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Computing

Head of Department: Mr G Furbank

All pupils will study computing as part of their Key Stage 3 curriculum. At Key Stage 4, pupils may choose to study Computer Science or Creative iMedia.

Equipment - All Years

Links to free software used in the course will be provided.

Visits / Extra-Curricular opportunities KS3

The Library stocks a range of programming and wider interest material to support broader interests in Computing. We hope to run a series of clubs allowing pupils access to computers at lunch times.

Year 7

Computing is an essential skill in life as it enables pupils to gain problem-solving skills and access other areas of learning more effectively. In Year 7 we start by looking at what a computer is, before diving into programming and IT skills. Computational thinking is developed through the year to support future learning.

Unit

Course Content: Knowledge and Skills

Assessment

1

Computer Systems

Pupils explore how a computer works in both a traditional desktop and in a portable Raspberry Pi. We look at hardware and software components as well as understanding the basics of networking and how the internet works.

Assessment task

 

2

Turtle Graphics using Python

Pupils are introduced to the Python programming language using the Turtle module to draw repeated patterns, introducing the programming techniques of iteration and creating procedures.

Assessed homework

3

Spreadsheets

Pupils further their knowledge of Office software with an emphasis on formulas and using conditions to analyse data.

Assessment task

4

Flowol

Pupils learn about algorithms and flowcharts using Flowol software to create programs that control both virtual and physical systems.

Assessment task

 

Groupings

Pupils are taught in tutor groups throughout the year with one lesson per week.

Homework Information

The type of homework tasks given during Year 7 are research tasks, design tasks, practising skills learned in lessons and revision for assessments. Homework is set around twice per half term, taking an average of half an hour per piece.

Extended Study Information

Pupils could explore the Python programming language further independently. There are many websites such as www.learnpython.org, www.codecademy.com and www.pythonschool.net that could be used.

Year 8

Computing is an essential skill in life as it enables pupils to gain problem-solving skills and access other areas of learning more effectively.  In Year 8 we continue to build on computational thinking skills learnt in Year 7 and introduce more physical computing.

Unit

Course Content:  Knowledge and Skills

Assessment

1

Physical Computing

Students use BBC micro:bits to control the onboard LEDs and external components using built in and external inputs.

Assessed project

2

Functional Programming

Students use GeomLab software to explore the manipulation of shapes using a functional programming language.

Assessed homework task

3

Spreadsheets

Pupils further their knowledge of Office software with an emphasis on formulas and using conditions to analyse data.

Assessment task

4

Flowol

Pupils learn about algorithms and flowcharts using Flowol software to create programs that control both virtual and physical systems.

Assessment task

5

Data Representation

Pupils learn about the binary number system used by computers and how this is used to store numbers, text, images and sounds. We also begin to explore compression and efficiency.

Written assessment

Groupings    

Students are taught in tutor groups throughout the year with three lessons per fortnight.

Homework Information

The type of homework tasks given during Year 8 are research tasks, design tasks, practising skills learned in lessons and revision for assessments.

Extended Study Information

Pupils could further explore programming languages and use the other virtual physical devices on the www.makecode.com website.

Year 9

Computing is an essential skill in life as it enables pupils to gain problem-solving skills and access other areas of learning more effectively.  In Year 9 we continue to build on computational thinking skills learnt in Years 7 and 8 and look at how computer systems work. More emphasis is placed on design and planning.

Unit

Course Content:  Knowledge and Skills

Assessment

1

Pseudocode and Algorithms

Pupils are introduced to algorithms by recognising that they have been using them in all their programming work. Pupils then formalise their understanding by solving algorithmic solutions to problems.

Written assessment

2

Python Programming

Pupils build upon programming experience from previous years and the computational thinking skills developed in other units to create solutions in the Python programming language.

Written assessment

3

Processing

Pupils use the Java programming language and Processing development environment to create interactive graphics and animations using code

 

Groupings    

Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups through the year, with one lesson per week.

Homework Information

The type of homework tasks given during Year 9 are research tasks, design tasks, practising skills learned in lessons and revision for assessments.

Extended Study Information

Pupils could further develop their Python programming skills with websites such as www.pythonschool.net, www.codeacademy.com and www.learnpython.org

 

Years 10 & 11

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Course Content

In Year 10, pupils will learn about algorithms, what they are, their limits and how to increase their efficiency. This will be done in a theoretical context and also in conjunction with developing their Python programming skills, leading towards an assessed programming project. After completing the project, pupils will continue to develop their algorithmic thinking in Year 11 but in a computer language independent context, in preparation for one of the final examinations.

Throughout Years 10 and 11, pupils will learn about the workings of computer systems, which will be taught in both a theoretical and hands-on practical context. Pupils will also learn about cyber security and the ethical, legal and environmental concerns of digital technology, as well as the structure and development of database systems. This will be assessed by exam at the end of Year 11.

Homework

Homework will be set as required and may take different forms, including consolidation, research and small projects.

Equipment

Having a computer at home is helpful for homework but not required and iPads will suffice. All software used in the course is free to download.

Visits/Extra-curricular

We have previously run trips to the Computing Museum in Cambridge and may seek to run this again in the future. 

 

CREATIVE iMEDIA

Course Content

In Year 10 pupils cover two units of the course: R081 Pre-Production and R091 Games Design. We study the pre-production documents and methods used in the wider media industry before delving into the history of games consoles and begin to develop our own game idea while working to a client brief. Having completed this assessed coursework in year 10, pupils will then return to pre-production and consider broader legal and ethical areas of the media world. Pre-production is assessed via exam at the end of year 10.

In Year 11 pupils cover the remaining two units of the course: R082 Digital Graphics and R092 Games Development, both of which are practical, coursework units. Pupils will explore the purposes of graphics from a designer’s perspective before learning how to make their own graphics and work towards a client’s brief. Pupils will then explore games development software and begin to make their own games, again working to a client’s specification. This final unit will require pupils to draw upon everything they have learned across the course.

Homework

Homework will be set as required and may take different forms, including consolidation, research and small projects.

Equipment

Having a computer at home is helpful for homework but not required and iPads will suffice. All software used in the course is free to download.

Visits/Extra-curricular

We have previously run trips to the Computing Museum in Cambridge and may seek to run this again in the future. We are exploring games development opportunities such as the Cambridge FXP Festival and the BAFTA Young Game Designer competition