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Computing

Computing -  Head of Department: Ms J Papa

Overview

The computer science curriculum enables students to think logically and make sense of the world around them. Computer science helps students to learn a new and fundamental way of thinking and problem solving, and provides them will skills to be able to think logically.

The National Curriculum for Computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science, including logic, algorithms, data representation and communication.
  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

KS3 Curriculum

The curriculum for KS3 from years 7 to 9 will introduce students to the fundamentals of computer science (how computers work), latest technologies (Artificial Intelligence and the future of computing technologies), data representation in computers (binary arithmetic) and computer networks. The students will also learn how to create a website using HTML, learn the language of python programming to create a Chatbot. They will learn and understand about staying safe online and e-safety will be taught each year, relevant to their age group.

GCSE Computer Science

 Exam Board: OCR

This three unit course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. Assessment is based on written exams (Component 1- 50%; Component 2 - 50%) as well as a programming project to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 1 and 2. 

Component 1: Computer systems (Exam Paper 50%)

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

  • Systems architecture, memory and storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Systems software and security
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

 

Component 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (Exam Paper 50%)

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • Logic and languages
  • Data representation

Programming Project

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

Students should be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course.

 

September 2019