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Computer Science

Why we teach Computer Science

Computer Science encompasses what we used to teach as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as computational thinking skills and digital literacy.  Also included is the effect of changing technology on society and keeping safe while using technology, especially on-line.

We aim to enable pupils to use technology safely and competently in the workplace, in their daily lives and to assist in their learning.

Skills learned include how to use everyday software packages such as word processing and spreadsheets in an efficient manner to solve problems.  Computational thinking teaches pupils to think logically and to sequence components of a problem in order to solve it.  We teach pupils that these skills can be applied to other problems, both in other school subjects and in real-life.

Knowledge learned includes the history of computing including its relevance to the development of modern society and its contributions to other fields.  Pupils learn about how computer systems work, including hardware and software, and how embedded systems pervade their everyday lives.  This learning helps pupils to see the potential careers for them and how their learning can be applied in the world of work.  Good practice in the use of technology also includes learning about the laws relating to its use.

Understanding how technology can be used, both for good and for bad, enables pupils to critically review their own interactions with technology and other users.  Pupils will be able to take steps to protect their identity on-line and interact with other people in a safe manner, knowing what actions to take if they have concerns about the safety of themselves or others.

In Key Stage 4 pupils choose one of two paths – either to take the study of computer science further as a GCSE subject or to follow our core provision, taught through cross-curricular links and a series of collapsed sessions.

By the end of Key Stage 4 we aim to have enabled all pupils to possess the basic skills that will enable them to function in the modern digital environments they will encounter in life, as well as the capacity to positively engage with future developments we cannot yet foresee.

KS3 Computer Science

Overview of content

Over the course of years 7, 8 and 9 students will learn how to safely and effectively use the internet, social media and other web based services. They will advance their coding skills in both block and text based programming environments studying Scratch and Python. Students will learn about the basic components of all computers and how the internet works. They will also develop strong skills using Microsoft Office products such as Word and Excel to support learning in other subjects. They will learn about digital media processing of images and video and begin to use modelling tools to create 3D structures.

Yr 7 Programme of Study

Unit

Topic

Detail

1 Introduction to our Computer Systems

Login / email / OneDrive

Students will learn how to access emails and how to copy files around the OneDrive system. They will also be encouraged to create folder structures to support work in other subjects.

Go4Schools

Students will ensure they can access subject related websites and both use their iPads and the computers to access their work.

2 CATS Testing

CATS testing

Over several weeks students will sit cognitive ability tests.

3 Programming in Scratch

Scratch

An introduction to this block programming environment

4 Bebras challenge

Bebras Challenge

Students will practise and then sit the national Bebras challenge which requires them to use logic and reasining to solve problems of increasing difficulty.

5 Hour of Code

Hour of Code

Students will participate in the worldwide hour of code initiative with students attempting tasks in varying activities.

6 Microsoft Office products

Word

An introduction to using Microsoft Word and OneDrive. Basic text formatting and use of tables.

Excel

Introduces basic operations includig simple formulae

Powerpoint

Introduces slide layouts, text anf slide formatting and animations.

7 Internet of things

Internet of things

Students explore the future application of greater connectivity between devices.

8 Digital Literacy

Finding balance in a digital world

Students gain an understanding of balancing their digitaal experiences with those in real life.

Privacy and Security

Students learn more about online security including phishing and how to spot it.

Chatting safely online

Understanding how to chat safely online and what to do if students feel uncomfortable with a communication.

Finding credible information

Understanding how to identify real from fake news.

9 Scratch programming

Scratch

Students explore block programming in much greater depth by creating a series of games of increasing complexity in Scratch

10 Networks and the Internet

Networks and Protocols

The first of a series of lessons involving the structure of the internet. This lesson focuses on networks and the rules involved in sending data

Networking hardware

Understanding the key hardware used in internet communication

Wired and wireless networks

Identifiying the differences and applications of wired and wireless networks

The Internet

what is the internet and how does it actaully work?

Internet Services

What are internet service and how do they work ?

The World Wide Web

What is the world wide web?

