Vision of Subject
As a department we believe that being a digital native and a mere user of technology is not enough and in order to succeed in a 21st century where technology changes so rapidly we need to understand how computers work.
With this in mind there are three criteria for computing teaching at KHS:
Create an environment in which all pupils enjoy computing and feel they can succeed in computing.
Create well rounded users and creators of computer technology with a focus on independent critical thinking skills.
To engage students and expose them to a wide range of computing skills which will empower them in whatever career path they choose.
The computing department at KHS believe that if students develop perseverance, resilience, and flow then they can develop a belief that they can do well in computing. This is best achieved by eliminating the misconception that computer science is too technical and difficult thus allowing our students to be able to push themselves and learn to enjoy the learning process despite the many challenges that they will encounter.
Statement of Intent
In computing, we aim to develop students with a broad knowledge of the three separate strands that are combined for the computing curriculum computer science, IT, and digital literacy. Computing teaches us how to solve problems by breaking them down into manageable components and developing our own original solutions. At Kirkby High School computing requires us to be both logical and creative in our approach to problem solving our curriculum is designed to be challenging and ambitious; it develops understanding of the science behind how computers work, the skills to be competent, effective, and safe exponents of using digital technology and how to become independent problem solvers. Ultimately the computing curriculum aims to give students a skillset and mindset to be successful in a number of different academic and career disciplines within the Information Age.
In Years 7, 8 and 9 students are taught Computer Science in mixed ability classes for 1 hour a week. Assessments are completed at the end of every topic track and monitor the progress of students in each subject. Feedback is provided to students in terms of What Went Well and Even Better IF. Targets for further improvement are then shared with students.
Throughout Key Stage 3 students will follow a curriculum covering the three aspects of computing which includes:
Computer Science – where students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Information Technology – where students are equipped with the skills to use information technology to create programs, systems, and a range of content.
Digital Literacy – where students learn to use IT to express themselves and stay safe when using technology.
At Key Stage 4 students have a choice to study Computer science or Creative iMedia.
Students who choose to study Computer Science as a GCSE; this is a subject that is counted towards the English Baccalaureate, have 3 hours a week and are working towards one GCSE qualification. From September 2021 they follow the OCR 2020 Syllabus (J277). They will be awarded a grade 1-9 following their GCSE examinations in the summer of Year 11.
The course is taught in mixed ability classes. Assessments to track progress are set regularly throughout each half term. With feedback being related to GCSE criteria to highlight areas of strength and development throughout the course.
The department uses a flipped learning approach to completing this course and homework is therefore set weekly and it is important students complete this homework each week.
Students can also choose to study Cambridge Nationals in IT(J836), which is a vocationally related qualification that takes an engaging, practical, and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. They are industry relevant, geared to key sector requirements and extremely popular with schools and colleges because they suit such a broad range of learning styles and abilities. This course is taught in mixed ability classes for 3 hours a week. Assessment is continuous with pupils receiving feedback on the skills they are working towards or have mastered.
The final assessment of this course is done with an exam in the summer of year 11 and the completion of two controlled assessment units. It is important to remember that once the controlled assessment has started then feedback for that unit is not permitted.
Students who follow the GCSE Computer Science course will cover the following topics:
Memory and storage
Computer networks, connections, and protocols
Ethical, legal, cultural, and environmental impacts of digital technology.
Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming:
Producing robust programs
Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments.
Students who opt to follow the Cambridge Nationals in IT (vocational) course will complete the following units:
R050 – IT in the digital world
R060 – Data manipulation using spreadsheets
R070 – Using augmented reality to present information
Overview of the Computing Curriculum
The topics students cover throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 are outlined in the link below:
Link to Specification
GCSE Computer Science
From September 2021
Extra-curricular activities available:
iMedia support Wednesday and Thursday