Computing and IT
Why study Computing & IT?
Take a look at the world around you. How close to a computer are you? When was the last time you used one? When was the last time you were creative with one? Life without computers is almost unimaginable. There’s nothing that doesn’t involve computing in some way. In the ICT & Computing department we look to provide an exciting and innovative curriculum. We regularly review the ICT & Computing curriculum to ensure that all our students develop up to date knowledge and skills fit for the 21st century workplace.
The aims of the Computing & IT Department
- To stimulate interest and enjoyment in the study of Computing and IT.
- Ensure that all students have a broad and balanced Computing and IT curriculum.
- To develop the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of Computing and IT.
- Ensure that all students have a programme which progresses from Year 7 to Year 11 as well beyond to Year 12 and Year 13.
- Encourage students to develop an understanding of the wider applications and effects of Computing and IT.
- Encourage students to solve problems through the use of information systems and associated principles and techniques.
- Provide students with a broad and balanced view of the range of applications and information systems and an understanding of their capabilities and limitations.
- To provide an opportunity for all students to achieve their potential through differentiated programmes of study.
- To provide experiences which are challenging, stimulating and where appropriate directly relevant to the present and future needs of the students.
- To provide learning activities which are varied in nature including: Practical tasks, Formal teaching, Interactive teaching, Project work and Group work
KS3 Computing & IT
In KS3 students will have two lessons per fortnight and will cover a range of topics that will help to develop their ICT skills and introduce them to computing concepts. Within KS3 Computing and IT lessons, students are introduced to Computing and IT through a clear framework of lessons that reflects the new Computing Programmes of Study. In Year 7 students will identify and describe a range of computer components and distinguish the difference between hardware and software. They will also cover the topic of E-safety and learn more about this important area to create their own webpages. Students are introduced to data collection, modelling and animation through enjoyable schemes of learning. In Year 8 and 9 students are further challenged to implement their IT skills to use a range of software and also introduced to the theoretical side of the subject. This will involve students learning and using a range of computer programming languages, algorithms and computational abstractions. The units of work will develop students’ ability to use their Computing and IT skills in a range of different contexts to solve more complex problems.
KS4 – GCSE
The Computing and IT Department offers two courses at Key Stage 4, catering to a wide range of student interests and learning preferences. The ICT courses place a strong emphasis on using computer applications to solve problems. The GCSE Computing course moves that emphasis to understanding and developing new software and goes to the heart of how a computer functions from the lowest level.
GCSE Computer Science (OCR) J277
Computer Science is a subject distinct from ICT in that the focus is on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding to create computer systems including software and applications in use on computers and mobile devices. This course teaches students to understand the fundamental concepts of computing and develop software applications to solve a range of problems. Students with a keen interest in solving abstract problems and logic will find this course highly engaging. The course is assessed through two written exam (weight at 50% of the course each) undertaken in year 11. Topics covered include practical programming projects using the Python programming language, computer memory and data storage, networking, hardware and software components and logic. Students should consider GCSE Computer Science if they wish to pursue further studies in computing or programming or a career in software or game development.
Cambridge Nationals Information Technologies Level 2 Certificate - J808
This qualification will teach the learner what different technologies could be used, why they should use them and how to make best use of them, to gather, store, manipulate and present data; this is known as data management.
They will learn about tools and techniques for use in different digital hardware and software technologies, and how these can be integrated to create digital solutions to manage and communicate data and information. They will also be taught what data and information are and the legal, ethical and moral considerations when using technology to gather, store and present data and information, and how to mitigate the risks of cyber-attacks. Through this qualification they will be able to select and use the most appropriate technology safely and effectively, to complete a data management task, such as a cable TV provider monitoring customers’ viewing to make recommendations for additional packages in the customer’s subscription.
They will also learn to follow a project life cycle of initiation, planning, execution and evaluation to complete a data management task and use their skills, knowledge and understanding of technology to complete each of the phases of the project life cycle.
The skills, knowledge and understanding they will develop through this qualification are very relevant to both work and further study.
KS5 – A-Level & Level 3
The ICT Department offers two courses at Key Stage 5, catering to a wide range of student interests and learning preferences. The A Level Computer Science course moves that emphasis to understanding and developing new software and goes to the heart of how a computer functions from the lowest level. The Cambridge Technicals in Information Technology course places a strong emphasis on using computer applications to solve problems.
A Level Computer Science (OCR)
The course is much more than just training in a programming language. The emphasis is on computational thinking. The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it. Computer Science involves questions that have the potential to change how we view the world. Experimental Computer Science can be done with computers whereby we can learn more about the natural world by observing the emergent behaviour of a colony of interacting software agents in a simulation. Computing is about designing new algorithms to solve new problems. This course, with its emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, scientific and engineering-based thinking, is a good foundation for understanding these future challenges.
The course is aimed at students who wish to develop a logical approach to solving problems and understanding the ways in which computer systems and developed. Students should be able to work independently applying their own analytical reasoning to solve both abstract and specific problems.
Cambridge Technicals in Information Technology
This qualification aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. You will gain an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, flow of information on a global scale, and the importance of legal and security considerations. Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Level 3 Cambridge Technical in IT focus on the requirements that today’s universities and employers demand.
You will take five units to achieve this qualification. There are three mandatory units that are externally assessed. These are the Fundamentals of IT, Global information and cybersecurity. The first two mandatory units provide learners with an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and important legal and security considerations. The third mandatory unit reflects an important development in the sector around information security and requires learners to consider how data should be protected and the response of the IT sector to emerging threats such as cyberterrorism.
You must then take two of the four optional units that are centre-assessed and moderated by OCR. The optional units include Project management, Product development, Systems analysis and design and the Internet of Everything.
This is a two-year course for students who wish to pursue a career in Information Technology and Computing, and are considering studying for a degree at University, or to progress to employment. The course offers the opportunity to explore a broad range of Information and computing subjects, enabling students to develop specialist areas in the IT sector.
ICT supports a number of pathways and could form a basis for progression into further learning, including: university courses, or employment where they can take further training in such areas as programming, computer science, systems analysis, communications, multimedia, software systems, and project management or hardware applications.
Computing supports a number of further education and career pathways and is very well respected academically and will be a strong support to students intending to study medicine, law, engineering, computing, foreign languages, physical sciences or maths based courses at university. As computing pervades all aspects of study and contemporary research, this course supports a very wide range of career paths at university in addition to those listed above.