At St Edward's we believe each student should leave school with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the modern world. We are teaching a computing curriculum which supports students from Year 7 until they finish school in Year 13.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all students have a discrete computing lesson once a fortnight in a specialist computer suite. In Year 9 students have two lessons per week, for a half term. Within these lessons they develop their skills in using a range of software packages, learn how to apply these across the curriculum as well as in their daily lives. Students complete interesting projects, for example, spreadsheet modelling, using simple computer control tools to make computer games, learning how to search the web, e-safety and creating multimedia and interactive projects. Students also get a chance to learn how to program Micro bits.
Students learn essential skills covering the following:
- Online safety and legal issues
- Data representation Binary and characters
- Programming Scracth / Microbit / AppInventor
- Digital literacy including Photoshop and spreadsheets
- Computer networks
- In depth data representation Binary, Hexadecimal, Decimal, Sound and Boolean logic
Key Stage 4
Our World is on the cusp of a new epoch: The Internet of Things. Computer Science students will be immersed in this new emerging world and shown how it is being built so that they can join in at its conception.
Firstly, what is the difference between ICT and Computer Science? In summary Computer Science is applied Maths whereas ICT is applied English. Computer Science enables you to become a digital producer - write software, understand computer hardware, design networks, etc., whereas ICT enables you to be a digital consumer - use existing software effectively to produce professional business documents and multi-media artifacts. Creativity and an interest in all things Computer Science is required alongside perseverance and tenacity. Students will be challenged and they will need to be able to overcome problems independently.
The reward for studying this course is a passport to the future. Just as Maths and English are the keys to open most doors, Computer Science is fast becoming recognised by employers as an essential skill set to enable them to work effectively in the 21st Century.
The current theory module topics are as follows:
Data representation, computer hardware, software development, databases, security, computer communications and networking.
Method of Assessment
Exam Board: OCR
Unit 1: Computer Systems exam (40%)
Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming exam (40%)
Unit 3/4: Programming project - Non-exam Assessment (20%)
Pathways after Year 11
Computer Science is an ever expanding industry, touching or enveloping all others as it does so. It is an area where experience is respected equally with academic qualifications so apprenticeships at all levels are highly valued. Computer Science students are enabled to get careers that are financially rewarding. Also, as there are broad opportunities from developing solutions that remove physical or mental barriers for disabled people, to enabling the growth of more food or enabling oppressed people to be heard, it is also spiritually rewarding. A Computer Science student really has the power to change the world for the better.
Key Stage 5
A level and AS level Computer Science can be considered part of the applied Maths family as a number of the modules closely follow the A level discrete Math syllabus. It enables students to break down real world problems into manageable chunks which can then be solved using algorithms. Computer Science is all about problem solving. The solutions are coded, tested and evaluated. Computer theory includes: networking, data representation and databases.
Mr C Murray
Computer Studies Subject Leader