical unit. Students broaden and enhance their ICT skills and capability. They work with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts. Students learn to reflect critically on their own and others’ use of ICT and to adopt safe, secure and responsible practice. They put into practice what they learned about digital technology
GCSE Computing (Optional)
Awarding body: OCR
This course will give pupils a real in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It will give them an insight into the “behind the scenes” aspect of computing, including programming. It will also develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills.
- Computer systems and Programming
- The theory behind computers; this unit covers:
- Computer systems and hardware
- Data representation
- Practical Investigation
Students will learn different standard programming paradigms including variables, operators, basic string manipulation, etc. Following a task provided by the exam board students will solve problems by creating and writing code. It is likely we will use Python or Microsoft Small Basic.
Computer systems and programming: 11/2 hr written paper sat at the end of the course – 40%
Practical Investigation (Controlled Assessment): (20hr approx.) – 30%
Programming Project (20h approx.) – 30% of the total.
Why you should choose GCSE Computing:-
Having programming and other technical computer skills will open many career opportunities for students across a wide variety of industries. All industry sectors need people with programming skills to create applications for them. In particular the video games industry needs more people with programming skills to create the next generation of games in this lucrative industry. As more people depend on their Smartphones on a day-to-day basis, creating apps for these phones is also likely to be a big growth area requiring programming skills.
Students must be good at Maths and have a strong logical mind to do this course. Advice will be sought from the Maths Department as to whether individual students are suited to GCSE Computing.
AS Level Computer Science
Exam board: OCR
Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.
The aim of this qualification is to enable learners to develop:
- An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
- The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
- The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- The capacity to see the relationships between different aspects of computer science
- Mathematical skills.
Computing Principles (01) - 1 hour 15 Minutes Written paper
- The characteristics of contemporary processor, input, output and storage devices, output and storage devices
- Software and software development
- Exchanging data
- Data types, data structures and algorithms
- Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues
Algorithms and Problem Solving (02) - 1 Hour 15 minutes written Paper
- Elements of computational thinking
- Problem solving and programming