Curriculum - Computing & ICT

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 currently have approximately 700 computers throughout the school, 210 of which are specifically used within the Computing & ICT department. There are 8 designated Computing & ICT rooms each running the Microsoft Operating System and are installed with specialist Computing & ICT software. We also have a Mac suite comprising of 20 Apple Macintosh desktop machines running OSX.

 

 

The Department

Mrs Shillingford

Mr Shaw

Mr Scott-Blore

Mrs Basi

Mr Holloway

Ms Aujla

KS3

Year 7

E-safety

Students will learn what the dangers of using the Internet are and how they can protect themselves from these dangers. They will produce an interactive information point using Microsoft PowerPoint utilising hyperlinks to enable navigation and a variety of design techniques to ensure it is professionalism. Students will also have the opportunity to create an interactive quiz using Visual Basic programming code with varying levels of complexity.

 

Scratch

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

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.

 

Theory

Students will engage in a number of interactive learning sessions in order to learn about the basic functions of a computer. They will mainly focus upon the meaning of Input/Process/Output and what software and hardware is involved in each of these stages. They will also be taught the fundamentals of binary and why it is used as well as looking at the different types of information that can be stored as binary. Different types of storage devices will also be examined and as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using each one.

 

Spreadsheets

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.

 

 

Year 8

Theory

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.

 

HTML

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.

 

Python

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.

 

Spreadsheets

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. Other formulas such as IF formulas, SUM and AVERAGE will also be revisited.

 

Databases

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

 

Year 9

Photoshop

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.

 

Python

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.

 

Game Maker

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.

 

Spreadsheets

In this unit, students will create and manipulate spreadsheet models in relation to the fictional talent show Chello Factor. Students will revisit many of the skills that they have learnt in previous spreadsheet units such as IF formulas, conditional formatting and graphs. Students will also be introduced to new skills such as using a goal seek in order to make accurate predictions from data and using COUNTIF formulas.

 

Theory

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.

GCSE

CiDA – Diploma in Digital Applications - Edexcel

 

The Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing, for example digital graphics and animations, interactive multimedia products and computer games. Our aim is to encourage learners to consider pursuing education, training and career paths which will contribute to the nation’s economic wellbeing, while achieving job satisfaction and reward.

 

How the course will be assessed?

The Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications comprises of two units: one externally assessed unit with a practical exam (25%), and a choice of one internally assessed optional unit (75%).

 

Mandatory Unit

Developing Web Products

When surfing the web, what captures your attention? Acting as a starting point for the rest of the qualification, this unit gives learners the knowledge and skills they need to produce attention-grabbing and interactive web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features. The assessment, set by Edexcel, is a practical computer-based examination to develop a prototype website.

Software skills: Learners will learn to use a range of web authoring software.

 

Optional Units –

Artwork and imaging

 

 

COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND PROGRAMMING - OCR

 

90 minute written examination paper worth 40% of the qualification.

PRACTICAL INVESTIGATION

 

Controlled assessment of approximately 20 hours.

30% of the qualification.

PROGRAMMING PROJECT

 

Controlled assessment of approximately 20 hours.

30% of the qualification.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Computing is not an easy subject to study and will dive quickly into the technical workings of computer technology and programming. You should have good maths skills and this will generally enable you to understand the logic required for programming.

The computing qualification enables you to:

 

Develop your understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts.

Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming.

Use your knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning user of ICT, able to make informed decisions about its use, and aware of the implications of different technologies.

Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts.

Develop computer programs to solve problems.

Develop the skills to work collaboratively.

Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of and issues related to the use of computer technology in society.

 

Where can GCSE Computing lead?

Computer scientists have an almost unparalleled opportunity to pursue careers in science, computing and mathematics, with the skills that in the increasingly systems-driven world is crying out for. Computer scientists are in great demand – recent research suggests that computing has the greatest potential employment demand over the next few years. Students with qualifications at GCSE and A level are highly in demand by UK universities. To see a full outline of the course go to www.ocr.org.uk and follow links to GCSE Computing.

ALevel Computing

The qualification is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of key information and communication technology pathways and the application of information communication technology principles.

Computing

Course Summary

You will study four modules over the two years:

AS Units

 

F451 Computer Fundamentals where you will learn about hardware, software,

data transmission, systems life cycles and networking.

 

F452 Programming Techniques and Logical Methods in which you will learn how to design solutions to problems using programming techniques as well as learning the structure of programming languages, how to write maintainable programs and test and run a solution.

 

A2 Units

 

F453 Advanced Computer Theory which builds upon the knowledge gained in unit F451 – Computer Fundamentals. This module looks at the function of operating systems and the purpose and function of translators. It will also explore computer architectures, data representation, structures and manipulation, databases, programming techniques and low- level languages.

 

F454 Computing Project which will be a problem defined by yourself and then investigated, analysed designed and then create your solution using a programming language. You will then need to test it thoroughly, document it for an end user and evaluate it. Example projects can range from a library booking system to designing a new version of ‘Snake’ for the 21st Century.

ALevel IT

Unit 1 Using ICT to Communicate

 

• Understand the characteristics and significance of different types of information;

• Understand the different methods for communicating information and the technologies that

support them;

• Create original communications in styles that suit the users;

• Improve the accuracy, readability and presentational quality of communications created;

• Understand some of the ways organisations present information and why they use standard layouts for documents;

• Choose and apply standard layouts;

• Understand the need for standard ways of working;

• Develop good practice in the use of ICT.

 

Candidates will use their presentation knowledge and skills to create a portfolio of different

communications, including a presentation on different methods of communicating information and the technologies that support them. They should also compare a collection of standard documents used by organisations. The communications they create and compare need to have sufficient content to enable them to fully demonstrate their presentation knowledge and skills. Throughout this unit, the terms communication, presentation, document and report should be taken

 

Unit 4 System Specification and Confguration

 

Candidates will produce a specification for an ICT system to meet the needs of a given user,

together with a working system on which they have installed and configured software to meet a user’s needs, and recommendations for ensuring safety and security, and an explanation of the basics of software development, to include:

 

• A statement of the user’s needs and how these might be met;

• A specification for an ICT system;

• Evidence of software installation, configuration, testing and implementation of security

procedures;

• Evidence that the software has been configured by installing toolbars and setting up macros

and templates to meet a user’s needs;

• Recommendations for safety and security;

• An explanation of the basics of software development;

• An evaluation of the specification the candidate produced and the methods used for

installation, configuration and testing.

Flight Path

The table below shows the Flight Path of targets our students will aim for in their journey throughout Key Stage 3. Meeting these challenging targets will represent outstanding progress that is significantly above the National Average. We hope that in some circumstances, students will exceed these targets.