Computing

“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Stephen Hawking

Philosophy: 
We believe every student can and should learn Computational Thinking and Programming Skills and that the combination of these prepares them well for their future regardless of chosen career or study pathways. We challenge every student to achieve so much more than they think they are capable of.


Aims:
To equip students with an understanding of:

  • a wide depth and breadth of problem solving techniques and the ability to apply these to an infinite number of problems
  • the extensive range of software applications which they can use to provide the digital solution to the problems they have solved
  • the fundamental computational concepts underlying most programming languages
  • the role of technology tools and programming within the overall software development process
  • attitudes and working practices appropriate for a high level IT user and programmer

and skills to support:

  • competent and confident use of a wide variety of software applications 
  • the solution, using several programming languages, to some commonly encountered problems (such as sorting and searching)
  • the clear expression of solutions at different levels of abstraction
  • independent and self-motivated study in Computer Science.

 

Keystage 3
Throughout KS3, students are taught to

  • be discerning users of online applications, information sources and cloud technologies
  • 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 and create, find, curate, adapt and embellish digital artefacts
  • understand the impacts of digital technology on the individual and on wider society
  • apply the mathematical skills relevant to computer science.

We teach academically challenging lessons, tailored to the needs of different students.


STEM enrichment includes:

  • racing with rocket cars
  • building electronic circuitry and controlling it with raspberry PIs, Arduinos and Micro:bits
  • taking video with our quadcopter drone
  • Innov8 club, which gives students an opportunity to bring their projects to us and lets us help them bring those projects to fruition
  • an open-access coding environment every lunchtime.

 
KS4 Options:
In Keystage 4, students can choose to follow a GCSE course in Computer Science and/or a BTEC Technical Award in Digital Tools and Technologies.
GCSE Computer Science

Students learn about:

  • the role computers play in our lives
  • the social, moral, environmental and cultural impact of computer use
  • how computers actually work; looking at the main hardware components and the role software plays in actually making these components function
  • how text, sound and image are stored and processed digitally
  • the fundamentals of binary and hexadecimal and the basic boolean logic that underpins the digital world.
  • networks and communications
  • databases

Our approach to teaching and learning strives to instil independence whilst cultivating collaboration. Students are expected to take full responsibility for their personal development, especially when it comes to coding.


BTEC Technical Award in Digital Tools and Technologies

Students learn about:

  • communication tools
  • collaboration tools
  • creation and innovation tools
  • commerce and transaction tools
  • information and entertainment tools
  • networks in organisations
  • uses of connectivity
  • operating systems and utilities software
  • modelling network solutions
  • the nature, use and collection of data
  • sources and importation of data into a flatfile database
  • data handling and analysis
  • presentation of data
  • systems analysis
  • system design, implementation and evaluation

 
 
KS5 Overview:
In Keystage 5, students can choose to follow an A Level course in Computer Science and/or a BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology.

For sixth form students working at level 2, a BTEC First Extended Certificate in Information and Creative Technology is available.


A Level Computer Science

Students learn about:

  • the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • software and software development
  • programming
  • exchanging data
  • data types, data structures and algorithms
  • legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues.Elements of computational thinking
  • programming and problem solving
  • pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • algorithm design and efficiency
  • standard algorithms
  • students select their own year 13 programming project using the language of their choice.
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology
  • students learn about:
  • technology Systems
  • the use of social media in business

 

Students learn how to:

  • create database systems to manage information
  • model data using spreadsheets

 
BTEC First Extended Certificate in Information and Creative Technology

Students learn about:

  • technology Systems
  • the Online World

 

Students learn how to:

  • create a digital portfolio
  • create and use a database
  • cesign and build a network
  • create digital video
  • create digital graphics
  • create digital animation


 
For more information about Computer Science courses at KS4 and KS5, please contact JAMES SHRIMPTON

For more information about BTEC courses, please contact DAN TWEED

 


Digital Literacy

Anyone can be a digital citizen, but being a responsible, discerning and competent digital citizen requires the acquisition over time of some specific knowledge, behaviours and skills.

Philosophy

We believe that working with students to build their competence and confidence with the use of a wide range of digital tools and applications is as vital to their future success as teaching them to read and write. 
Further, engaging students  in thinking, dialogue and debate around the legal, ethics and moral implication of the technologies that exist now and those that are coming in the near future, is essential to prepare them to be discerning and responsible digital citizens.
Developing learners who can learn and flourish in our digital society is a key role of our College and through a successful digital literacy curriculum we can help create flexible, capable and adaptable young people who will thrive in their future studies and careers.
 
The Curriculum

Information, data and media literacies
Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
Digital well-being and identity
Digital learning and development
Digital communication, collaboration and participation

For more information about Digital Literacies, please contact DAN TWEED