Computing

Curriculum rationale

In Computer Science we aim to foster a love of learning and ignite an interest in computer science and digital media.  The curriculum is designed to challenge students to become more resourceful and resilient through developing their problem-solving skills using a computational thinking framework.

The Computer Science curriculum has been designed and developed around the six strands of the national curriculum: Algorithms, Communication and Networks, Data and Data Representation, Hardware and Processing, Information Technology and Programming and Development.  The curriculum content has been adapted to make Computer Science appealing to an audience of girls.   The Key Stage (KS) 3 curriculum is intended to prepare students to take either a computer science or digital media pathway at KS4.

Curriculum Plan KS3

 

Topic

Year 7

Computer Fundamentals/E-Safety

Networks

Block-based Programming 1

Representations: From Clay to Silicone

Block-based Programming 2

Year 8

Introduction to Python Programming

Media: Vector graphics

Developing for the web

Physical Computing

Computing Systems

Year 9

Python programming with sequences of data

Representations: going audio visual

Cyber Security

Student programming project

KS 3 assessment

Each half term students learn the theory and practical skills, culminating in a creative project.  Each project introduces a new key concept or skill or builds upon prior knowledge and learning, for example, the transition from block-based programming languages to text-based programming languages.  The curriculum is designed to ensure that students gain general information technology skills which are necessary for student’s future learning and employability. 

 

Key Stage 4

There are two pathways that students can choose to study in Key Stage 4.

Pathway 1

The OCR GCSE (9-1) in Computer Science in Year 10 and Year 11 is designed to encourage students to:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science
  • analyse problems in computational terms
  • 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.

 

Curriculum Plan KS4 GCSE Computer Science

 

Topic

Year 10

Boolean Logic, data storage, designing and creating algorithms

Data types, computational thinking, programming fundamentals

Programming fundamentals, programming techniques

Ethical, logical and cultural impact, defensive design

Testing, languages, IDE and searching and sorting algorithms

Practical programming skills

Year 11

Architecture of the CPU, compressions, embedded systems and secondary storage

Networks and topologies

Wired and wireless networks, protocols and layers

Trial exam and theory revision

Computer Science assessment

In Computer Science, students complete topic tests derived from past paper questions that revisit content previously taught until they are familiar with how best to answer questions in preparation for their first of three trial exams and two GCSE written papers.  Students also undertake a 20-hour coding project, building on practical coding activities throughout KS3 and their GCSE course.

 

Pathway 2

The OCR Cambridge National in Creative iMedia in Year 9 and Year 10 is designed to:

  • Equip students with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed to work in the creative digital media sector
  • Start at pre-production and develop their skills through practical assignments as they create final multimedia products

 

Curriculum Plan KS4 Cambridge National in Creative iMedia

 

Topic

Year 9

Media Skills and Optional Unit Skills

Optional Unit coursework

Exam Skills and content
R094 Unit skills

Year 10

Practice project

Coursework

Exam preparation

Creative iMedia assessment

The course is broken down into two mandatory units: pre-production skills which is a written paper and creating digital graphics which is a course work, centre assessed task and one further, centre assessed task.

 

Extra-curricular opportunities

We have several clubs that run after school including a Programming club – This is primarily for learning more about programming languages, often leading to an opportunity to learn about robotics. Code breaking club – where students learn about cryptography and participate in a national competition.