The Computing Department is situated within the B and E Block and has two dedicated computer suites to accommodate all timetabled lessons. The rooms are each equipped with 24 PCs, interactive whiteboard and projector, internet and email access and a range of software suites including Microsoft Office and Serif Applications.
Mrs L Park MacArthur House Progress Leader; Teacher of Computing
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
The Key Stage 3 Curriculum has been designed to satisfy the new National Curriculum for Computing and equip students with the skills required in this digital world. In Year 7 students receive one hour of computing a week. In 8 students are taught in mixed ability groups on a carousel basis. There is an option for Year 9 to choose Computer Science, this comprises of four lessons a fortnight and they learn the fundamental skills required should they decide to pursue the subject at KS4.
Our aim is that students become independent learners and confident users of ICT and Computing within a range of software programs where skills can be transferred and used in a variety of other subject disciplines. Students are encouraged to progress and develop their knowledge and understanding in a variety of units covering digital literacy, information technology and computer science. They will develop programming skills throughout the 3 years. Students are assessed in their work via a range of different methods.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Students have the opportunity to study GCSE Computing at Key Stage 4 where we use the OCR exam board and follow the GCSE 9-1 Specification Computing J276 (From 2016).
Within the theme of Computer Systems (01) students study the theory topics; ‘systems architecture’, ‘memory’, ‘storage’, ‘wired/wireless networks’, ‘network topologies’, ‘systems security’, ‘systems software’, ‘ethical, legal and cultural issues’. This is assessed with a written exam worth 50%.
In the theme of Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02) students study the topics; ‘algorithms’, ‘programming techniques’, ‘robust systems’, ‘computational logic’, ‘translators and facilitators of languages’ and ‘data representation’. As part of this students learn a variety of skills in programming using Python and are required to complete a 20 hour programming task that is submitted to the exam board (although does not contribute to their overall mark). This is assessed with a written exam worth 50%.
Classes are mixed ability based on option block choices and all assessment is finalised at the end of the two year course.
“Everyone should know how to program a computer because it teaches us how to think” – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, 1955-2011