Computing Curriculum

KS3

Subject: Information & Communication Technology

Today’s world is dominated by communications technology and the world of Computing is changing constantly. The fresh and exciting online ECDL extra course has been created to show how office applications work and how ICT is used in so many aspects of everyday life.  We also introduce the pupils to ‘coding’ in control applications.

We will begin to prepare the pupils for the ICT challenges they will meet in many other academic subjects throughout their time at school and for the rest of their lives.

Skills and Knowledge:

The pupils, in their practical application of tasks, will acquire problem solving skills throughout a range of common ICT applications in the Microsoft Office Suite.

Their knowledge and understanding of core ICT concepts will follow the British Computer Society’s ECDL extra course. In addition they will be taught the following concepts:

  • Desktop Publishing
  • Types of computer
  • Structure of a computer
  • Input devices
  • Output devices
  • Data storage
  • Graphics
  • E-mail
  • Using the world wide web

Topics:

½ Term 1 Word Processing software
½ Term 2 Spreadsheet software
½ Term 3 Presentation software
½ Term 4 Improving Productivity using ICT
½ Term 5 Flowol – Flowcharting- ’Coding’
½ Term 6 MSW Logo – ‘Coding'

Assessment Procedures: The pupils will be tested using ECDL extra section tests and end of module tests.

IGCSE 
Few aspects of our society have not been influenced by the information and communication technology revolution and the widespread use of computers. It is the aim of the department to deliver an interesting and interactive IGCSE Computer Studies syllabus following the University of Cambridge International Examinations specification.

This syllabus enables candidates to develop a deeper understanding and interest in Computing/ICT and gain confidence in the use of technology. Candidates develop an appreciation of the broad range of computer applications, in order to improve their understanding of the power and versatility of the computer and the benefits of its use, but also its limitations and potential disadvantages. Cambridge IGCSE Computer Studies is an ideal foundation for further study at A Level/IB Computing or ICT and the skills learnt can also be used in other areas of study and in everyday life.

In addition to imparting a wide range of generic skills using the advanced features of the Microsoft© suite of General Purpose Packages (Word processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, Presentation, Desktop Publishing and Communication software), the pupils will study the role of computers in every day society:
  • Current and emerging technologies
  • ICT tools and advanced techniques 
  • Society’s use of ICT
  • Computers and the Law
The course is set out to help students develop and consolidate their knowledge, skills and understanding of Computing & ICT. It will encourage them to become autonomous users of ICT and develop their problem-solving skills in a variety of situations. Students will have the opportunity to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate using the ‘Software Development’ life cycle. They will also be encouraged to consider the social, economic, ethical and moral issues surrounding new technologies.
The course supports other GCSE and GCE subjects as students learn to research and present findings in an electronic form, clearly and often dynamically.  This is increasingly important for the future.

Content
The sections of the CIE syllabus are:
  • Applications of computers and their social and economic implications
  • System life cycle
  • Problem solution, including algorithm design, programming concepts and logic gates
  • Generic software and the organisation of data
  • Hardware, systems and communications
Components
  •             Paper 1 75%    (short answer and structured questions)
  •             Paper 2 25%    (Coursework – school based assessment)
 There are no modular examinations in the Fourth Form.

Coursework
This is a single piece of coursework, which involves the use of a computer to solve a specific problem. Candidates do the coursework over an extended period. The coursework enables candidates to use their skills and experience gained during the course to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate the solution to a problem.

Software Used:
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Suite – Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher
  • Visual Basic 2010, C#
A more detailed breakdown of the course content and resources can be found on the CIE website at www.cie.org.uk

IB Computer Science (Higher and Standard Level)
Content

For both Higher Level and Standard Level Core topics include:

  • System fundamentals (20 teaching hours)
  • Computer organization (6 teaching hours)
  • Network (9 teaching hours)
  • Computational thinking, problem solving and programming (45 teaching hours)

The Higher Level requires a further breadth of study and in addition to the core topics you are required to study the following:

  • Abstract data structures (23 teaching hours)
  • Resource management (8 teaching hours)
  • Control (14 teaching hours)

In addition, Higher Level students will cover an annually issued case study.

Optional Topics

One of the following options must be studied at both HL and SL:

  • Databases
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Web science
  • Object-oriented programming (OOP)

How the course is taught
Both the Standard Level and Higher Level courses are normally taught by two subject teachers. Clearly, there is an expectation of pupil participation, research and independent learning. The Department Library is well resourced for the delivery of this course but further learning resources are available through the Computing Department Virtual Learning Environment.  Students are supervised through the process of completing their Internal Assessment.

Expectations/Homework
A homework timetable is agreed at the beginning of the course ensuring a frequency and variety that is appropriate to the International Baccalaureate.  Homework should not merely be ‘completed’ but used to consolidate learning and improve practical programming skills. Pupils are expected to undertake several hours of independent study outside the classroom and complete tasks set by their teachers.

The Extended Essay
Higher Level pupils may wish to consider Computing as the focus for their Extended Essay, particularly if they intend to study Computing Science or a closely related discipline at university. Students are free to select any topic that lends itself to personal exploration of a research question which allows them to communicate ideas and develop an argument.  The essay must be completed within 4000 words. Up to five hours of staff supervision are available to assist with the planning, research and execution of the Extended Essay.

Preparatory Work
Students will be expected to learn the fundamentals of ‘Java’ and cover a few topics from the syllabus before starting the course in September. They are provided with the necessary resources, hard copy and online in the preceding June. The results of their work are presented to their teachers during the first few lessons of the course. Students are then tested on this material within the second week of term.

A Level Computer Science

Content & Assessment
AQA Computer Science consists of 14 units of study.

  • Paper 1: Problem Solving, Programming, and the Practical Exercise
  • Paper 2: Computer Components, Data Representation, The Stored Program Concept and The Internet
  • Paper 3: The Practical Project

How the course is taught
The course is normally taught by two subject teachers. The Upper Sixth course is normally taught by three teachers: two share the theory of Paper 1 and Paper 2 and the other supervises the students through the externally assessed practical project. Clearly, there is an expectation of pupil participation, research and independent learning. The Department Library is well resourced for the delivery of this course but further learning resources are available through the Computing Department Virtual Learning Environment.  Students are supervised through the process of completing their Internal Assessment.

Expectations/Homework
A homework timetable is agreed at the beginning of the course ensuring a frequency and variety that is appropriate to the A Level course.  Homework should not merely be ‘completed’ but used to consolidate learning and improve practical programming skills. Pupils are expected to undertake several hours of independent study outside the classroom and complete tasks set by their teachers.

Preparatory Work
Students are provided with introductory material to study before embarking on the course. This is handed in at the very first lesson for evaluation and marking. Students are then tested on this material within the half term after consolidation in the classroom.