Curriculum

Computing

Intent


To equip students with the skills to become confident leaders and innovators of Computer technology in order to participate in a rapidly-changing world.

Enacting Our Vision

The Computer Science curriculum aims to achieve this, as Sir Ken Robinson said; in the 21st century people need to be able to ‘adapt, see connections, innovate, communicate and work with others.

To become disruptive solution providers; students will develop an understanding and application in the fundamental principles of Computer Science by developing their:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Problem Solving and Programming skills
  • Creative skills
  • Oracy

Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and imagination are encouraged, students are expected to apply the academic principles they have learned to the understanding of real-world systems. This enables students to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that students have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this. 

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident, and creative users of information and communication technology.

In Computer Science we are dedicated to ensuring our students leave with the skills to fully embrace a future of rapidly advancing computer technology.

KEY STAGE 3

  • To be able to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems. To be able to Computational skills to solve real-world problems.
  • To be able to understand key algorithms that reflect computational thinking e.g linear and binary searching, bubble sort, merge sort, insertion sort and use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.
  • To be able to program in a minimum of two programming languages (block and text based) to solve a variety of computational problems.
  • To have an understanding simple Boolean logic [AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming. To understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers.
  • To understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system. To have an understanding how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.
  • To be complete projects using and combining multiple applications, across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.
  • To be able to create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
  • To be able to understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns

YEAR 7

In Year 7 we will concentrate firstly on Digital Literacy skills; Basic Office skills using E-safety context. The reason for this is that students arrive at St Joseph’s bearing various levels of skills and a lot of students have only had access to Apple iPads at primary school. This unit helps students to be confident in using Microsoft Office Suite and have a clear understanding of selecting the correct piece of software to complete a given task. Using the E-Safety context, students will develop their Digital Citizenship skills; they would be able to use the internet safely. This also allows for quick assessment and judgement of the gaps in students practical ability from the start. The reason for this is because as young people begin to transition into teenagers, they become more confident with using social media applications and the internet.  Students need to be aware of the dangers of using these gadgets and applications.

The remaining Units we do throughout Year 7 are Computer System: components of a computer: exploring the hardware that is inside a computer; they will then move onto looking at the Software; and finally the Operating system. We then look at Computational thinking skills which focuses on problem solving, writing algorithms. This sets students up for basic programs skills using Scratch, this is then linked to Python Turtle using PRIMM pedagogy which gives a smooth transition between block and text-based programming.

YEAR 7 CONTENT

Unit 1: Digital Literacy using E-safety content

Unit 2: Computer Systems 1

Unit 3: Computational Thinking

Unit 4: Visual Programming (Programming a Game of their choice)

Unit 5: Text Programming 1 (Python Turtle)

Unit 6: My Digital World 1

Year 7 Computer Science Curriculum Map and SOW

YEAR 8

In Year 8 we look at My Digital World 2; sorting out folders; reviewing Year 7 My Digital World 1; learning the key skills of The Internet and the Web; and finally effective researching skills and reliability of websites. This allows us to develop our students’ knowledge and understanding of the World Wide Web equipping them for the world of work. In addition to this, we study a range of units; mainly looking at creating a website using HTML& CSS, then Spreadsheet Modelling which is useful in the world of work. This is followed by Data Representation which is the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science; looking at Binary, how text, images and sound are presented as Binary and Logic gates. Students then continue exploring more programming skills using PRIMM pedagogy for Python Programming. 

YEAR 8 CONTENT

Unit 1: My Digital World 2

Unit 2: Web Programming

Unit 3: Data Modelling (Spreadsheet)

Unit 4: Computer System 2 (Data Representation and Boolean Logic)

Unit 5: Text Programming (Python)

Unit 6: Computer Systems 3: Networks and Cyber Security

Year 8 Computer Science Curriculum Map and SOW

KS3 Extra Curricular

Cyberfirst Girls Competition – building the next generation Cyber security experts to meet the government initiative to meet the shortage.

iDEA: The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.

Through series of online challenges, students can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help them stand out from the crowd.

AWS Get IT: Is a competition that 3-7 students (at least 50% girls to qualify) will design and create an ‘app for good’ which makes real, tangible social change within their school and community. To build practical digital skills and relevant work experience.  The aim of the program is for students:

  • To learn more about technology as a possible career option from industry experts.
  • To feel empowered to break down gender stereotypes.
  • To gain confidence and presentation skills

To consider a career in IT and app making.

YEAR 9

In year 9 students will look at 2 areas: Theory (Component 1) and Programming (Component 2).

Computer Systems Theory: students we will concentrate firstly on Back to the Future; where they look at Leaders of Computer Science like; Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Ava Lovelace, Charles Babbage, George Boolean, Alan Turing to inspire them to become innovators. They look at Computer Science Careers. Then they will start the OCR Syllabus; Hardware: Systems Architecture, Memory, Networks then Software: System Software, Cybersecurity and Ethical Issues.

