Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Computing has replaced ICT in the National Curriculum from September 2014 and we are pleased to offer a varied and exciting curriculum all the way through Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

Key Stage 3

Our Computing curriculum is both fun and stretching, covering aspects of computer science, digital literacy and creativity. Our aim is to enthuse students about programming and using computers and to ensure that all students leave with a fundamental understanding of how computers and networks work. Our students have grown up in the Internet age but we ensure that our students are not just passive consumers but creative content authors and programmers.

Year 7

Year 7s start computing with a section on computer safety. They then learn about email, databases, how to program a game using event driven software, how to program an interactive PowerPoint and finish off learning the basics of how a computer system is constructed.

Over the single term, students will learn material from the following topics:

  • Week 1 -Passwords, email, Esafety, Netiquette, file management, viruses/Trojans,
  • Week 2 Esafety, Backing up data
  • Week 3 and 4  Databases creating and manipulation
  • Week 5 and 6 design, creating and testing a text adventure using PowerPoint, 
  • Week 7 binary number systems – converting between binary and denary
  • Week 8 and 9 introduction to python/microbits or the hour of code learning website
  • Week 10 and 11 using the Clickteam games design package to create a platform style game. 
  • Week 12 onwards .. using the “hour of code” learning environment to practice computer programming
  • Where multiple teachers are assigned to a class the above order will be variable. 

Year 8

Year 8s start with lessons on E-safety then move onto a project learning how to gather valid information and combine it into a leaflet that is well presented and persuasive. Then they learn python computer programming using an adventure game environment. This leads to more traditional computer programming using python and finish off learning about the internals of computers.

Over the single term, students will learn material from the following topics:

  • Week 1,2 and 3 and 4 - Using a simple theme of “Aliens” we teach reliability of research and data, intelligent choice of images, collecting and charting primary research, designing effective colour schemes and producing a leaflet. 
  • Week 5, 6, 7 and 8 Then students learn to code using the “code combat” learning environment, learn the python programming language, 
  • Week 9 and 10 e-safety and technical information about computing hardware and software.
  • Week 11 onwards – reviewing work done, extending coding skill using “hour of code” and “code combat”, intervention work for those below target.

Year 9

In year 9 we try to prepare students for GCSE work in computing and other subjects. They have a short play with the python programming language then learn about computer networks, how IT is used in retail and databases. After this we have a series of varied lessons pulled from the GCSE in computing. They have been chosen to prepare students for the ways of working in key stage 4 but also have relevance to other subject areas. Examples are environmental disposal of electronic equipment, copyright, how smart phones are designed and the technical security of internet browsing. 

The order of learning is: 

  • Week 1 and 2 - python programming
  • Week 3 and 4 - computer networks
  • Week 5 and 6 - Use of ICT hardware and software in retail,
  • Week 7-  police databases
  • Week 8 onwards companies’ e-reputation, accepatable use policies, copyright, CPUs and RAM in phones, IO devices, lossy compression, computer misuse, nibbles, bytes and other collections of data, O/S functions, consequences to lapses in computer security, browser security, software licences and storage devices. Students only have one intensive term of learning and because of the variable length of terms not all lessons are always delivered. Students falling behind are given extra work and monitoring to help them achieve.

 

Key Stage 4

Students can select GCSE Computing in year 10 (OCR exam board). This qualification builds on the foundations of knowledge acquired at Key Stage 3 and needs to focus on a broad knowledge of computing areas and how to apply the technical knowledge. There is also a good chunk of computer programming. This is a technical scientific subject and provides a firm foundation for a career in information technology.

