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ICT and Computer Science

The ICT and Computing curriculum is designed to equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.  Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology.  The core of computing is computer science, where pupils 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, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
 
Students are supported with well-planned programmes of study that aim to ensure content is relevant and up to date.  Opportunities for students to independently solve problems using IT are designed to further inspire students to begin to see what it is possible to achieve using IT and Computer Science.  Students are prepared for continuing study and the world outside school using the most frequently used technologies, applications and systems
 

Through the study of ICT and comuting students develop the ability to analyse problems and provide a viable and efficient solution using the skills of computational thinking.

Core ICT and Computing lessons aim 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 repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems

·         can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems

are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
 
Key Stage 3
 

In order to meet these aims the core topics covered include:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Data and the CPU
  • Introduction to Python
  • Information Technology
  • Creative Communication

Each of the core topics is covered in increasing depth over years 7, 8 and 9 giving opportunities for students to revise previous content and build on their knowledge

Traditional classroom based lessons are supported by the extensive use of the outstanding IT facilities to produce responses to a variety of tasks that encourage students to work in a range of different ways.

Students are given a number of opportunities to stretch and explore concepts and create solutions to problems, for example, using micro-bits to count the number of people in a queue.  Students are also encouraged to identify their own problems and devise suitable solutions.

A range of strategies are employed to support vulnerable learners; from providing more information about problems to providing source materials in different formats and making adjustments to seating plans.

The ICT and Computer Science department offers opportunities such as the hour of code and is looking forward to starting other clubs as the year progresses.
 
Key Stage 4
 

At KS4 we follow the OCR GCSE Computer Science specification.

There are two components to GCSE Computer Science.

The first component covers computer systems which introduces learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software.

It is expected that learners will become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science.

The second component covers computational thinking, algorithms and programming incorporates and builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Component 01, encouraging learners to apply this knowledge and understanding using computational thinking.

There are two exams in GCSE Computer Science that each account for 50% of the final grade.  The exams are structured by the two components although algorithm questions are assessed in both components.  Students must also spend twenty timetabled hours completing a set programming task.

Students learn through a combination of practical activities designed to develop their programming skills as well as a range of theory lessons covering the knowledge and understanding required for Computer Science.  A range of approaches are used to deliver theory from independent activities, paired and group work as well as discussions and presentations.

Targeted questioning and resources are used for all students providing support to students looking for the top grades as well as those seeking to secure a grade 5.

The nature of the course provides significant opportunities to extend learners, for example, examining how to make a program they have written more efficient.

Students that need support are given valuable extra time in period 6 classes that reduce the students to teacher ratio and gives them time to work through concepts that they may be struggling with

Many opportunities exist for students to get first-hand experience with technologies covered by the curriculum in more depth with a Linux server that can accept remote connections for a command line experience as well as hosting Maria DB and Apache with PHP.

We also offer students the opportunity to work towards the BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Creative Media Production.

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on three areas of equal importance, which cover the:

• knowledge that underpins the effective use of skills, processes and attitudes,

including production processes and techniques

• development of key skills that prove aptitude in creative media production, such

as investigating and developing ideas through pre-production, production and post-production of media products

• processes that underpin effective ways of working in creative media production, such as responding to briefs and feedback, planning and generating ideas.

The three components of Creative Media are: Exploring Media Products, Developing Digital Media Production Skills and Create a Media Product in Response to a Brief

The first two components are assessed internally. The third component is an external assessment based on a key task that requires learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole qualification in an integrated way.

Students start by exploring media products from the three sectors: publishing, interactive and moving image / sound

This initial understanding is developed into a more sophisticated understanding of media through discussions, written and presented responses.

As learners develop their understanding of media products one of the sectors (currently moving image / audio) is focused on in more detail and more practical sessions on editing and shooting are introduced.

The analysis and evaluation of existing products and creation of their own media product allows learners to challenge themselves and extend their own understanding.

Discussions in class encourage learners to develop their ideas and

Learners can respond to many of the activities, tasks and even assessments in alternative ways including recording presentations and interviews. 

Visits from professionals in the field have added significant value bringing their wealth of experience (and even resources) to enhance the course.  Students have been able to recreate and even reimagine scenes using raw footage from a released film with guidance from the original director.  Period 6 sessions are often used to make use of the film hardware developing skills in preparation for students to create their own products.

Key Stage 5
 
Please click here to view the dedicated page for the ICT and Computing department in the Sixth Form