Computer Science

Curriculum Intent

The department aims to encourage all students to develop an interest in computing and to work in a confident and independent manner. We strive to equip students with the practical and theoretical skills necessary to flourish in the world of work. The department achieves this through providing a supportive learning environment and challenges all students to be the best that they can be.

Department Staff and Roles

Ian Martin: Head of Department
Francesca Hulme: Teacher of Computer Science

Curriculum Content
KS3

Year 7

Term 1a – Impact of technology - Collaborating online respectfully

This unit has been designed to ensure that students are given sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the school network. Students will also learn how to use presentation software effectively. In terms of online safety, this unit focuses on respecting others online, spotting strangers, and the effects of cyberbullying.

Term 1b – Networks: from semaphores to the internet

This unit begins by defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols. The types of hardware required are explained, as is wired and wireless data transmission. Students will develop an understanding of the terms ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’, and of the key services and protocols used

Term 2a – Modelling data – Spreadsheets

The spreadsheet unit for Year 7 takes students from having very little knowledge of spreadsheets to being able to confidently model data with a spreadsheet. The unit uses engaging activities to progress students from using basic formulas to writing their own COUNTIF statements. This unit will give students a good set of skills that they can use in computing lessons and in other subject areas.

Term 2b – Using media – Gaining support for a cause

Students develop their understanding of information technology and digital literacy skills. They will use the skills learnt across the unit to create a blog post about a real-world cause that they would like to gain support for. Students will develop software formatting skills and explore concerns surrounding the use of other people’s work, including licensing and legal issues.

Term 3a and 3b– Programming essential Scratch Part 1 and part 2

The aim of this unit and the following unit (‘programming 2’) is to build students’ confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs. This unit offers students the opportunity to expand on their knowledge throughout the unit. The main programming concepts covered in this unit are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration

Year 8

Term 1a – Computing systems

This unit takes students on a tour through the different layers of computing systems: from programs and the operating system, to the physical components that store and execute these programs, to the fundamental binary building blocks that these components consist of.

Term 1b – Developing for the web

In this unit, students will explore the technologies that make up the internet and World Wide Web. Starting with an exploration of the building blocks of the World Wide Web, HTML, and CSS, students will investigate how websites are catalogued and organised for effective retrieval using search engines.

Term 2a – Representations from clay to silicon

This unit conveys essential knowledge relating to binary representations. The activities gradually introduce students to binary digits and how they can be used to represent text and numbers. The concepts are linked to practical applications and problems that the students are familiar with.

Term 2b – Mobile app development

This unit aims to take the students from designer to project manager to developer in order to create their own mobile app. Students will work in pairs to consider the needs of the user; decompose the project into smaller, more manageable parts; use the pair programming approach to develop their app together; and finish off by evaluating the success of the project against the needs of the user.

Term 3a – Media- Vector graphics

This unit offers students the opportunity to design graphics using vector graphic editing software. Through this unit, students will be able to better understand the processes involved in creating such graphics and will be provided with the knowledge and tools to create their own.

Term 3b – Introduction to python programming

This unit introduces students to text-based programming with Python. The lessons form a journey that starts with simple programs involving input and output, and gradually moves on through arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration.

Year 9

Term 1 – Physical computing

This unit applies and enhances the students’ programming skills in a new engaging context: physical computing, using the BBC micro:bit.

In the first half of the unit, students will get acquainted with the host of components built into the micro:bit, and write simple programs that use these components to interact with the physical world. In the process, they will refresh their Python programming skills and encounter a range of programming patterns that arise frequently in physical computing applications.

In the second half, students will work in pairs to build a physical computing project. They will be required to select and design their project purposefully, apply what they have learnt by building a prototype, and keep a structured diary throughout the process.

Term 2 – Media animation

In this unit students will discover how professionals create 3D animations using the industry-standard software package, Blender.By completing this unit students will gain a greater understanding of how this important creative field is used to make the media products that we consume.

Term 3 – Python programming with sequences of data

This unit introduces students to how data can be represented and processed in sequences, such as lists and strings. The lessons cover a spectrum of operations on sequences of data, that range from accessing an individual element to manipulating the entire sequence.

Curriculum Content
KS4/GCSE

Year 11

Term 1: System Security, Systems software, Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Issues, Algorithms

Term 2: Programming Fundamentals, Producing robust programmes, Boolean logic, Programming Languages and IDEs

Department Courses

Level 2 BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology

GCSE OCR Computer Science (9-1)

Exam Board

Pearson
OCR

If you are interested in information technology, computers and coding then why not try one of our book recommendations all about computer science - simply select the 'Computer Science' Reading List image, and click on the book cover that you are interested in. Looking for more books based on this subject? Then check out our further book recommendations on Accessit here: Computer Science Reading List


Code Academy
W3Schools
CraignDave

Extra-Curricular

K3 Coding Club
Extra lessons for exam units

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