Algorithms and Programming: students will review Computational Thinking skills they learnt in Year 7, then the 3 Programming Constructs which is followed by writing Algorithms using Flowchart and Pseudocode. They are then move unto Trace tables, then Python Basics. Students will also do simple animations using Blender, then go back to Advance Python programs.

YEAR 9 CONTENT

Computer System Theory

Algorithm and Programming

Unit 1: Back to the Future

Unit 2: Systems Architecture

Unit 3: Memory

Unit 4: System Software

Unit 5: Networks & Cybersecurity

Unit 1: Algorithms

Unit 2: Python Basic

Unit 3: Animations 2D, 3D

Unit 4: Data Representation

Unit 5: Python Advance

Year 9 Computer Science SOW

KEY STAGE 4

YEAR 10 and YEAR 11

Computer systems – Theory Paper 1
  • Systems Architecture – How a computer processes data in the form of Von Neumann Architecture.
  • Memory – The different types of memory – RAM, ROM, Virtual Memory & Flash
  • Storage – The typical storage devices used by computers – Optical, Magnetic and Solid State.
  • Wired and wireless networks – How data is transferred across networks and the components which make up these networks.
  • Network topologies, protocols, and layers – The two main network topologies, protocols in networking and the different layers of sending data over a network.
  • System security – Common types of attacks/viruses and prevention methods.
  • System software – Common built-in software used to enhance the performance of the computer system.
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns – Ongoing issues regarding computer systems in the world.
Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – Theory Paper 2
  • Algorithms * - To be able to write and recognise both searching and sorting algorithms including Bubble Sort, , Merge Sort, Insertion Sort, Linear Search and Binary Search
  • Programming techniques - Understand the three main programming concepts – Iteration, Selection and Sequence, as well as SQL, Data Types ….
  • Producing robust programs – To be able to write programs in pseudocode to solve problems. This will include understanding systems life cycle and each element involved in it.
  • Computational logic – Students will know how to calculate Truth Tables from the three main logic gates, AND, OR, NOT
  • Translators and facilities of languages – Students will be able to identify and understand the difference between Low and High Level Programming.
  • Data representation – Students will be able to complete mathematical calculations in Binary, Hexadecimal and will be able to calculate file sizes of images and sound files using formulae.
Programming Project – Due to change to online Exam for 2021.

This is a practical project used to enhance skills for paper 2. Although completed on the computer it needs to be done as an independent report and requires students to personally develop their programming skills outside of the classroom as well as within.

The areas covered are:

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions
ICT - OCR Cambridge Nationals Creative iMedia

The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip students with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others, being able to stick to deadlines and targets and communicating creative concepts effectively.

With these skills, students will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products. The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will also challenge all students, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum. Students who are interested in the user experience element of technology are developed: Creative digital industry, game, graphics, web design and Media.

 

Mandatory Units

R081

Pre-Production

An exam focused pre-production theory and best practise: moodboards, visualisation diagrams, work plans

1.5h Written Exam Year 10

Content taught in Year 9

25% of the course

R082

Digital Graphics

A compulsory coursework project looking at design and purposes of digital graphics and designing a graphic to meet a client brief

Coursework Year 10

Content taught in Year 9 (Practice Project)

25% of the course

Externally marked

Any of the 2 Optional Units

R085

Web Design & Development

Coursework project number 2: exploring websites and designing and creating a site to meet a client brief

Course work Year 10/ 11

Internally marked / externally moderated

25% of the course

R087

Creating interactive multimedia products

Coursework project number 3: This unit will enable students to understand the basics of interactive multimedia products for the creative and digital media sector.

Course work Year 11

Internally marked / externally moderated

25% of the course

 

R091 Digital Game Design / Animation

Coursework project number 3: exploring either Digital Games or Animation and creating a product to meet the brief given

Course work Y11

Internally marked / externally moderated

25% of the course

 

Year 10 Computer Science SOW

Year 11 Computer Science SOW

A LEVEL COMPUTER SCIENCE YEAR 

Component 01: Computer Systems - 40%

Students are introduced to the internal workings of the (CPU), data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin their work in component 03.

It covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
  • Data exchange between different systems
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.
Component 02: Algorithms and programming – 40 %

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving.

It covers:

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)
  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.
Component 03: Programming project – 20%
  • Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science. We support a wide and diverse range of languages.

CAREERS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

For information on careers in Computer Science please see the below document:

Careers in Computer Science

CONTACT US

For further information regarding Computer Science please contact the following:

  • Ms Ebi Buck (Head of Computer Science) - e.buck@st-josephs.slough.sch.uk