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.
ICT Subject Leader
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 Creative iMedia
Exam Board and Code: OCR Cambridge National
If you like creating things on the computer, then Creative iMedia is the course you might choose.
It has 4 units, 3 of them are based on your coursework in making and changing images using Photoshop, making webpages and making games using Game Maker. One unit has a written exam to do, which is done in January of Year 10. All the 4 units are worth 25% of the overall grade each.
• R081: Pre-production skills (Year 10) This is a compulsory unit, based on all aspects of planning projects from Mood boards to Gantt Charts. It will also develop their understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process. For the assessment of this unit, the students will be entered for an exam in January of Year 10.
• R082: Creating digital graphics (Year 10) This is also a compulsory unit, in which Photoshop is used to edit photographs and images to suit given situations. For the assessment of this unit, students will complete a controlled assessment which is marked by the teaching staff and externally moderated. This moderation can take place in June of Year 10 or November of Year 11.
• R085: Creating a multiple website (Year 11) In this unit, Students will have the opportunity to understand the basics of creating multiple websites through this unit. They will also be able to demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website using Dreamweaver or Web Plus. For the assessment of this unit students will complete a controlled assessment which is marked by the teaching staff and externally moderated. This moderation can take place in January or June of Year 11.
• R092: Developing digital games (Year 11) Through this unit, students will examine the basics of creating digital games and their environments for the creative and digital media sector. They will also develop the know-how to create a playable game from an existing design or brief. For the assessment of this unit, students will complete a controlled assessment which is marked by the teaching staff and externally moderated. This moderation will take place in the June of Year 11.
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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