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Computing

Rapid developments in Computing and ICT are fuelling fundamental changes in society and impacting on the lives of everyone.  It is hard to imagine a life without computers as we have become immersed in what is often referred to as the “digital age”.  For this reason, it is vital that all of our students gain a core set of practical skills as well as a deeper understanding of how computers work. 

As a school, we acknowledge the importance of Computing through providing core lessons in Years 7 and 8 as well as providing an option to study Computing GCSE as part of a twilight Gifted and Talented student option.  We also offer a compulsory qualification in ICT to assist our students in gaining a solid range of practical skills and to have them externally validated.

Within the department, we aim to develop independent and flexible learners who can confidently engage with a variety of aspects of Computing and ICT both in and out of school.  This will enable them to develop into more confident and productive individuals whilst also helping them to gain valuable skills for life.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8) students have lessons for 1 hour per week and follow a scheme of work which has been developed in-house in order to implement the National Curriculum requirements.  We take a creative and cross curricular approach to learning in Key Stage 3 which mainly focuses on the development of an understanding of how computers work and what Computing is.
Some of the topics studied include: visual and textual programming, computer systems, computer networks, data handling, website development and computer applications.

Assessment
Students will receive a variety of ongoing feedback on their work as well as a summative assessment of their progress at the end of each project.  This assessment will be based on the requirements of the National Curriculum and an attainment level will be awarded.  Homework will also be issued in accordance to the Homework Timetable – usually fortnightly.
Details of the assessment requirements for each project can be found on Fronter.

To support your daughter’s learning it is recommended that you:

  • If possible, provide your daughter with access to a computer with Office type software installed, Scratch, Alice and Python (NB Scratch, Alice and Python are available for free online).
  • Regularly ask your daughter about what she has been doing in Computing and get her to demonstrate the skills she has learned.
  • Assist your daughter in meeting homework deadlines and catching up with work missed if absent from lessons.

Key Stage 4

We offer the GCSE in Computer Science (OCR) in order to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. This course has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage students and get them thinking about real world applications of Computer Science.  It promotes creative and critical thinking as well problem solving skills. 

Unit 1

Computer systems
Paper based external examination lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 2

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Paper based external examination lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 3

Programming Project
A non examined assessment (NEA) which takes place during timetabled lessons.

To support your daughter’s learning in Computer Science, we recommend that you:

  • If possible, provide your daughter with access to a computer with Python installed at home so that she can practice her programming.
  • Regularly ask your daughter about what she has been doing in Computing and get her to demonstrate the skills she has learned in order to reinforce her learning.
  • Be familiar with the deadlines for your daughter’s course deadlines and help her to meet them.


Extra Curricular

The main computer room and the library computers are available both before and after school each day to allow students to use the ICT facilities for school related activities.  A range of hardware is also available such as scanners, printers and digital cameras.  Support is also available to those experiencing some difficulties.

As part of our Gifted and Talented provision we also run “masterclasses” to stretch and challenge students.  We also offer support sessions as and when required for our GCSE and A-Level students and have linked with local Primary Schools as part of our Year 6 transition programme.