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Computer Science

IT

Welcome to the ICT and Computer Science Department.

Our aim is to teach the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

Computer Science is learning about the internal parts of a computer and how they work together to make your computer run, the different types of software that helps you to use a computer, how to keep your computer safe from cyber-threats, the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of computers, problem solving using computers, how data is represented within a computer and Programming techniques and languages. Learning to program builds characteristics such as collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking and resilience

Throughout the Key Stages we continue to build on this knowledge and understanding so that our students are equipped to use Information Technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. They should also become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

KS3

Computer Science/ICT is now taught as a core subject in Years 7, 8 and 9.

The aim is to give the students a range of experiences, knowledge and skills for their options choices (Computing is offered at GCSE and A Level and IT at BTEC Levels 2 and 3) and support their skills in other subjects and for their life ahead.

Topics include:

In Year 7:

  • Using computers safely, effectively and responsibly / E-Safety
  • Computer Basics – Hardware & Software
  • Spreadsheets
  • Introduction to coding through Kodu (3D games development)
  • Computational Thinking

In Year 8:

  • E-Safety
  • Games Programming in Scratch (2D games development)
  • Introduction to Programming in Python
  • Understanding Computers (including Binary & Storage Devices)

And in Year 9:

  • E-Safety
  • Python – programming review and next steps
  • Revisiting Kodu & Scratch to link programming ideas learnt
  • Further Office Skills, to support subjects & life skills:
    • Presentations
    • Word Processing
    • Spreadsheets

KS4

GCSE Computer Science

The Computer Science course is both a creative and practical subject – students will be able to use the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom on real-world problems. It is designed to help students think about how technology is created and how people work together with computers to develop world-changing programs like Facebook, Spotify and eBay and will enable them to develop the skills that colleges, universities and employers are looking for; valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace.

 The course consists of three components:

COMPONENT 1 – Computer Systems. Exam Paper, 1.5 hours. Worth 50%.

Introduces students to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

COMPONENT 2 - Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming. Exam paper, 1.5 hours. Worth 50%

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation, including binary. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will be supported by the learner completing the Component 03 Programming Project.

COMPONENT 3 – A Programming Project. 20 hours producing a report under exam condition.

Students demonstrate and practice their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. In a controlled environment, they will define success criteria from a given problem and then create suitable algorithms to achieve success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan.

BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology (DIT)

The BTEC Award will raise your confidence in using ICT and plug potential gaps in digital skills and knowledge not covered by studying Computer Science. This is a creative and hands-on course that will give you a taste of what the IT sector is like, as well as the skills and confidence needed to succeed in it. You will produce a practical solution to a digital brief and gain a broad range of valuable skills for a future in the digital industry. It’s packed with modern digital content such as UI Design, Cloud Technologies, and Cyber Security for a broad introduction to the digital sector. You will develop a deeper understanding of the modern digital sector by:

  • developing technical skills and techniques
  • planning a realistic digital solution for a given brief
  • understanding modern concepts such as cloud computing and cyber security
  • appreciating the importance of ethics when working with data

Grading goes from a Level 1 Pass to a Level 2 Distinction*. The course consists of three components:

Component 1: Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques

How to project plan the design and development of a user interface. Students will:

  • explore user interface design and development principles
  • investigate how to use project-planning techniques to manage a digital project
  • discover how to develop and review a digital user interface.

How it's assessed: Internal assessment, 30% of qualification

Component 2: Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data

How to process and interpret data and draw conclusions. Students will:

  • explore how data impacts on individuals and organisations
  • draw conclusions and make recommendations on data intelligence
  • develop a dashboard using data manipulation tools (such as a spreadsheet)

How it's assessed: Internal assessment, 30% of qualification

Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices

Explore how organizations use digital systems and the wider implications associated with their use. Students will:

  • explore how modern information technology is evolving
  • consider legal and ethical issues in data and information sharing
  • understand what cyber security is and how to safeguard against it.

How it's assessed: External examination 1:30, 40% of qualification

KS5

GCE A Level Computer Science

The A-level Computer Science qualification is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing and the higher education community. Like the GCSE, the course is practical; students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It is a creative subject that combines invention and excitement and the qualifications will value computational thinking, help students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

This course also consists of three components:

Paper 1, Programming Theory and Skills, 2 hours 30 mins. Worth 40%.

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation

Paper 2, Computing Theory, 2 hours 30 mins. Worth 40%.

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming

In addition to these units, students will be required to complete a programming project which is worth 20% of the final mark. In this practical unit, students will need to analyse a problem and then design, develop and evaluate a solution.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in IT

Today’s BTEC Nationals are demanding, as you would expect of any applied learning qualification in the UK. You will have to complete a range of units, be organised, take assessments that the exam board will set and mark, and keep a portfolio of your assignments. Level 3 BTEC is not an easy option!

This qualification is designed for learners who are interested in an introduction into the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT.

Learners will develop a common core of IT knowledge and study areas such as the relationship between hardware and software that form an IT system, managing and processing data to support business and using IT to communicate and share information. They will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable learners to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors.

Learners will study four units:

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

  • External exam, written Paper (not on-line), worth 1/3 of the entire course
  • Digital Devices
  • Data Transmission
  • Operating Online
  • Protecting Data
  • Impact of IT Systems

Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information

  • Controlled assessment, worth ¼ of the entire course
  • Focusses on the creation of a Database System using Microsoft Access

Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business

  • Internally assessed coursework, worth 1/4 of the entire course
  • Explore the impact of social media on the ways in which businesses promote their products and services
  • Develop a plan to use social media in a business to meet requirements
  • Implement the use of social media in a business.

Unit 6: Website Development

  • Internally assessed coursework, worth 1/6 of the entire course
  • Selection of written coursework tasks as well as designing and building a website for a client.
  • Use of Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop to build, as well as developing coding skills in HTML and CSS.

 

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