Ercall Wood Technology College

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ICT

The digital age has seen the web, interactive whiteboards, virtual learning environments, video conferencing, blogs, wikis, podcasts, video and mobile devices have a transformative impact on both learning and teaching. Using technology draws on and enhances pupils’ digital skills, and has opened up subject areas previously unavailable to many pupils.

The new National Curriculum for Computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programs of study for Computing, students will learn how computers and computer systems work. They will design, write, debug and test programs, they will develop their ideas using technology and create a range of digital artefacts.

The Royal Society has identified three distinct strands within Computing, each of which is complementary to the others with each component being essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

o    Computer Science is the scientific and practical study of computation: what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.

o    Information Technology is concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work, and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.

o    Digital Literacy is the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.

The creation of digital artefacts will be integral to much of the learning of Computing. Digital artefacts can take many forms, including digital images, computer programs, spreadsheets and 3D animations.

The Computing curriculum brings new teaching opportunities to sit alongside those familiar from the ICT program of study. There is an increased emphasis on Computer Science; not only on how to use technology, but on how to make it and how it works. Planning needs to bring together the three strands of computing (CS, IT and DL) and there are many opportunities to have exciting and creative lessons whilst exploring computational theory (Naace 2006 – 2014).

At Ercall Wood we cater for all these needs by developing a curriculum that allows students to explore Computing, practice skills and develop ideas about how to use computers and ICT to enhance their social, economic, cultural and moral well being. Through computational thinking students start to think like a computer scientist. Understanding how computers work and being able to use them creatively gives pupils the power to shape the world around them.

Mr D Newton

Mr D Andrews

Mrs A Weaving

 

Key Stage 3

Promoting excellence through challenge and initiative is embodied in our subject curriculum. Our students become successful, independent learners who enjoy learning and making progress. We aim to produce confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

Year 7 students are introduced to Computer Science through the visual modular programming languages of Scratch and Kodu. Digital Literacy is catered for through a research and presentation project on Internet Safety that includes online research and the safe use of ICT. The results are presented in a website that the students create using HTML. Mathematics, data organisation and business knowledge are covered in the use of spreadsheets.

Year 8 students learn more about how computers work with binary and Boolean logic forming the foundation of the study that then steps through computer hardware and peripherals into the basics of computer programming notation using flow charts. Programming skills are further developed using Python. Computational Theory is introduced to help students understand how the 1’s and 0’s are used within the computer to represent images and data and how data is stored, processed and filtered to present information to the user.

There are extended curriculum opportunities for high ability students to further their knowledge and understanding which include Microbit coding, advanced flow charts, sound production and data compression techniques.

Key Stage 4

Year 9: Study has a heavy focus on computer programming with the extension of Python, introduction of Javascript and understanding of HTML for website production. The curriculum is supporting their creativity using ICT in the Movie Making and animation modules of study.

Year 10: students are preparing to complete the Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA). This course will give students the tools to analyse, understand and control the technology that surrounds them. It will not teach them how computers work …It will show them how to use ICT effectively and safely and to appreciate the implications of their actions.

CiDA is a single award with 120 Guided Learning Hours (GLH). It is equivalent in size to a GCSE and graded A*-C. Learners who successfully achieve CiDA at Level 2 will be awarded grades A*-C, which are equivalent in value to GCSE grades A*-C.

Unit 1 -Developing Web Products: This unit consists of a practical exam (30 GLH.) The weighting for this unis is 25%. This unit aims to give students the and skills they need to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and a good knowledge of navigation features. Students will demonstrate ability to design, build and test a web product in a practical computer-based examination.

Students will then be completing Unit 2 in Creative Multimedia as coursework. This coursework will be 75% of the overall grade. There is 90 GLH for the coursework.

Key Stage 4: Computer Science:

Year 9: There are four key techniques to computational thinking:

  • Decomposition - breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts
  • Pattern recognition – looking for similarities among and within problems
  • Abstraction – focusing on the important information only, ignoring irrelevant detail
  • Algorithms - developing a step-by-step solution to the problem, or the rules to follow to solve the problem

Each cornerstone is as important as the others. They are like legs on a table - if one leg is missing, the table will probably collapse. Correctly applying all four techniques will help when programming a computer. In Year 9 students are given a deeper understanding of Computational Theory and the four different sections are explored in detail. In addition, we study computer hardware, software and networking.

Year 10 and 11: AQA Computer Science

Exams from: June 2018 / Specification code: 8520 / QAN code: 601/8301/9

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

Subject content

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of data representation
  4. Computer systems
  5. Fundamentals of computer networks
  6. Fundamentals of cyber security
  7. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
  8. Aspects of software development
  9. Non-exam assessment

Assessments

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving

What's assessed

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Questions

A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills.

Paper 2: Written assessment

What's assessed

Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3–7 above.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Questions

A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.

 

Non-exam assessment

What's assessed

The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content above.

How it's assessed

  • Report: totalling 20 hours of work
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of GCSE

Tasks

The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.

 

Website Links Scratch information: https://scratch.mit.edu/

Kodu information: http://www.kodugamelab.com/

Code Academy: https://www.codecademy.com/

Code Avengers: https://www.codeavengers.com/