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 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 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.
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.
50% exam and 50% coursework
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.
• 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
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.
• 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
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.
• 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
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
• 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.
• 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
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