Introduction

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information technology.

Our subject area seeks to develop the following in all our students:

  1. All pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
  2. All pupils can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  3. All pupils can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  4. All pupils are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

The KS3 curriculum covers all of the exciting facets from the Computing National Curriculum. These include topics covering basic ICT skills, Digital Literacy and Computer Science.

Each half term pupils will complete a new unit of work using different industry standard software and on this software learn a range of different skills to solve a variety of different problems.

The curriculum that is covered through-out these units introduces our students to a variety of subject skills using various programming languages, and sequencing tools. The students also learn binary, binary addition and working in base 2 and 16. We challenge our students to solve logical problems using standard practice.

The curriculum is structured to offer our students the best learning experience and to enthuse them with a passion for computing, to give them the best experience, and to be able to make an informed choice when they pick their optional GCSE's.

Areas of study covered in KS3:

Year 7

  • The Internet and E-Safety
  • Programming: Scratch / Python Turtle
  • Microsoft Office Skills
  • Data Handling
  • Data Representation
  • Inside the Computer

Year 8

  • Boolean Logic and Circuits
  • Programming: Python Turtle / Online programming
  • Communication and The Internet
  • Spreadsheet Concepts
  • Databases
  • Graphics / Animation

Year 9

  • Programming: Python
  • Graphics Creation
  • Cyber Security
  • Website Creation
  • Algorithms and Flowcharts / Flowol
  • Multimedia Product Creation

Homework expectations (hours and completion standards):

The types of homework set include research activities, focussed tasks, question and answer exercises. (30 minutes a fortnight). All homework is posted on Google Classroom and is recoded in pupil planners to inform parents of the tasks required and the deadline.

Out of class opportunities (Clubs):

Computing Club takes place twice a week: Wednesday and Friday 3.10-4.10pm

A computer room is open every lunch for pupils to complete work for any subject.

Assessments

Through-out KS3 assessments in Computing are carried out on a half-termly basis. Assessments cover a range of formats from written papers to practical tasks, this is down so that all KS3 pupils will have experienced the type of assessments they may need to complete if they chose to follow a KS4 course in either Creative iMedia or Computer Science.

Online Resources

The department extensively uses Google resources to support learning both in the classroom and at home. This is predominately done through Google Classroom but also includes the use of Google docs, sheets, presentations and sites.

We also use a range a sites such as:

Computing Facilities

The department has access to 4 computer rooms each with 24 -30 computers. Two of the room have been recently updated to Windows 10 operating systems and two rooms have Windows 7 operating systems. Each computer has Microsoft Office, Adobe Design Premium CS5, Python 3 / Pygame, Flowol and Scratch.

 

How can I support my child at home?

The world of Computing is constantly moving on and it is always helpful to try to keep up to date with the latest exciting developments. On the BBC website there are lots of short video clips in the Technology area of the News section, including the weekly “Click” update.

Regular practice with software is a good idea and the open source software listed on this page is free to download, with lots of online tutorials available.

Students have the opportunity to study aspects of information technology and computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career. Students are taught to develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in digital media and information technology. They develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills understand how technology impacts society.

Computer technology continues to advance rapidly and the way that technology is consumed has also been changing at a fast pace over recent years. The growth in the use of mobile devices and web-related technologies has exploded, resulting in new challenges for employers and employees. For example, businesses today require an ever-increasing number of technologically-aware individuals. This is even more so in the gaming, mobile and web related industries and this specification has been designed with this in mind.

Specification details (web address)

AQA: GCSE Computer Science

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/gcse/computer-science-8525

 

Course component breakdown

Paper 1: Computational Thinking and Programming

Written Exam: 2 hours (50%)

A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing programming, practical problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

What’s assessed?

  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Programming

Paper 2: Computing Concepts

Written Exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes (50%)

A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing SQL programming skills and theoretical knowledge

What’s assessed?

