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IT and Computing

Our aim is to give students the skills they need to confidently embrace new technologies both within school and in the wider community.

All students have one lesson a week of IT/Computing in Years 7 through to 9. In this time, they learn a number of different software applications, giving them an opportunity to build up a range of skills within the subject.

In Year 10 students have the opportunity to select either IT or Computing as an option subject.

In both Years 7, 8 and 9 the curriculum is delivered through a topic-based approach. Each topic focuses on either computer programming or a software application. At the end of each unit, knowledge is assessed through a short test and skills are assessed through a project. Students are expected to plan, implement and evaluate their project. They have the opportunity to gain feedback on the work they have done.

In some cases, our students use applications they have already used at their primary school, where this is the case they are encouraged to learn more complex aspects of the software and develop their skills. At the end of the project, students will be awarded a level to indicate their progress in addition to a grade to indicate the effort they have put into the work.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

The course

• Adventure Story (Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Presentations)
• Spy School (Spreadsheets)
• Understanding Computers
• Binary and Control
• Repeating patterns
• E-Safety
• Scratch Programming
• Analysing Data and Asking Questions

Year 8

• Creating a quiz – (Computational thinking, Algorithms and Interactive Presentations)
• Searching and Sorting (Databases)
• Introduction to Python Programming and Using Algorithms
• Sound Effect Story (Sound Editing)
• Do aliens exist? (Handling Data – Questionnaires and Spreadsheets)
• Technology (History of Computers, the Internet and Cloud Computing)
• Bringing History to life (stop-frame animation)

Year 9

The course
• Internet Safety
• Programming using Python
• Using ICT in to create a Business Solution
• Technology of the future

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 ICT

We offer ICT as an option for students in Key Stage 4.  Students have the opportunity to study the Cambridge National Certificate in ICT.

The course

All students will take four units. Three of the units are coursework and one is an exam. Each unit is worth 25% of the final grade.

Activities and learning experiences

Each piece of coursework is set by the exam board and requires students to build skills based on a range of different software applications. Coursework includes:

• Using computer systems
• Using ICT to create business solutions
• Multimedia products
• Handling data using Spreadsheets

Students will have the opportunity to:

• Develop an understanding of how ICT can be used to meet business needs
• Work with information and data to meet specific business needs
•  Gain an understanding of the legal, ethical, safety and security issues that affect how computers should be used
• See how ICT can be used to support business working practices
• Use spreadsheet models to present information to support decision-making.
• Create interactive products containing multimedia components
• Pupils will use and develop skills learned in Key Stage 3 in a range of software applications:

Database software
Presentation software
Spreadsheet software
Word processing software
Image Editing software

Students use these packages to investigate and solve problems based on applications of computers in the fields of commerce, industry, education and leisure.

How are students assessed?

For three of the four units, students are set assessments by the exam board and these are completed over the duration of the course. This is a paperless qualification and pupils will submit their work in the form of an e-portfolio to the exam board at the end each assessment. The fourth assessment is an external examination based on a case study set by the exam board.
Candidates are entered either for the Level 1 or Level 2 qualification and this is equivalent to GCSE levels D-G or A*- C respectively.

What can students go on to do after this course?

This qualification gives students the skills they need in ICT when entering the world of work. It also supports progression into further education and training.
Students can go on to study A Levels, BTEC Nationals, Apprenticeships.

Key Stage 4 – Computing

Students can their understanding of emerging technologies and programming through OCR Computing GCSE.

The course

This course gives an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works.  There is the  opportunity to investigate the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of the computer as well has having the opportunity to write and develop programs. 

Students investigate the ever changing role of computer devices in the modern world and the creation of apps and games.  Students will have the opportunity to develop their own programs, having learned the components which go into making a successful computer program.

The course will look at web based applications and also applications which will run on mobile devices. 

Activities and learning experiences

Students will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work.  They will:

• Look at the use of algorithms in computer programs
• Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
• Develop computer programs to solve problems
• Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society

How are students assessed?

The course is made of up three components:

Component 01 Computer Systems – 1 hour and 30 minutes written examination paper. 40% of total GCSE.
Component 02 Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming – 1 hour and 30 minutes examination paper. 40% of total GCSE.
Component 03 Programming Project – Non-exam assessment. 20% of total GCSE.

What can students do after the course?

This course gives students the skills and knowledge they need to study A Level or degree level Computing.  They could also study A Level ICT.  Students could also move to a more vocational route in the Computing or IT industry eg Games or Web Development; or Technical Support leading to Network Management.

The course is a great way to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to further learning and to everyday life.