The ICT/Computing department has five dedicated Business suites and use of a dedicated room housing the UK’s first LEGO education centre, an invaluable resource for aspiring programmers. Each of our classrooms has a minimum of 25 computers and its own colour printer, as well as access to two laptop trolleys. The department is popular amongst Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students, being the most popular department for post-16 learners in the Academy. The majority of our Year 13 students go onto higher education at university and in the last two years have made a considerable contribution to the record-breaking A level results achieved.
Key Stage 3
Computing is taught at Key Stage 3, offered as an option at GCSE and in the near future will also be offered as an A level. Computer Science is becoming an essential skill for life due to the increased use of technology in all aspects of society. Some of the skills learnt are:
- An understanding of how algorithms are represented as flowcharts used for solving problems
- Discovering a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting online identites and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns
- Using two or more programming languages, one of which is textual (Python), each used to solve a variety of computational problems
- Understanding the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, how they interact
- How data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text and be able to carry out simple addition
E-Safety - File organisation and management
Mini project: How to be safe online
E-Safety - Animation project
Introduction to Spreadsheet Modelling
Mini project - Christmas Shopping
Introduction to Programming - Python Turtle
Introduction to Database
Computer System - How computers work
Computer System - Introduction to Computer Networks
Introduction to Computer Game Programming - Game making with KODU or Scratch
Computer Game Programming - Game making with Scratch
Mini project: Scratch with Logo and camera
Introduction to Web Design - Webpage Creation
Mini project: Make a website
- Web Design - Introduction to HTML
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 ICT is an optional subject. Those who opt for ICT have a choice of studying either the Cambridge nationals in ICT or GCSE ICT and/or Computer Science.
GCSE Computer Science
Introduction to Computer Science
Students are introduced to skill-building modules, focusing on Logic Gates, Appshed, and Python. The purpose of the skill-building units is to prepare students appropriately for their two controlled assessments.
- Unit 2 Coursework: Practical Investigation
Chosen from a list provided by OCR, an investigative computing task controlled assessment which evaluates the following: research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing skills, recommendations/evaluation.
- Unit 2 Coursework: Programming Project
Students will need to:
- Understand standard programming techniques
- Be able to design a coded solution to a problem including the ability to:
- Develop suitable algorithms
- Design suitable input and output formats
- Identify suitable variables and structures
- Identify test procedures
- Create a coded solution fully annotating the developed code to explain its function
- Test their solution:
- To show functionality
- To show how it matches the design criteria - Identifying successes and any limitations.
- Unit 1 exam: Computer systems and programming
This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based. This is assessed as a 1hr 30 mins written paper worth a total of 80 marks.
Introduction to ICT
Students are introduced to skill-building modules, focusing on areas such as spreadsheets and databases. The purpose of the skill-building units is to prepare students appropriately for their controlled assessment which will commence in the summer term of Year 9.
- Unit 2 Coursework: Using Digital Tools
This is a practical unit. Students broaden and enhance their ICT skills and capability. They work with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts.
- Unit 1 exam: Living in a Digital World
Students will learn how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, businesses and society. This is assessed via a 1hr 30 mins written exam set by Edexcel.
OCR Level 1 / 2 Certificate in ICT
Introduction to ICT
Students are introduced to skill-building modules, focusing on areas such as spreadsheets and databases. The purpose of the skill-building units is to prepare students appropriately for their controlled assessment of which the start date will vary for the first unit of work, but normally no later than Spring term two. This course comprises of three coursework units and one examined test, all equally split at 25% each.
Unit 2: Using ICT to create business solutions
This unit will enable learners to develop ICT skills that would equip them to operate effectively in a business environment. Students will use a wide range of applications that are commonly used in the workplace, schools, and in further and higher education. They will learn how to select the most appropriate software to complete tasks to meet specified business requirements in a variety of contexts.
Unit 5: Creating an interactive product using multimedia components
This unit will enable students to demonstrate their creative flair by combining multimedia components to create a vibrant, energetic or stimulating webpage, or interactive product. On completion of this unit, students will be able to show how the interactive product meets both the user needs and extends their capability within the use of applications software such as website development.
Unit 1 exam: Understanding computer systems
This unit will provide students with the underpinning knowledge and understanding required to use computer systems effectively. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the systems they use both at home and at school and will explore how these same technologies are used by business organisations. This is an externally-examined written examination, the only external assessment for this course.
Unit 7: Creating dynamic products using sound and vision
21st century technology such as gaming technologies, mobile phone apps, media marketing technologies and web-based technologies make great use of dynamic specialist technologies to differentiate their products for the end user. This unit will enable students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that would be expected in creative media industries such as advertising, music and online marketing.
Key Stage 5
Social media and digital marketing AS IT- Cambridge Technical
The Level 3 Cambridge Technical certificate in IT is popular and well regarded by universities. To study this course, students need practical IT skills and an interest in computing software and hardware, the web and technology. ICT is a perfect subject to develop problem-solving skills; students will need to be able to think logically and write clearly. The course will have a mixture of theory and practical work, so the ability to understand computer hardware would be useful too.
A variety of units can be chosen, depending on the offering by the exam board. Units cover many topics including:
- Cyber security
- Computer Networks
- Data analysis and design
- Project development
- Business computing
- Systems analysis and design
- Mobile Technology
- Software engineering for business
- Games design and prototyping
Examination Board: OCR