During year 10 and 11  there may be other opportunities to gain an ICT qualification based on the use of application software (subject to the availability of qualifications authorised by the government department of education)

In year 10 students are introduced and assessed (weeks 1 – 4)  using the “code combat” computer programming environment. They then learn the following topics (tests are very important and students get homework every lesson). The order is fixed. The teacher has the power to pause the teaching scheme to review and revisit topics based on their judgement of the group through testing. The topics will be finished by the summer and any spare time in July will be used to learn and practice python programming skills

  • Computer systems Processing data  Embedded computers  Computer components
  • CPU Control unit  ALU  Cache
  • CPU Von Neumann  Fetch decode execute  Registers
  • Memory RAM  Virtual Memory  ROM
  • System performance Clocks, cores, cache size  More RAM  GPU
  • Secondary storage 3 TIERS OF STORAGE  Magnetic hard disks  SSD drives
  • Secondary storage Optical disks  Magnetic tapes  Uses   comparison
  • Systems software   OS Jobs done  Drivers  User interface
  • Systems software   OS Multi tasking  File and disk management  User accounts
  • Systems software   Utilities Defragmentation  Backup  Compression Encryption
  • Software Open source  Proprietary  Advantages, disadvantages
  • Networks LAN  WAN  Performance issues
  • Networks   hardware NICS, Switches, Routers  Cables  Wireless
  • Network Types Client server  Peer to Peer  Pros and Cons
  • Network topology Star  Mesh  Bus and ring
  • Network Protocols What is a protocol  MAC addresses  IP addresses
  • Network Protocols Packets  Packet switching  Checksums
  • Network Protocols TCP IP  Layers  Layer advantages
  • The internet Internet  Cloud  Virtual networks and VPN
  • Network security Network attacks  Malware  Trojans
  • Network security People  SQL Injections  Network policies
  • Ethical and cultural Use of technology  Stakeholders  Examples
  • Ethical and cultural Privacy  Censorship  Surveillance
  • Ethical and cultural Social wellbeing  Cyber bullying  Health problems
  • Ethical and cultural Culture  Business  Digital Divide
  • Environmental Natural resources  Power  WEEE recycling issues
  • Legal framework Data protection act  Freedom of information  Computer misuse act
  • Legal framework Copyright  Creative commons licensing  
  • Computational thinking 3 key techniques  Uses  Apply to Computing
  • Writing algorithms   pseudo code What is it?  Too vague?  Find some examples
  • Writing algorithms   flowcharts Box meanings  What is an algorithm?  Examples
  • Search algorithms Binary search  Linear search  Examples
  • Sort algorithms   bubble sort definition  How does it work?  Pros and Cons
  • Sort algorithms   merge sort   how does it work  Example  Pros and cons
  • Sort algorithms   insertion How does it work  Example  Pros and cons
  • Programming   Data types 5 types of data  Casting  Uses   comparison
  • Programming   operators Types  Assignment  Comparison
  • Programming   constants and variables Definition  Identifying  Examples
  • Programming   Strings Quotation marks  String manipulation  Examples
  • Programming   program flow If then else  Nested IF  Else if
  • Programming   program flow Switch case  For loops  Examples
  • Programming - program flow: Repeat--While--Do while
  • Programming - Boolean: AND OR NOT--Conditional statements--examples
  • Programming - arrays: Multiple data values--Lists--examples
  • Programming - arrays:2 dimensional arrays--Examples--Uses  
  • Programming - file handling: Opening an external file--Read write or both--Examples
  • Programming - storing data: Fields and records--SQL  --Create and update
  • Programming - storing data SQL: Select and From--Where--Ordering
  • Programming - sub programs: Procedures Functions--Examples--parameters
  • Programming - sub programs: Local variables--Global variables--examples
  • Defensive design: Purpose--Sanitisation and validation--examples
  • Defensive design: Authentication--Easy to maintain--examples
  • Testing: Syntax errors--Logical errors--Examples
  • Testing: Software lifecycle--Test plan--Examples
  • Translators: High level--Low level--Machine code
  • IDEs: Features--Advantages--Examples
  • Logic: Not gate--AND gate--Or gate
  • Logic: AND NOT--OR NOT--3 INPUT
  • Digital units: Bit to Peta--Parity bits--Examples
  • Binary: Binary counting--Binary to denary--Denary to binary
  • Binary: Addition--Overflow--Examples
  • Binary: Binary shift--Example 1--Example 2
  • Hex: What is Hex--Hex to Denary--Examples
  • Hex: Binary to Hex--Hex to binary--Examples
  • Characters: Binary characters—Character set--Ascii / Unicode - differences
  • Storing images: Pixels--Colour depth and resolution--Metadata
  • Storing sound: Sampling--Size and quality--Examples
  • Compression: What is it?--Lossy—Lossless

