Computing and ICT
Head of Department: Ms Valibhai
Exam Information: OCR GCSE Computer Science
“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”
― Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence
The objective of the Computer Science Curriculum is to dramatically improve the digital literacy of students from their starting points in year 7 in order to enable them to play an active role in the digital world that surrounds them, rather than being passive consumers of technology. In order to achieve this, in Computer Science we are focusing on four main power standards. These power standards can be deemed the most vital and most challenging content in the curriculum. The four power standards are:
1. Express ideas/arguments/problems by using the appropriate computational terms and notation.
2. Use inductive reasoning in arguments.
3. Devise solutions using use formulas and algorithms of computation.
4. Use technology safely, creatively, respectfully and responsibly.
From these power standards, the Computer Science curriculum has been engineered in a way to help pupils remember everything they are learning, and master the most important content; it is designed to be remembered in detail; to be stored in our students’ long-term memories so that they can later build on it forming ever wider and deeper schema. The content covered at KS3 and KS4 is outlined below:
All students follow a course of study that develops their technical knowledge, problem solving skills as well as digital literacy. Essential online safety and digital-hygiene considerations are covered before developing the students’ competence and confidence in a variety of IT and Computer Science related areas. Content covered is outlined below:
Year 7 Units of Study:
e-Safety; Understanding computers; Cyber-security and networking; HTML and web-development.
Year 8 Units of Study:
Sound editing; Introduction to databases; Introduction to programming (Small Basic).
Year 9 Computational Thinking Programme:
This is a foundational ‘Computational Thinking’ course that covers principles and concepts such as: algorithms, programming techniques, defensive design considerations and human computer interaction. This programme helps students to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, computational logic and algorithms; analyse problems in computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve a problem.
Knowledge and understanding of the content is assessed through written exams every term.
In year 9, students also complete a practical programming project which requires students to demonstrate solutions to problems in algorithmic form.
This is an optional subject.
Year 10 Units of Study:
Component 1 (Computer Systems): systems architecture, memory, storage, networks, system security and system software.
Component 2 (Computational Thinking): standard algorithms, computational logic, and data representation.
Qualification Structure: click to view.
Year 11 Units of Study:
Component 1: ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns relating to technology.
Component 2 (Computational Thinking): advanced programming techniques, robust/defensive programming, and translators/facilities of languages.
Component 3: Practical Programming Project.
Qualification Structure: click to view.
Year 11 – Two written examinations, both worth 50% of the GCSE in May/June.
Subject specific websites to support independent learning:
Subject guides and cultural capital:
All KS4 students are provided bespoke revision guides and workbooks at the start of the course.
Students are encouraged to read widely around the subject. This extended reading might include:
* Computational Fairy Tales
* Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
Extracurricular visits range from visiting the Science Museum to Bletchley Park.
In both KS3 and KS4 students are provided with a piece of written feedback every 5-6 lessons.
Teachers use literacy codes as well as reference to the power standards in order for students to make maximum progress. These reflect the GCSE examination criteria in both content and language accuracy.
Students also receive various other forms of feedback throughout their lessons. These include but are not limited to: Oral feedback from your teacher individually or as a class, whole class feedback on a feedback crib sheet, peer assessment (including your weekly vocabulary tests), questioning in class, exit tickets and end of term assessment.