Computer Science, Digital Applications and Use Of ICT
The ICT curriculum is changing rapidly as is our use if IT in society. We perceive our role as teachers of this subject as threefold:
- Use of ICT
The use of ICT systems supports and empowers us to be more efficient and make better decisions. Our aim with the delivery of ICT, is a cross curricular approach whereby we give our students the skills they require to be successful independent learners across a wide range of subjects. This could range from safe use of email or social networking sites in Year 7 to building complex Spreadsheet applications in Sixth Form.
- Computer Science
We develop students understanding of computational thinking though analysis of problems which includes: designing, writing and debugging programs.
- Digital Applications
We are all consumers of digital media. It is increasingly more important that students have the ability to understand how digital media is created and have the ability to be aware producers of digital media. Our 'Design Principles' are strongly embedded across our curriculum. Where we promote the creative use of digital applications, covering multimedia, imaging and website design.
We deliver 3 units in year 7. One from each of our subject aims. These units are new for September 2016 in light of changes to the national curriculum in KS2 and KS3.
- Term 1 – Use of ICT
- Term 2 – Computer Science
- Term 3 – Digital Graphics
In year 8 we build upon our 3 main aims from year 7.
Currently in Year 9 we work towards our own KCC Certificate of Achievement. Where students are regularly assessed against the Computing and ICT Curriculum and are awarded a certificate showing their achievement at the end. Students work on extended projects and complete a range of finished publications in each.
Students can choose to follow one of two paths in KS4. We currently deliver GCSE Computing (OCR), DiDa (Certificate of Digital Applications – Edexcel) Year 9 Students in 2018 will follow the new Tech Award in Digital Technology.
Computer Science – OCR
GCSE computer science enables students to:
- Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation.
- Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.
- Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.
- Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
- Apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.
Digital Applications Year 10 & 11– Edexcel
This course has been very successful for many years now, getting excellent results. We really like the way it teaches very good ICT skills while at the same time producing really effective independent learners. Students learn:
- Advanced Web Page creation
- Advanced Graphic Design
Vector & Bitmap Images
- Multimedia Creation
- Develop planning and independent learning skills
BTEC Tech Award in Digital Technology
This is an exciting new course practical course which gives students the opportunity to project plan a design and user interface build for an App. Additionally this covers essential ways that we can collect and store information, cyber security and effective digital working practices.
- Unit 1 – Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
- Unit 2 – Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
- Unit 3 – Effective Digital Working Practises
This year we will be delivering a new BTEC Extended Certificate IT to Year 12, BTEC Level 3 qualifications have proved popular with students and employers. They carry the same amount of UCAS points as traditional A Levels. The course has a one-year option (equivalent to AS), or two years (equivalent to A2).
BTEC Extended Certificate IT focuses on providing high level skills in areas such as spreadsheets, database, webpage authoring, graphics and programming. We know from employers and from ex-students that these skills prove very useful in the workplace and at University. The Wolf Report into vocational education states “most employers and higher education institutions are familiar with the long established Level 3 BTEC Nationals”. In comparison, traditional ICT A Levels tend to have a much greater focus on writing about ICT rather than learning advanced skills. In our experience, students prefer to learn ICT skills.