In computing, students use thinking and creativity to understand how a computer works as well as how to program. The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
Students in every year group have the opportunity to experience ‘physical’ computing using specialist equipment such as BBC Micro:bits and Raspberry Pi; and programming using a variety of languages including Scratch, Python and HTML
Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate and safe users of online technologies. It also provides opportunities for learners to be expressive and confident users of information and communication technology at a level suitable for them to progress onto GCSE study.
Using specialist computing classrooms, students complete various projects in each year group. These are designed to improve their confidence in using technology and build on skills they have acquired in Primary School. Feedback from students has been extremely positive, with around 84% of Year 7 and 8 students saying they found their projects to be good to excellent.
Collaborative working is often key to the projects and enables the students to improve their verbal communication and team work skills, whilst learning new skills, such as programming. Year 7 students commented that they enjoyed being able to work with friends and found the E-Safety Poem and Film project really enjoyable.
KS3 Programme of Study
- Fundamentals of Computing
- BBC Micro:Bits
- E-Safety Poem and film planning
- Maze Game in Scratch
- Student-led individual project
- Developing a Scratch Game from scratch: Game Design and Planning
- Developing a Scratch Game from scratch: Game Programing
- Intro to Raspberry Pi and Python Programming
- Creating your own Magazine: Planning and design
- Creating your own Magazine: creation of magazine using Adobe Illustrator
- Creating your own website using HTML
- How Computers Work
- Further Python Programming
- Database design
- Networks and communication
- Preparing for GCSE (if option choice) or ICT Project
- Adobe Photoshop project
In today’s society Computer Science is a very important subject as it underpins many careers and teaches many life-skills which are invaluable to all.
GCSE Computer Science is a new and highly recognised qualification that teaches logical and computational thinking through an introduction to computer programming. It is a highly transferrable skill and is sought after by employers owing to the problem solving and thinking skills it teaches.
Students learn basic computer programming, focusing on the language Python. The course also takes students through computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing, as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science and computer architecture, all of which give students a deep understanding of how computers work. During the course students have teacher-led theory lessons; small, bite-sized projects; individual and group work.
At the end of the course there are 2 written exams of 1 hour 30 minutes each. Each paper is worth 40% towards the final grade. Paper 1 is an assessment on computational thinking and problem solving on practically based scenarios. Paper 2 is an assessment on theoretical knowledge. Non-exam assessment is the production of a report over 20 hours and is 20% of the overall grade. Students develop a computer program including coding and write up the process and test their coding thoroughly and show evidence of this.
GCSE Programme of Study
- Higher Python Programming: Turing Test Project
- Computer Architecture Theory
- Higher Python Programming: Bounce Project
- Python challenge 1: Mastermind
- Python challenge 2: Caesar Cipher
- Coursework introduction and preparation
- Coursework development
- Coursework hand in Recap on theory and Writing algorithms
- Recap on theory and Writing algorithms
- GCSE exam revision
- GCSE exam revision and theory exams
Download a copy of Python to your home computer. This is free at https://www.python.org/