Computing

Computing looks at the underlying principles of Computer Science, including logic, decomposition, algorithms, data representation and communication (including network technology, the Internet and the World Wide Web).

Because computing principles are applied to and impact on every aspect of modern life, we teach a range of modules in Key Stage 3 which allow students to develop computational thinking skills in different contexts. We also, of course, work with students to ensure that they understand how to stay sensible and safe whilst using a range of technologies.

Computer programming is taught using Scratch and Kodu online, graphical programming environments which we increasingly expect students to have met in Primary School, and Python, a text based language similar to Java.

Students are taught about flowcharts, algorithms and control through Flowol, which simulates controlling anything from a lighthouse to traffic control systems to a full train set. They learn to break a problem down into parts as they plan their solutions.  They are encouraged to test each others’ work as well as their own and learn about standard programming structures, including sequence, selection, loops iteration and sub-programs. This is developed further as the students develop knowledge of text based computing with Python, where they use the same structures to develop increasingly complex programs.

Work in Computing at Key Stage 3 is submitted both online and on paper. C6 and the Learning Resource Centre are open every lunchtime and the LRC is available after school if students need to access a computer to complete work.

Most students can access the gsuite at home, and also can edit work with Google Apps. The Scratch development system is based online. Python and Kodu can be downloaded for free.

Key Stage 4

Computer Science GCSE

The main qualification at Key Stage 4 is now the Computer Science GCSE. This is an option only. Other students do not study Computing lessons after Year 8.

Year 11 are currently studying the Edexcel GCSE Computer Science (2016) syllabus. The course is assessed by 100% examination. Students will also spend 20 hours on a programming project, which is also sent off to the exam board but not assessed.

The course covers 5 key areas:

Topic 1: Problem solving

Topic 2: Programming

Topic 3: Computers

Topic 4: Networks and communication

Topic 5: Emerging Trends

BTEC Tech Awards - Digital Information Technology

Year 9 are currently studying the new level 2 BTEC Tech Award for Digital Information Technology. The qualification has three components. Components 1 and 2 component 3 is an exam which  assesses the knowledge and skills you developed across all three components. The external assessment will tests recall of the knowledge gained and application of that knowledge in realistic scenarios and situations.

Extra Curricular Activities

Outside the main lessons, we aim to support students in accessing IT facilities so that they can use them for learning. We operate an open computer room every lunchtime, in addition to the Learning Resource Centre, which is also equipped with PCs.

On Thursday, we are currently running after school intervention sessions for Year 11, which will focus on examination questions and techniques.

For more information please contact Ms L Heartfield Computing Subject Leader