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer networks
  • Cyber Security
  • Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)
  • Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

Homework expectations (hours and completion standards)

Homework for this course involves independent research projects designed to deepen students' knowledge and enjoyment of the topics studied. (30 minutes a week)

How can I boost my child’s GCSE grade?

If you encourage your child to do the following then it will help them achieve a better grade in Computer Science:

  1. Attendance and Punctuality.
  2. Maximum effort in lesson.
  3. Do your homework. (Use Show My Homework website)
  4. Use YouTube Video tutorials to continuously revise topics that you have covered in class.
  5. Practice Programming skills. Outside of lessons practice the programming skills learnt in lessons.

 

How can I support my child at home?

Parents and carers can support their children studying the course by encouraging the application of the more practical aspects of the syllabus.

 

Recommended GCSE websites:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science/gcse/computer-science-8520

https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/subjects/z34k7ty

http://www.teach-ict.com/2016/GCSE_Computing/AQA_8520/aqa_8520_home.html

 

Recommended GCSE texts or revision guides:

AQA GCSE Computer Science Student's Book

My Revision Notes AQA GCSE Computer Science Computing Fundamentals

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia are media sector-focused, including film, television, web development, gaming and animation, and have IT at their heart. They provide knowledge in a number of key areas in this field from pre-production skills to digital animation and have a motivating, hands-on approach to both teaching and learning. Cambridge Nationals deliver skills across the whole range of learning styles and abilities, effectively engaging and inspiring all students to achieve great things.

Cambridge Nationals deliver the essential skills required in employment. It is suitable across the whole range of learning styles and abilities, effectively engaging and inspiring all students to achieve great things.

Specification details (web address)

Cambridge National Certificate in Creative iMedia (Level 1/2)

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/cambridge-nationals/creative-imedia-level-1-2-award-certificate-j807-j817/

Course component breakdown

R081: Pre-production skills: is assessed through a 1hour exam paper externally set and assessed. (25%)

This unit will enable learners to understand pre-production skills used in the creative and digital media sector. It will develop their understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process.

R082: Creating digital graphics: Coursework (25%)

The aim of this unit is for learners to understand the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation. This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process.

R085: Creating a multipage website:  Coursework (25%)

This unit will enable learners to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. It will enable learners to demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website. It will allow them to interpret a client brief and to use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website.

R087: Creating interactive multimedia products:  Coursework (25%)

This unit will enable learners to understand the basics of interactive multimedia products for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why interactive multimedia is used and what features are needed for a given purpose. It will enable them to interpret a client brief, and to use time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process when creating an interactive multimedia product.

All course work units are internally assessed and externally moderated. (75% in total)

Homework expectations (hours and completion standards)

Students are set homework tasks that are designed to supplement and extend topics explored in the course. (30 minutes per week)

How can I boost my child’s GCSE grade?

If you encourage your child to do the following then it will help them achieve a better grade in Creative iMedia:

  1. Attendance and Punctuality.
  2. Maximum effort in lesson.
  3. Do your homework. (Use Show My Homework website)
  4. Practice software skills. Outside of lessons practice using the software skills learnt in lessons.

 

How can I support my child at home?

Parents and carers can support their children studying the course by encouraging the application of the more practical aspects of the syllabus.

 

Recommended GCSE websites:

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/cambridge-nationals/creative-imedia-level-1-2-award-certificate-j807-j817/

 

Recommended GCSE texts or revision guides:

My Revision Notes: OCR Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia L 1 / 2: Pre-production skills and Creating digital graphics

The types of homework set include research activities, focussed tasks, question and answer exercises. (30 minutes a fortnight)

Computing Club takes place twice a week: Wednesday and Friday 3-4pm

The world of Computing is constantly moving on and it is always helpful to try to keep up to date with the latest exciting developments. On the BBC website there are lots of short video clips in the Technology area of the News section, including the weekly “Click” update.

Regular practice with software is a good idea and the open source software listed on this page is free to download, with lots of online tutorials available.