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Computing & ICT

Computing and ICT plays an increasing important part of everyday life both at work and home. The Computing Department is committed to ensuring that all students are able to use ICT confidently and safely, and have the skills to move from just using ICT into programming computers.

All students in Year 7 and 8 study Computing for 1 hour a week. From Year 9 students have the options of GCSE ICT or GCSE Computing.

The UK is experiencing a lack of well qualified computing professionals, and businesses today require an ever increasing number of technologically aware individuals. This is even more so in the gaming, mobile and web related industries. The Computing curriculum is designed with this in mind.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Computing

What will my child learn about in Computing this year?

During Year 7 students will cover a range of units:

- Video Editing.

This unit focuses on developing video editing skills, based on the topic of online safety. We ensure students are able to keep themselves safe online and know the importance of this. They will also start to develop their planning and evaluation skills.

-          Animation

Students will learn about the twelve principles of animation, being able to identify them in animations. Students will use storyboards as part of their planning before showing they can apply the twelve principles as they create their own mini cartoons.

-          Getting to know your computer

This unit moves from just using the computer to understanding how it works. Students will understand what is inside a computer system. They will know what a CPU does, what input/output and data storage devices are. They will also start to look at how computers are put together and set up their own computer using a Raspberry Pi.

-          Programming

Students will start to write their own programmes using Scratch. This will allow them to design and create their own computer game. Students will learn how to write a variety of computational instructions, use a sequence of commands and use variables.

-          Application Design

Students will use the planning skills they have developed in previous units and will also build prototypes of their app. This will include designing for a target audience and the importance of the software development life cycle.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will mainly be work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the ICT rooms during some breaks and lunchtimes to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork.

 

How will my child be assessed in Computing?

Students will have half termly assessments based on that unit. These will include a piece of practical work which students will work towards completing during the half term. The criteria for these will be used each lesson to ensure students know and understand what they are aiming to achieve. They will also have some extended writing assessments which will focus on their evaluation skills.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computing and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Pivot and Scratch.

You can also support your child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic.

 

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Computing this year?

During Year 8 students will cover a range of units:

-          Website design

This will build on their planning and prototyping skills and include the use of wireframes. Students will then go on to build their own websites using Dreamweaver, and complete this unit by evaluating their design, content and structure.

-          Flash

In this unit they will learn how to use Macromedia to create their own images, and then their Flash banners. This will build on their previous unit and they will be able to add these into their websites.

-          Programming with Flash

We will continue to work with flash but introduce programming languages. Students will work in Action Script to create animations, and then extend their learning of game design from Year 7 by creating their own maze computer game.

-          Python

Students will be using Python as the main programming language in GCSE Computing, so this introductory unit will help them to make their option choices. They will learn how to write in code and use algorithms.

-          Audio Editing

This is similar to the video editing unit in Year 7, but will introduce students to Audacity. This will help prepare students who wish to opt for GCSE ICT. Students will include the use of sound effects, their own recordings and music.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will mainly be work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the ICT rooms during some breaks and lunchtimes to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork.

 

How will my child be assessed in Computing?

Students will have half termly assessments based on that unit. These will include a piece of practical work which students will work towards completing during the half term. The criteria for these will be used each lesson to ensure students know and understand what they are aiming to achieve. They will also have some extended writing assessments which will focus on their evaluation skills.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computing and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Audacity and Python3.

You can also support your child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic.

 

Key Stage 4

GCSE ICT

What will my child learn?

The Edexcel GCSE course consists of two units:

-          Unit 1 Living in a Digital World sees students working to hrough a series of topics that prepare them for interacting effectively with today’s digital world. This will be examined in their final exam at the end of Year 11 and is worth 40% of their grade.

-          Unit 2 Using Digital Tools prepares students for being effective users of ICT. This is examined through a Controlled Assessment task which is worth 60% of their grade.

