Computing & ICT

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pc-computer-with-monitorI think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing.” Alan J Perlis (USA – Influenced advanced programming techniques and compiler construction).

The Computing department delivers an exciting and challenging curriculum. At KS 3 students study Computing for two lessons a week in years 7 , 8, and 9. At KS 4, students can opt to take either GCSE Computing or GCSE ICT. Achievement is high and reflected in external examination results.

Students will study the three strands of computing:

Computer Science

  • learn how to write programs.
  • design and make interactive games.
  • create Apps.

Digital Literacy

  • learn how to access and use digital technology.
  • understand the impact of technology on the individual and society.

Information technology

  • select and use a variety of software applications.
  • collect, analyse, evaluate and present information.

Subject Key Aims

Students will:

  • Understand and apply fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms, and data representation .
  • Analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve them.
  • Critically evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, to solve problems.
  • Be able to become responsible, competent, confident, and creative users of information and communication technology.

Curriculum Overview

The computing curriculum at Lowton has been developed so that our students leave with the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives.

Through the new programme of study for computing at KS3, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, they will develop their ideas using technology, and create a range of digital content. Our students have one hour of computing per week.

At KS4, students can opt for either OCR GCSE Computing or WJEC GCSE ICT. 

Year 7

Topics/skills:

  • Unit 1 – Email
  • Unit 2 – Binary and Control
  • Unit 3 – Technology
  • Unit 4 – Spy School
  • Unit 5 – Repeating Patterns
  • Unit 6 – Adventure Story
  • Unit 7 – Online Safety
  • Unit 8 – Pivot Stick
  • Unit 9 – Analysing Data and Asking Questions

Year 8

Topics/skills:

  • Unit 1 – Networks
  • Unit 2 – Scratch
  • Unit 3 – Microbits
  • Unit 4 – Analysing Data and Asking Questions
  • Unit 5 – Fair Cop
  • Unit 6 – Flash
  • Unit 7 – ICT in Shops
  • Unit 8 –  Web Authoring (HTML)
  • Unit 9 – Do aliens exist

Year 9

Topics/skills:

  • Unit 1 – Python and Algorithms
  • Unit 2 – ICT in Shops
  • Unit 3 – Hardware
  • Unit 4 – Software
  • Unit 5 – Flash
  • Unit 6 – Microbits
  • Unit 7 – Web Authoring (HTML)
  • Unit 8 – Lake Garda Project

GCSE ICT

Topics/skills:

Unit 1: Understanding ICT

This unit will cover the following:

  • Knowledge of ICT Components.
  • Data and Information.
  • Digital Communications Methods in home and school contexts.

Unit 2: Solving Problems with ICT

This unit will cover the following:

  • Communications Software
  • Presentation Package
  • Information Handling Package
  • Spreadsheet Package

Unit 3: ICT and Organisations

This unit will cover the application of ICT in business and industry.

Unit 4: Developing Multimedia Solutions

This unit will cover the following:

  • Using Graphics
  • Using Digital Video and Sound
  • Using Multimedia Assets to create websites

Assessment

There are two controlled assessment units worth 30% each and two external exam worth 20% each.

  • Unit 2 and 4 are controlled assessment tasks.
  • Unit 1 and 3 are written examinations and each will be assessed by a one and a half hour paper.

GCSE Computing

Unit 1: Computer systems and programming

This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems. You will develop your understanding of:

  • how computer systems work, including the functions of their individual components
  • methods of storage and their suitability for different tasks
  • types of memory and their functions
  • the functions of operating systems and utility programs
  • how the Internet and other communication networks function
  • the relevance of different number systems in computing
  • the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental implications of computer use
  • current and emerging technologies

Unit 2: Practical investigation

This unit is designed to provide you with an opportunity to carry out a practical investigation into a computing issue and allow you to understand how computing is used in the real world.

Unit 3: Programming projects

This unit covers:

  • standard programming techniques
  • designing a coded solution to a problem using the programming language Python, before developing it and testing the solution

Assessment

  • Computer systems and programming (40%) This is assessed by a written exam paper of 1 hour 30 minutes. There will be a mixture of short and long answer questions, some of which require you to write program code.
  • Practical investigation (30%) This will be on a topic chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR (controlled assessment).
  • Programming project (30%) You will create solutions to computing programming tasks chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR (controlled assessment).

 

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