Computer Science and ICT

Computer Science at SCHS prepares students with a wide range of skills and knowledge, to be creative and use computational thinking in dealing with an ever changing digital world. They will be taught how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. They will learn the concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. Students will be able to analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. They will evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems and become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of Information and Communication technology.

Lessons are delivered in one of 4 modern, dedicated, air conditioned suites by specialist teachers. Each room has 29 PCs with high-speed network access, broadband internet and a vast range of generic and industry standard software applications.

At Key Stage 3, all students have a single 1-hour lesson per week covering the Computing Programme of Study. In Year 7 students have an additional hour of ICT skills to aid learning across the school in other areas of the curriculum.

At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to study for one of 3 courses: GCSE Computer Science, GCSE ICT or Level 2 CIDA, which have all proven to be very popular and engaging courses, with high success rates in the final public examinations.

Raising standards of achievement and developing interests beyond the curriculum will continue to be a core theme within the Computer Science department.

At Key Stage 3, pupils are encouraged to think for themselves, work independently and evaluate and refine their work.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 pupils follow a modular Scheme of Work, which covers relevant sections of the new Programmes of Study. It involves all aspects of Computing, ICT and Digital Literacy and is a good foundation for the development of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Module 1: Hardware+ Software
Module 2: Computer programming using Scratch
Module 3: Spreadsheets
Module 4: Computer Control

Year 7 ICT Skills

Additionally students complete a course in ICT skills to support the whole school curriculum. From a chosen scenario students complete tasks similar to a GCSE ICT Controlled Assessment project.

Module 1: E-safety + Office 365 tools
Module 2: Project

Tasks completed involve

  • Research + Investigation work
  • Computer Graphics
  • Survey questionnaires
  • Data Collection and analysis reports
  • Digital Posters
  • Video advert
  • Website
  • Animated Banners

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils build on the skills acquired in Year 7 and look at new areas of the Programme of Study.

Module 1: Networks, topologies and malware
Module 2: Microbits
Module 3: Databases
Module 4: Introduction to Python Programming

Year 9

In Year 9 pupils prepare for Key Stage 4 by completing extended projects and advanced software skills in numerous applications. Theory aspects are covered in more depth as preparation for Key Stage 4 study.

Module 1: Back to the Future
Module 2: Ethical, Legal, Moral and cultural Issues
Module 3: Programming a Scrolling background game
Module 4: Advanced Python programming
Module 5: Extended Project

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to opt to study for one of 2 pathways: GCSE Computer Science or an ICT qualification.

GCSE Computer Science (9-1)

This demanding course is aimed at students interested in how computers work, understanding computer technologies and those wanting to develop their computer programming skills. Experience shows students with excellent mathematical abilities and a high level of ICT capability succeed in this qualification.

This GCSE provides students with the opportunity to:

  • Develop their own understanding of computer systems
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Use algorithms and logic in computer programs
  • Understand how computer programs/solutions affect the lives of individuals, organisations and society
  • Develop their abilities to think independently, creatively and logically in a range of computing contexts

Unit 1: Computer Systems – 40%
External written examination (1 hour 30 minutes)

In this unit, students will be assessed on their knowledge of computer systems. The topics include computer components, memory, storage, and type of networks, topologies, system security, types of software and computer legislation.

Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 40%
External written/practical examination (1 hour 30 minutes)

In this unit, students will demonstrate their understanding of programming techniques, algorithms, logic and data representation.

Unit 3: Programming project – 20%
Controlled assessment

Students will complete a programming tasks to demonstrate their practical abilities. All tasks are open-ended and can be approached in different ways. Evidence will also include written analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation sections. All work must be carried out under formal supervision in class time.

Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CIDA)

This ICT qualification aims to provide knowledge, understanding and skills needed to design and make, effective digital products for others to use.
The course is primarily aimed at students with a real interest in ICT applications, who want to develop their skill base and knowledge in preparation to study this subject at Keystage 5. The course is graded at A*-C only.

This qualification provides a broad and solid foundation for further study of various aspects of creative computing, such as graphic design, web design, computer games design and interactive media. Tasks will foster student’s creativity and develop their independent learning skills and make learners aware of their rights and responsibilities in the digital world.

There are 2 methods of assessment:

Unit 1: Developing Web Products
External practical exam (2 hour 30 mins) – 25% of the Final grade

Students will need to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features. Additionally the ability to work independently to design, build and test a web product will be essential. A practical computer-based examination set by the exam board will test student’s skillset in creating web and multi-media products and evaluation skills for the set audience and purpose of the brief.

Unit 2: Creative Multimedia
Controlled assessment – 75% of the Final grade

Students follow a controlled assessment brief provided by the examination board with 5 main activities. They will develop appropriate and effective ICT-based solutions in a range of contexts and must demonstrate the ability to be creative, think logically and improve work after feedback.

The activities involved are listed as:

  • Research and Investigation of multimedia products
  • Animation products
  • Creation of digital products – Interactive Quizzes and Information points
  • Presentations
  • Website creation
  • Podcasts
  • Deigning multimedia products eg movies
  • Review and Evaluation of completed work

GCSE ICT

This demanding course is primarily aimed at students with a real interest in ICT applications, who want to develop their skill base and knowledge in preparation to study this subject at Ks5.

The GCSE ICT has 2 methods of assessment:

Unit 1: Living in a Digital World
External written exam (1 hour 30 mins) – 40% of the Final grade

In this unit students explore new digital technologies and how they affect the workplace and the lives of individuals and society. They will gain a new understanding of many key terms and concepts.

Topics include:

  • Uses of digital devices – Mobile phones, Tablets, netbooks, PDA, laptops, PCs, Consoles and Multimedia systems.
  • Different methods of connectivity – Students will improve their knowledge of networking and connections methods to the internet.
  • Online applications – Applications for storage and remote use eg Google Docs, Dropbox, cloud computing, online banking, e-tickets, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), online purchasing and marketing methods.
  • Online communities – How society and individuals can be affected by the use of social networking applications
  • Legislation and the responsible use of ICT – Copyright, Data protection, Computer misuse acts, privacy laws and security risks.

Unit 2: Using Digital Tools
Controlled assessment – 60% of the Final grade

Students follow a controlled assessment brief provided by the examination board with 4 main activities. They will develop appropriate and effective ICT-based solutions in a range of contexts and must demonstrate the ability to be creative, think logically and improve work after feedback.

The activities involved are listed as:

  • Research and Investigation
  • Databases to extract and present information
  • Still and Animated images
  • Creation of digital products – Interactive Quizzes and Information points
  • Spreadsheets – Create a new model and test hypotheses.
  • Presentations
  • Website creation
  • Podcasts
  • Review and Evaluation of completed work
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