Yr 8 Programme of Study

Term

Unit

Topic

Detail

Autumn

1 Refreshing knowledge of our computer systems

Login / email / OneDrive /

Go4Schools

Students will recap how to access emails and how to copy files around the OneDrive system. They will also be encouraged to create folder structures to support work in other subjects. Students will also check that they have access to other systems such as Go4Schools

2 Digital Literacy

My Media World

Striking a balance between digital and real communications for students better well being.

My Social Media Life

Best use of social media and understanding when communications may be inappropriate

Digital footprints

What can be discovered about you from the internet?

Cyberbullying

Understanding what cyberbullying is and learning techniques to identify and dal with it.

3 Problem solving

Using Logo to solve problems

Exploring the program Logo as a basis for simple text based programming

4 Bebras challenge

Bebras Challenge

Students will practise and then sit the national Bebras challenge which requires them to use logic and reasining to solve problems of increasing difficulty.

5 Block Programming recap

Developing block  programming

Using EduBlocks and Scratch to extend block programming skills and visualise the links between block and text programming

6 Hour of Code

Hour of Code

Students will participate in the worldwide hour of code initiative with students attempting tasks in varying activities.

Spring

7 Microsoft Office products

Word

Recapping and extending skills used in year 7 to include using page numbering and styles,

Excel

Beginning to use more charts in addition to more complex formale.

Powerpoint

Using more sophisticated transitions and themes

Publisher

Exploring Publisher to see where this product should be used rather than

Word

8 Binary, boolean and logic

Binary

Introduction to binary numbers, their uses and how decimal numbers can be represented in binary.

Boolean

Exploring logic gates and how they can be combined to create simple logic circuits.

9 Computer

Architecture

Computer Architecture

This will give students an overview of the main elements of a computer's architecture.

Summer

10 Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Students have the opportunity to learn about narrow AI and general AI

11 Python

Introduction to Python programing

A series of lessons introducing text based programming using the Python language

12 Photo Editing

Photo Editing

Students get the opportunity to learn about photo editing using techniques such as cropping, contrast, redeye and filters.  They will also learn about layers to make collages.

13 Video Editing

Video Editing

Students learn to crop, add sound tracks and transitions. They also learn to pan across photographs to generate a movie.

Yr 9 Programme of Study

Term

Unit

Topic

Detail

Autumn

1 Refreshing knowledge of our computer systems

Login / email / OneDrive /

Go4Schools

Students will recap how to access emails and how to copy files around the OneDrive system. They will also be encouraged to create folder structures to support work in other subjects. Students will also check that they have access to other systems such as Go4Schools

2 Digital Literacy

Digital media and your brain

Students explore the effects of social media on individuals

Being aware of what you share

Students learn about what they are sharing on the internet and how this could be viewed by others.

Online hate

Students discuss material on the internet which offends including cyberbullying

3 Computational

Thinking

Developing Flowcharts and algorithms

Using online tools, students breakdown problems into flowcharts and algorithms

4 Bebras challenge

Bebras Challenge

Students will practise and then sit the national Bebras challenge which requires them to use logic and reasining to solve problems of increasing difficulty.

5 Programming

Extending block programming

Students recall block programming in Scratch with a complex task.

6 Hour of Code

Hour of Code

Students will participate in the worldwide hour of code initiative with students attempting tasks in varying activities.

Spring

7 Microsoft Office products

Word

Students revise their skills using Word and begin to use mail merge.

Excel

Knowledge of Excel is extended by using sorting, seraching and pivot tables.

Powerpoint

Recapping previous skills then extending to learn more advanced skills to create striking presentations.

8 Algorithms

Sorting and searching

Students learn and compare the basics of different sorting and searching methods

9 Python

Further Python programming

Students recap previous skills and extend to writing games in Python

Summer

10 Representing data

Representing data in computers

Exploring how numbers, letters, images and video are stored in a computer

11 Digital Media

Animation

Investigating animation techniques

12 Modelling

3D Modelling

Exploring and learniung to use 3D modeling

13 Web pages and

HTML

Create your own web page

Create your own web page in HTML

KS3 Homework

Homework will be set weekly and may be in the form of an online quiz, some research or work on a coding challenge.

