“Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.”
“Millennials, and the generations that follow, are shaping technology. This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices than any prior generation.”
Brad D. Smith
The Computing department delivers an exciting and challenging curriculum. At KS 3 students study Computing for one lesson a week in years 7 and 8. At KS 4, students can opt to take either GCSE Computing or Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Creative iMedia, a vocational qualification equivalent to a GCSE. Achievement is high and reflected in external examination results.
The Computing curriculum is delivered in three strands:
- Learning how to write programs.
- Designing and making interactive games.
- Creating Apps.
- Learning how to access and use digital technology.
- Understanding the impact of technology on the individual and society.
- Selecting and using a variety of software applications.
- Collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting information.
Subject Key Aims
- 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.
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 lesson of computing per week.
At KS4, students can opt for either OCR GCSE Computer Science or the Cambridge National Certificate in Creative iMedia
- Unit 1 – School Network and Email
- Unit 2 – E-Safety
- Christmas unit – Repeating Patterns
- Unit 3 – Binary and Control
- Unit 4 – Technology
- Unit 5 – Scratch programming
- Unit 6 – Spy School Spreadsheets
- Unit 7 – Adventure Story
- Unit 8 – Pivot Stick Animation
- Unit 1 – Flash animation
- Unit 2 – Networks
- Unit 3 – Python taster unit
- Unit 4 – Scratch programming
- Unit 5 – Hardware
- Unit 6 – Microbits
- Unit 7 – Software
- Unit 8 – HTML website creation
- Unit 9 – Do Aliens Exist?
GCSE Computer Science
This course gives you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming. It is a great way to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to further learning and to everyday life
To gain this qualification students study three units:
- Systems architecture
- Wired and wireless networks
- Network topologies, protocols and layers
- Network security
- System Software
- Moral, social, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.
Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
- Translators and facilities of languages
- High and low level programming
- Computational logic
- Data representation
- Current and emerging technologies.
This unit is designed to provide students with an opportunity to carry out a practical problem solving programming task using a high level language. Students are assessed on:
- Programming techniques
- Effectiveness and efficiency
- Technical understanding
- Testing, evaluation and conclusions.
- Computer Systems (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.
- Computational Thinking, Algorithms 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.
- Programming Project (20%) You will create solutions to computing programming tasks chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR (controlled assessment).omputer systems and programming
OCR Creative iMedia
Digital Media is a key part of many areas of our everyday lives and vital to the UK economy. Production of digital media products is a requirement of almost every business so there is huge demand for a skilled and digitally literate workforce. This qualification will help students develop specific and transferable skills such as research, planning, review, working with others and communicating creative concepts. The qualification’s hands-on approach has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.
Unit R081 – Preproduction Skills
This first unit underpins the other learning in this qualification. Students will learn about how to plan pre-production effectively including understanding of client requirements and reviewing pre-production briefs. They will use this knowledge in other units when they develop their own media products. This unit also provides excellent transferable skills such as project planning which will be useful in a wide variety of contexts.
Unit RO82: Creating digital graphics
Digital graphics are a key part of most digital products and this unit will help support other units in the suite. Students will learn the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector, considering client requirements that they learnt about in R081.
After studying this unit students will be able to:
- Understand the purpose and properties of digital graphics, and know where and how they are used.
- Plan the creation of digital graphics
- Create new digital graphics using a range of editing techniques
- Review a completed graphic against a specific brief.
Unit R085: Creating a multipage website
This unit enables students to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. Students will use their creativity to combine components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website against a client brief.
After studying this unit students will be able to:
- Explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multipage websites
- Plan and create a multipage website
- Review the final website against a specific brief.
Unit R086: Creating a digital animation
Whether used to entertain or inform, digital animation is used in a wide range of applications in the creative and digital media sector. In this unit students will plan and create a digital animation, learn about a range of techniques that fulfil the requirements of a client brief.
After study this unit students will be able to:
- Understand what animation is and identify where, when and why it is used
- Understand what digital animation is and identify where, when and why it is used
- Understand and use the tools and features of a digital animation program such as Flash, which allows for the creation of animated sequences suitable for use in multimedia productions
- Plan for and create digital animation sequences from a client brief.
Unit R081 Pre Production skills is assessed by exam paper, which will be taken in Year 10 and which will form 25% of the total marks.
All of the other units are assessed by practical coursework assignments, to be completed in lesson time.