|Ian Flynn||Head of Faculty Computing|
Vision of Subject
As a faculty 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 do well in Computing.
- Create well rounded users and creators of Computer technology with a focus on independent problem solving skills.
- To engage pupils and expose them to a wide range of Computing skills which will empower them in whatever career path they choose.
The computing faculty 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.
In Years 7, 8 and 9 students are taught Computer Science in mixed ability classes for 1 hour a week. Assessments are completed every half term to 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 2020 they follow the OCR 2020 Syllabus (J277) currently year 11 follow AQA 2016 syllabus (8520) and year 10 follow OCR 2016 syllabus (J276). 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 Creative iMedia (J817), which is a vocationally related qualification that takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. They’re industry relevant, geared to key sector requirements and very 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 10 which can be resat in year 11 and the completion of three 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:
- Computer systems:
- Systems architecture
- Memory and storage
- Computer networks, connections and protocols
- Network security
- Systems software
- Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology.
- Computational thinking, algorithms and programming:
- Programming fundamentals
- Producing robust programs
- Boolean logic
- Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments.
Students who opt to follow the vocational course will complete the following units:
- R081 – Pre-Production Skills
- R082 – Creating Digital Graphics
- R083 – Creating 2D and 3D Characters
- R085 – Creating a Multipage Website
These units may change depending on availability of software and other resources.
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 2020
2019 – 2020 year 11
AQA Computer Science 8520
2019 – 2020 year 10
OCR Computer Science J276
Extra-curricular activities available:
- EEP Robotics Challenge Wednesday after school
- Revision sessions – Monday and Wednesday lunch
- Homework support – Tuesday and Thursday after school