During Year 9 students will develop the skills and understanding of programmes used in the Controlled Assessment. This includes using and creating spreadsheets, databases, video and audio clip  and website design.

During Year 10 students will build on their work in Year 9 to complete their Controlled Assessment. As this is 60% of their overall grade, it is essential that students do their best work throughout this year.

In your 11 students will complete the course by preparing for their Unit 1 exam, which will be at the end of Year 11. This exam is worth 40% of their overall grade.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will include work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the ICT rooms afterschool to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork. During Year 11 homework will focus on exam preparation with a series of practice questions. This will help students to apply what they have learnt to exam questions, and improve their understanding of the final exam.

 

How will my child be assessed in GCSE ICT?

Students progress will be continually assessed in lessons and through marking of their work. This will be against the Controlled Assessment criteria throughout Year 9 and 10. This will enable us to monitor the grade your child is working towards. In Year 11 students will be given regular feedback on their classwork, and will be assessed through a series of mock exams.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computing and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Audacity and Dreamweaver.

We ask parents to ensure they complete all homework. This will be recorded in their planner and will include when it is due in. You can also support your child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic. It will also be beneficial for you to ask your child about their most recent marks as students will be given these frequently during lessons. From the start of Year 11 we ask parents to ensure students are allocating enough time to revision for their exam.

 

What can my child move onto with ICT?

GCSE ICT will allow students to continue onto A-Level ICT and Level 3 BTEC ICT. Beyond this students can progress to degree level courses in the areas of ICT and computing. Whilst this specification is not specifically mapped to any particular industry standard IT qualifications it will provide a sound preparatory basis of study for them. In addition the course provides the knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding.

 

GCSE Computing

What will my child learn?

Building on what you have covered in Year 7 and 8 you will learn how to design and write computer applications using the fundamental concepts. You will also learn:

-          To use constants, variables, data types and structures, program flow control including algorithms, procedures, functions and the scope of variables. Data representation, error handling and the use of external data.

-          The essential elements of computer structure, systems and hardware. The use of CPU, memory and secondary storage. Network structure including client server models and web application concepts.

-          All about database concepts including query methods (SQL) and connecting to databases from web based applications with the use of PHP. The software development life cycle including prototyping and application testing.

 

The GCSE Computer Science course consists of three units:

-          Computer Systems, which will be assessed in a written exam worth 40% of their final grade

-          Computational thinking, algorithms and programming, which will be assessed in a written exam worth 40% of their final grade.

-          A Programming Project, which will be assessed as a controlled assessment piece of work completed and marked in school. This is worth 20% of their final grade.

 

During Year 9 students will develop the skills and understanding of programming and computer systems. This will support them moving on to complete their Programming Project during Year 10. They will then work towards the two written exams at the end of Year 11.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will include work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the computer rooms afterschool to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork. During Year 10 and 11 homework will focus on exam preparation with a series of practice questions. This will help students to apply what they have learnt to exam questions, and improve their understanding of the final exams.

 

How will my child be assessed in GCSE Computer Science?

Students progress will be continually assessed in lessons and through marking of their work. This will be against the Practical Project criteria during Year 10. This will enable us to monitor the grade your child is working towards. Students will be given regular feedback on their classwork, and will be assessed through a series of mock exams.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computer Science and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Scratch and Python. You can also purchase a Raspberry Pi for a low cost computer they can use at home.

We ask parents to ensure they complete all homework. This will be recorded in their planner and will include when it is due in. You can also support your child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic. From the start of Year 11 we ask parents to ensure students are allocating enough time to revision for their exam.

 

What can my child move onto with Computer Science?

GCSE Computer Science will allow students to continue onto A-Level Computing or Computer Science, A-Level ICT and Level 3 BTEC ICT. Beyond this students can progress to degree level courses in the areas of ICT and Computing. Whilst this specification is not specifically mapped to any particular industry standard IT qualifications it will provide a sound preparatory basis of study for them. In addition the course provides the knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding.