The Computing & ICT department strive to create an environment where good teaching and quality learning reside. The enthusiasm and subject knowledge of staff empowers students to take responsibility for their own learning. We believe that computing and ICT skills are essential to the development of a student in this technological age.
We have excellent provision of ICT equipment at the Academy, with approximately 400 computers available for student use throughout the school, plus approximately 100 iPads.
This is a theoretical unit covering the necessary basic knowledge to use computers safely, effectively and responsibly. Pupils begin by looking at file management and security. The unit then moves on to e-safety (cyber-bullying, phishing etc.), and online profiles to give pupils a better understanding and awareness of using social media. The functionality and operation of email and search engines and how to use them effectively are covered. The main aim is to understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.
The objective of this unit is to introduce students to the key programming constructs such as Selection, Iteration and Sequencing. Students will be expected to plan and develop a computer game or animation using the scratch software. Students will be assessed on how well they are able to apply each of the programming constructs to their games or animations. The ability to debug applications will also be an important skill learnt during this unit.
Flowol is a piece of control software which allows users to manipulate a real life example of a computer system, e.g. traffic lights, automation in homes etc. Students will learn how to construct flowcharts to illustrate the sequence in which particular computer algorithms take. They will learn how to ensure that their solutions are as efficient as possible by utilising subroutines and to understand why efficiency in computer programs is so important.
In this unit, students will be creating and manipulating spreadsheet models for a fictional pet shop. They will need to utilise skills that they have learnt in the previous year, such as, validation and conditional formatting in order to complete the tasks. Students will be introduced to the concept of Lookup formulas in order to demonstrate how a formula can be used to facilitate interactions between different parts of the spreadsheet to improve functionality. Graphs will be examined in detail and students will learn how to create appropriate graphs for their data and how to format them effectively. Complex formulas such as IF formulas, Vlookup and data validation will also be covered.
The unit is an introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming and games design via Kodu, a highly intuitive graphical development environment developed by Microsoft Games Lab and the winner of a BETT award in 2014. Pupils will be introduced to the idea of computer programs requiring a precise series of statements and, through using Kodu, will understand how to build a world and program characters and objects before moving on to enhance their games with more advanced features.
This unit is centred on creating a financial model for a TV show. Students start by looking at different types of spreadsheet models and then use basic spreadsheet techniques to create and format a simple financial model to calculate the expected income from viewers’ voting. The model is then extended to include sales from merchandising, with the introduction of “what if” scenarios. Finally the students create a seating plan, book seats and calculate income from seat sales. Spreadsheet features covered include SUM, MAX, IF and COUNTIF functions, cell naming for absolute referencing, conditional formatting, validation, charting and simple macros.
In the first three lessons, students will learn the basics of HTML and CSS, and how to create a responsive design which adapts to any size of screen for viewing on, say, a mobile phone or a PC. They will learn how to create text styles and add content, including text and graphics, in a specified position on a page, as well as navigation links to other pages on their website and to external websites. The basics of good design are covered and, with the help of worksheets, students will develop their own templates in a text editor such as Notepad. They will decide on a topic for their websites, document their designs and collect suitable text and images. They will then use their HTML templates to create their websites, including a web form. Students can view the data collected by the web form into a simulated database. This also helps to stimulate discussion on the privacy of data.
This is a practical unit covering the basic theory, creation and use of a single-table database and a simple relational database involving two tables in a one-to-many relationship. Students will start by looking at an existing single-table database, learning how to add records and make queries. In subsequent lessons they will create:-
• A flat-file or two-table relational database of their own, using suitable field types and adding in appropriate validations
• An input form with help text, combo boxes and list boxes
• Queries and a report using data from one or both tables
• A front end menu for their application linking to the database input form and report
This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles of computer architecture and use of binary. Students will revise some of the theory on input and outputs covered in previous learning and continue to look at the Input-Process-Output sequence and the Fetch-Decode-Execute cycle through practical activities. Students will then look at some simple binary to decimal conversion and vice versa, and learn how text characters are represented using the ASCII code. This will be followed by some simple binary addition. Students will learn more in depth how storage devices represent data using binary patterns and physically save these patterns. Finally, they will look at a brief history of communication devices, how new technologies and applications are emerging and the pace of change.
Students will be introduced to their first textual programming language called python. They will learn to create simple programs to demonstrate how computer programs such as mobile applications are developed. They will also learn how to use error handling techniques to debug code while understanding different types of errors and why they occur. They will be shown how the three basic programming constructs of Selection, Iteration and Sequencing are formed in a textual programming language and how pseudo code can be used to plan applications.
In this unit, students undertake a variety of tasks in Adobe Photoshop in order to learn the wide variety of tools available when manipulating or creating images. Some of the tools include selection tools, clone stamp, filtering, adjustments, transform tools and spot healing. As well as the practical elements of this unit, students will also be taught about how digital images are stored on a computer and the differences between vector and bitmap images and the benefits and drawbacks of using each type.
Students will build on what they have learnt in Year 8 to produce more complex python programs in Year 9. The use of subroutines and their importance to computer programs will be examined in detail and students will be encouraged to use subroutines in their programs to demonstrate the importance of modular design. Students will also learn how additional functionality can be added to their programs via the extensive python module library to integrate such things as time elements and graphical user interfaces.
In this unit pupils will be introduced to the GameMaker Game Editor/programming environment and begin by reverse-engineering an existing game. They will then progress to planning and developing their own games, learning to incorporate variables, events and actions, and making use of object-orientated programming techniques. Finally they will learn to test and debug their programs. Assessment will be by means of an Assessment Portfolio.
This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles and architecture of local and wide area networks. Students will learn that the World Wide Web is part of the Internet, and how web addresses are constructed and stored as IP addresses. Client-server, peer-to-peer networks and the concept of cloud computing are all described. Ways of keeping data secure and simple encryption techniques are also covered. In the final lesson, Students will sit a multiple choice test which will form the Unit assessment.
• The aim of this unit is to teach the pupils how to build their own apps using a web-based app builder. It will give them all the tools and resources to build a working web app which can be used on any HTML5 compatible device. In the unit they will evaluate existing apps, mock up their own designs and build, test and evaluate their own apps. By the end of this unit they will have an understanding of a good user interface, know the difference between web apps and native apps, and be able to find and create resources such as icons and backgrounds. The main aim is for students to create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability.
KS4 CIDA (Certification of digital applications)
Exam board and code: Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Digital Applications
Unit 1 – Developing web products (25%)
Unit 4 – Game making (75%)
Details of assessment type:
Unit 1 – Developing web products (Exam)
This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features. You will demonstrate your ability to design, build and test a web product in a practical computer-based examination set by Edexcel.
You will need to complete a 2.5 hour practical computer-based examination. There will be one task divided into two activities. In the first activity, you will have to use web authoring software and other software tools to create a web product for a specified audience and purpose, using a client brief. In the second activity, you have to evaluate your product.
Unit 4 - Game making (Coursework)
In this unit you will learn about different types of computer games, investigate what makes a game successful and learn how to plan, design and create great games for others to play.
This unit takes a holistic approach to the assessment of knowledge, understanding and skills. You will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the content through how well you perform the tasks in the project brief given to you. This project brief should take you approximately 30 hours to complete.
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Dreamweaver
KS4 GCSE COMPUTER SCIENCE (OCR)
OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science will encourage learners to:
• understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
• analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
• think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
• understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
• understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
• apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.
• Visual Basic
KS5 A LEVEL COMPUTING (AQA)
Computer Science at A Level is understanding in detail how computer systems work. Studying Computer Science at A level will give students a deep insight and understanding into aspects of computing from the microprocessor, to memory, storage, operating systems, network architectures and computer programming. At the end of the course students will have an excellent understanding of how the world around us functions with the use of technology.
Students will sit two exams at the end of the course. Each exam is worth 40% of the A level. The first exam is paper based and focused on theory whilst the other is an on screen test which will allow you to create and edit computer programs in the C# language. The first paper will cover the fundamentals of computers, i.e. hardware, software, operating systems, system life cycles, data and other similar topics. The second paper will cover more practical problems that will allow you to demonstrate some solid programming skills.
There is also a major coursework element which will account for 20% of the A level. The project is a substantial piece of work in which planning, development and testing a computer system is the core aim. The coursework element will give you real, first-hand experience at software development.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (equivalent of one A Level) which takes a multidisciplinary approach, encouraging development of different methods of enquiry, and investigation into new technologies and how they affect us and the world in which we live. The course is focused on the interaction between the theory and implementation and demonstrating ICT skills using a variety of software. If you are interested in the development of ICT systems and how they can benefit both organisations and individuals and how the impact of social media and web development can impact organisations then this is a fantastic course for you. Topics to be covered include the stages of development in a software system, relational databases, web development and software used for presentations
Candidates will study the following:
Unit 1: Information Technology Systems
Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information
Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business
Unit 6: Website Development
Long Term Plans for ICT & Computing are available to download here.
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