Computing

Year 7

  • E-Safety

The Students are introduced to Computer Science by first looking at the dangers of using the internet and going online. This unit focuses on equipping students with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves online. Students will also explore the ethical and moral implications of using the internet.

  • Programming and Algorithms

Using a variety of project based learning, students will produce code to solve simple problems. They will code games that allow the user to interact with the computer and use variables to keep track of important information vital to the game. Students will look at ways of making their code more efficient through the use of looping or iteration. They will also look at how code can be used to select certain routines based on conditions being met.

  • Computer Systems

Students will look at the basic parts of a computer system. They are encouraged to “build their own” system from scratch and will visit the key parts of a computer system such as the Motherboard, CPU, RAM, ROM, Graphics Card, Sound Card etc.

Year 8

  • Number Systems

Students explore Binary and Hexadecimal number systems. They will understand why computers use Binary and Hexadecimal number systems and will perform basic binary addition. Students will learn how to convert between Denary, Binary and Hexadecimal numbers.

  • Computer Networks

Students will look at how computers can be linked together to form networks. They will learn the different types of topologies and the difference between LAN and WANs. Students will also investigate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of topologies.

  • Programming and Algorithms in Scratch

Once again, using a variety of project based learning, students will produce code to solve simple problems. They will code games that allow the user to interact with the computer and use variables to keep track of important information vital to the game. Students will look at ways of making their code more efficient through the use of looping or iteration. They will also look at how code can be used to select certain routines based on conditions being met. More emphasis is placed on the development of algorithms in Year 8 and students will be encouraged to plan out algorithms, code them, test them and modify them. Students will develop more confidence in tackling problems from a computational perspective.

  • Python

Students are introduced to a high level programming language and are encouraged to work collaboratively to solve problems using a text only syntax. Students will build on the programming ideas developed in Scratch and use Python to develop these ideas. Once again, students are encouraged to develop their ability to think computationally and develop, test and debug algorithms.

Year 9

  • Ethical, Legal, Environmental, Social and Cultural Issues

Students look at the future of Computing and investigate ideas around the rights and wrongs of computer technology. Big questions about how technology should be used and how it can benefit different societies and cultures are teased out. Students are encouraged about the future and how we can best sustain our environment when technology is moving at such a pace.

  • Systems Architecture

Students develop their understanding of what makes up a computer system. They spend time developing and building their own Computer System and look in detail at the roles of the key parts of a Computer.

  • Memory including secondary storage

Students will look at the differences between Primary and Secondary Storage and understand the need for these different types of storage in a Computer System. Students are encouraged to look at existing systems and analyse the memory capacity of these systems.

  • Computer Hardware

What are the main parts of a computer? What are the input devices? What are the output devices? How do these different devices interact with one another? All of these questions are answered in this unit.

  • Systems Security

Students will look at the ways in which organisations and businesses can keep their computers safe and secure. Physical security, Password Protocols, Levels of Access and Different types of security software are studied as well as the dangers and threats to computer systems

  • Systems Software

The students spend time investigating how computer systems software is essential to run a system. The role of the Operating system and the various utility software that come with it are covered too.

  • Networks

Students will revisit Networks and look at how Computer Networks can benefit an organisation. Students will take it in turns to create different types of Network topology and look at how Networks can be compromised.

  • Data Representation

Following on from the unit in Year 8, students will build on their understanding of how binary and hexadecimal numbers are used in Computer Science. Students learn about how ASCII, Bitmaps and Sound files and how Binary notation is used to represent these forms.

  • Computational Logic, Algorithms and Python

Students will work on Python based projects developing their ability to think in a logical and computational way. They will be required to analyse problems, break these down into sub problems and establish success criteria. They will be asked to write algorithms that help address the sub-problems they have identified and they will be encouraged to work independently to test their solutions and evaluate their success.

Year 10 and 11 - GCSE

The students are following the GCSE OCR Computer Science 9-1 J275 curriculum. This requires students to complete a piece of controlled assessment at the beginning of Year 11 which is worth approximately 20% of the final mark. The remaining 80% of the syllabus is devoted to two further units which are assessed in the terminal exam. The first is based on Computational Knowledge and theory and is worth 40% of the final mark. The last unit revolves around Computational Programming and again is worth 40% of the final mark.

In Year 10, students will complete the following theory based topics:-

Hardware, Networks, Software, Issues, Algorithms, Programming, Computational Logic, Translators and IDEs and Data Representation

In Year 11 students cover the controlled assessment and then prepare for the Final examination which takes place in May.