Computing

The Department
The Computing Department is a dynamic department offering Computing, Digital Literacy and IT skills to meet the new National Curriculum Computing programmes of study which came into force in 2014.  The department has two computer suites, both equipped with 19 computers each, interactive whiteboards and speakers, and a wide range of up-to-date, professional software.

The focus of the new curriculum places greater emphasis on programming and other aspects of computer science.  The programme of study offered by the department aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 practical experience of writing programs
  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Are safe, responsible, competent, confident and creative users of ICT

Students study a number of modules each year, culminating in the completion of a relevant project.  Summative assessment tasks check skills learnt during the module, are linked to National Curriculum subject Content and Levels and most include some form of self-assessment or evaluation to encourage students to reflect on their work and identify ways to improve..   Following completion of each module, levels are re-assessed and targets are revised towards the next level/sub-level.   Formative assessment also takes place every two weeks to monitor progress. 

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum
The Year 7 curriculum includes modules that incorporate all 3 strands of the new curriculum – computational thinking, digital literacy and IT.  Students study E-Safety, Digital Graphics, Computer Hardware and Software, Introduction to Programming using Scratch, Multimedia and Spreadsheets.
The Year 8 curriculum develops programming and computational thinking, whilst continuing to develop Digital Literacy.  Students learn how to create and document algorithms to solve problems using Flowol; develop their programming skills using a text-based programming - Small Basic and also expand their digital literacy skills with modules in Website Development and Animation.
The Year 9 curriculum aims to provide students with appropriate skills and knowledge to support their GCSE choices.  Modules include Python programming, database design and development, Computing Fundamentals, and Apps Development.

GCSE Computing

  • The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming.  Skills developed can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas, such as engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine which rely on these skills.
  • The course also provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of computer science. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area.

Year 10 and 11 students follow a GCSE Computing qualification by OCR.  
Unit 1 Computer Systems and Programming - 40% of final mark.
Paper based external examination lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. Completed at the end of Year 11.
Unit 2 Practical Investigation – 30% of final mark
An internally assessed controlled assessment on a topic chosen by OCR.  Students will complete an investigative computing task which assesses skills in research, technical understanding, analysis of a problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing skills, recommendations/evaluation.
Unit 3 Programming Project – 30% of final mark
Internally assessed, programming tasks requiring students to develop and test a solution to a problem to an OCR-set scenario.  Skills assessed will be programming techniques, development of suitable algorithms and coding of a solution to the set problem; testing and evaluation of the final solution.

Trips and Enrichment Opportunities
Key Stage 3

KS3 students will develop their computing skills by designing and creating a mobile app.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 students will visit a major theme park to enhance their understanding of the use of computers to control the safety of the rides, administer bookings and design new rides.

Staff
Mrs M Bell, Head of Computing
Mrs H Witty, Assistant Headteacher

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