KS3 Learning outside the classroom

There are many fantastic computing websites which pupils could use to improve their understanding of the subject. One excellent site is https://codecombat.com/ which encourages coding through games. Pupils can also practise their Scratch programming at https://scratch.mit.edu/ . Some simple turtle drawing can be found on https://turtleacademy.com.

KS3 Parental support and extension

To extend pupils knowledge of programming in Python parents can download Python from this website https://www.python.org/downloads/. Pupils will then be able to use the included IDLE editor to write and test Python programs.

A visit to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge (The Centre for Computing History - Computer and Video Game Museum - Cambridge) or the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park are also excellent ways to enhance the pupils’ learning.

KS4 Computer Science

AQA GCSE Computer Science (8525)

Overview of content

In Computer Science we aim to teach pupils an understanding of how computers work, from the functioning of the major hardware components, through computational thinking concepts and into using coding to write programs that perform specific functions.  We also teach about the role of computers and technology in the world of work and in society, including how they have changed our world, and how to ensure that they keep themselves safe.

Programme of Study

Year

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

10

Autumn - 1

Theory: Data types, binary numbers and addition, real world computing, reliability, environmental issues.

Practical: Introduction to python, maths and string operations, selection, iteration (FOR and WHILE).

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Autumn - 2

Theory: Legal considerations, algorithms, flowcharts, intro to pseudocode.

Practical: consolidation of python through a series of challenges

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Spring - 1

Theory: Structure charts, software development cycle

Practical: use of functions and procedures for efficient coding

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Spring - 2

Theory: More on pseudocode and algorithms, hexadecimal and ASCII

Practical: embedding more complex maths operations, coding of complex solutions using functions and procedures

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Summer - 1

Theory: Sound and image representation, dictionaries

Practical: External codes sources and their uses, databases

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Summer - 2

Theory: Testing, types of testing

Practical: use of text files as data stores (read/write)

Weekly homework tasks, some of which will be coding.  Pupils can download python for free at home (available for PC and Mac).

Quick quizzes in class.

Year 10 exam (date tbc)

11*

Please note this year 11

(2021-22) is different, due to Covid lockdowns.

Autumn - 1

Theory: ordering (sorting) and arrays, validation, error handling, structure charts, flowcharts, pseudocode, revision of topics covered in year 10

Practical: consolidation of programming skills in python

Weekly homework tasks related to the in-class learning.

Quick quizzes in class.

Autumn - 2

Theory: revision of topics covered in year 10

Practical: building larger programs using functions and procedures, text files etc.

All material covered in year 10 and up to this point may be included in the mock GCSE exam in November.

Spring - 1

Theory: Computer structure and components: CPU, memory.  Networks – types and protocols. Client-server relationships.

Weekly homework tasks related to the in-class learning.

Quick quizzes in class.

Spring - 2

Theory: web applications, databases, external code sources, logic gates.

Weekly homework tasks related to the in-class learning.  These are likely to be old exam questions in order to practise answering.

Quick quizzes in class.

Summer - 1

Consolidation of all topics of the syllabus, exam technique

Weekly homework tasks related to the in-class learning.  These are likely to be old exam questions in order to practise answering.

Quick quizzes in class.

Summer - 2

Period of Formal Examinations

 

Homework

We aim to set weekly homework tasks.  These may be in the style of question-answer, or the completion of research prior to a lesson on a specific topic, or a practical programming task.  Our programming (coding) is undertaken in python, a free piece of software available for pupils to download at home: Download Python | Python.org.

While the homework may be an hour of set work, we expect pupils to be exploring the world of coding for themselves as well.  Regular practice of python coding will very strongly assist your child in their learning of computer science; coding can be likened to throwing and catching a ball when younger – we all ‘drop the ball’ (make coding mistakes) but we need to become resilient and try throwing again (find the error and fix it).  The more pupils practise, the better they become at coding.

How it is assessed

Computer Science is assessed by means of two written exams sat at the end of the course.

Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

Each paper is worth half of the total marks for the course.

Learning outside the classroom

Pupils learn best by practising their skills; please encourage them to download python and ‘fiddle’ with it.  In this way they learn resilience, as well as lots of skills related to the coding itself.

Parental support and extension

Please encourage your child to complete all their homework, as this is an integral part of the learning.

Everybody is somebody