Curriculum

Computing

KS3

At KS3 the school follows the National curriculum for Computing for KS3, with an emphasis on Digital Literacy, Information Technology and multimedia skills, and also the use of Visual Programming environments such as Scratch and Kodu to deliver core coding concepts.

Digital Literacy

Our students are expected to learn how to access and use a range of online tools and services to increase their creativity and productivity, including to learn how to be able to

  • know what the cloud is and how to utilise cloud services
  • be proficient in using a range of digital applications both online and offline
  • know how to transfer skills from one application to another
  • know how to use search engines effectively and efficiently
  • know how to identify accurate information in the digital world
  • use blogs, social networks and other online digital tools appropriately

Digital Citizenship

Our students are expected to learn how to be able to

  • be responsible and safe when using social networks, technology and other online tools
  • understand the range of possible dangers and risks they can face online
  • learn how to respond effectively in a range of  situations they may encounter online
  • understand the impact technology has on the world around them
  • consider the positive and negative effects of technology on their lives

Informational Technology and multimedia

Our students are expected to learn how to be able to

  • consider the importance of evaluating existing digital content
  • consider audience and purpose when designing and creating digital products
  • effectively combine text and images to produce effective digital products
  • edit, repurpose and combine digital elements.
  • self and peer evaluate their work
  • be effective when working independently and when collaborating as a  team

Computing

Our students are expected to learn how to be able to

  • create interactive games by using a visual programming language
  • understand and use a textual programming language and related terminology
  • understand the hardware components inside common technology devices
  • know what an operating system is and why it is used
  • understand the history of Computer Science, as well as key figures in history
  • understand what an algorithm is and why they are used
  • have a basic technical understanding of how  networks, the internet and search engines work

KS4

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11) the students are encouraged to build on their prior learning in KS3 and are offered a syllabus that best matches their skill set in order to maximise the best possible outcomes for all the students.

The current cohort of year 10 and 11 students are completing the Cambridge Nationals in Information Technology at Levels 1/ 2. This is an ICT qualification that aims to recognise and build on candidates’ vocational ICT skills, knowledge and understanding. It consists of two mandatory units - ICT sills for Business which provide students with a range of ICT skills suitable for many formal business settings, and a theory unit covering key ICT concepts. In year 11 students complete a choice of optional units such as animation and computer graphics. Assessment for both units is by formal moderation of the students’ portfolio of practical work.

We also hope to start offering The ECDL – the European Computer Driving license, a vocational IT qualification well respected by employers, as an additional qualification at KS4. It is also envisaged that as the new computing curriculum is embedded at KS3 that some students will be offered the opportunity in the future to study for computing courses at both entry level and at GCSE.

Resources

The school has a state of the art, high speed network infrastructure. All Students have access to a fast and reliable network with one station per student in each classroom, and each classroom is also equipped with up to date interactive whiteboards.

An up to date computing suite is equipped with both iMacs and brand new high spec PCS, which are equipped with a good range of industry standard software. A suite of iPads is also available for use in lessons. A fast broadband connection also allows pupils full and effective access to a broad range of online tools and services in a carefully filtered and monitored environment. All students have access to their own school e-mail address and SAM Learning.

All students in Year 7 study a unit on being safe online and the appropriate use of digital technologies, which is based on the nationally recognised “Think U Know” programme, amongst other resources.

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