 

In year 11 students will need to complete the 20 hour programming assignment that goes towards their final grade. After that we use practice exam questions to re-cap on the year 10 learning to ensure they get the highest exam grades.

Key Stage 5

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in IT

Introduction to the course:

The Cambridge Technicals in IT have been developed to meet the changing needs of the sector, and will prepare you for the challenges they’ll face in Higher Education or employment. Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Cambridge Technicals in IT focuses on the skills, knowledge and understanding that today’s universities and employers demand. You will practically apply skills and knowledge in preparation for further study or the workplace. 

This qualification aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. You will gain an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, and the flow of information on a global scale and the importance of legal and security considerations. 

Course Structure:

50% exam and 50% coursework

 

Year 12

Term 1

Unit 1: Exam

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.

Focus areas:

• Understand computer hardware and software

• Understand business IT systems

• Understand employability and communication skills used in IT environments 

• Understand ethical and operational issues and threats to Computer sytsems

 

Term 2

Unit 4 - Computer Networks: Coursework

The emphasis of this unit is to give you the practical ability to plan, implement and maintain computer networks. The approach adopted by this unit is ‘bottom up’ where you begin with a solid set of components, cables and connectors of a network and then progressively build a networking capability. The range of protocols has been deliberately limited to those which are used in the vast majority of computer networks; TCP/IP and Ethernet.

Focus areas:

• Understand the concept of networks

• Be able to plan computer networks to meet client requirements

• Be able to present network solutions to clients

• Be able to plan maintenance activities for computer networks

 

Term 3

Unit 2: Exam

The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge. 

Focus areas:

• Understand where information is held globally and how it is transmitted

• Understand the styles, classifications and the management of global information

• Understand the use of global information and the benefits to individuals and organisations 

• Understand the legal and regulatory framework governing the storage and use of global information

• Understand the process flow of information

• Understand the principles of information security

 

Year 13

Term 1 and partial term 2

Unit 16 - Developing a smarter planet: Coursework

Changes in technology over the last century now mean that we live in a Smarter Planet. You will consider how the evolution of technology has impacted on everyday life, and why the Smarter Planet is important for a global society. You will investigate the evolution of the Smarter Planet in a variety of contexts, including the impact it is having on society. You will consider potential Smarter Planet developments and put forward a business proposal for a Smarter Planet concept to potential stakeholders, revising the business proposal as necessary following their feedback

Focus areas:

• Understand what is meant by a smarter planet

• Be able to propose ways to extend the scope of a smarter planet

• Be able to present, refine and evaluate a smarter planet concept

 

Term 2 and partial 3

Unit 17 - Internet of everything: Coursework

This unit is about the use of the Internet and how it is impacting people and society. You will learn about the Internet of Everything and how it is used. Using your knowledge you’ll carry out a feasibility study for a potential idea. You will pitch your idea to potential stakeholders and use their feedback to revise you proposal.

Focus areas:

• Understand what is meant by the internet of everything (IoE)

• Be able to repurpose technologies to extend the scope of the IoE

• Be able to present concept ideas for repurposed developments

 

Progressive pathway:

When the students have completed Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, this will provide a strong base for progression to university, apprenticeships or work and are recognised for UCAS tariff points

If you would like further information please contact Mr Amjad

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