Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 pupils work on units which are mapped against the Computing Curriculum. They explore many different aspects of Computing and work is often project based, although discrete digital literacy skills are also taught.
Students explore computational thinking through class activities and the use of relevant software. In particular, FlowOl is used to model real world situations and to develop algorithms to control events. Programming is taught using Scratch, Kodu and in addition students explore some text languages such as HTML and Python. Internet searching and internet technologies form part of the new curriculum, and we put an emphasis on finding reliable and trustworthy information as this can be particularly challenging for those with dyslexia. Students also learn about hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and gain understanding of how these communicate with one another.
Theoretical learning is embedded within creative units, and so students are still developing skills such as video editing, podcasting (audio editing) and graphic design. The risks of ICT including internet safety and the use of social networking sites are explored through PSHEE as well as through computing lessons and assemblies.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students in Year 11 are currently completing the EdExcel GCSE ICT
This is a linear course; it is assessed at the end of year 11.
Students complete two units. Unit 1 ‘Living in a Digital World’ (worth 40%) is a theory unit that covers topics such as
- Digital devices
- Operating online
- Online goods and services
- Online communities
- And issues relating to ICT.
Unit 2 ‘Using Digital Tools’ (worth 60%) is a practical unit. Students use a range of digital tools and techniques to complete set tasks and produce high quality products. They also learn to reflect critically on their own and other’s work, and to work responsibly.
In Year 10, we are running the Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA).
Students complete two units. Unit 1 (worth 25%) Developing Web Products is a board set practical examination, completed on the computers. Students have to create a website using given content (text, pictures etc). They have to demonstrate specific skills as detailed in the exam (hyperlinks, rollovers etc).
Unit 2 Creative Multimedia is a coursework-based unit, where students work on a board-set assignment, covering a range of skills including animation, video editing, sound editing, graphics and web design. The project encompasses design, practical work, testing and evaluating.