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Computing

Key Stage 3

There have been many changes nationally both within education and industry over the past few years that have had an impact on our subject and has meant we have been able to redesign the content we deliver. Our new curriculum at Key Stage three follows the national curriculum for Computing. This means we aspire to equip our learners with the logic, problem solving skills and computational thinking that will empower them to be the technological developers of the future.

Learners at Key Stage 3 will receive one hour a week of discrete Computing with a specialist teacher. The Computing department at Halewood Academy has a responsibility to prepare our learners not only with the skills for success at Key Stage 4 examinations, but for the world that awaits them when they decide to leave.

Below is an outline of the key topics that will be covered within the Key Stage 3 curriculum beginning in September 2017.

Year 7

Year 8

E-Safety

Operating Systems

Hardware and Software

Computer Components

Data Representation

Data Representation

 The Internet

Networks

Programming in Scratch

Programming in Python

Key Stage 4

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) GCSE

Exam Board: Edexcel

ICT is currently being taught to Year 10 from September 2016 who are the last cohort of students to study this qualification. Students will have five lessons across two weeks and will be entered for a Single Award, which is one full GCSE.

The two-year course comprises of four coursework activities which are controlled assessments. This course work accounts for 60 % of the learner’s final grade and must be completed within a 40 hour window. The vast majority of this work will be completed in year 10 and finished at the beginning of year 11. The current controlled assessment requires learners to create and design a music festival. This section of the course enables learners to develop a range of basic and more advanced ICT skills in word processing, spreadsheets, databases, web page design, sound editing and image manipulation.

The remaining 40% of this qualification manifests itself in the form of a 90 minute written exam paper which is taken in the summer of Year 11. Topics included in this exam cover:

  1. Hardware & Software
  2. Personal digital devices and Connectivity
  3. Software as a Service and Cloud Computing
  4. Network Communication and Home Networks
  5. System development
  6. Operating online and online safety
  7. Use of ICT in Society
  8. Health and Safety using ICT
  9. Legislation related to the use of Computers.

Computing GCSE

Exam Board: OCR

Computing has been offered since September 2014 but the qualification has been revamped with a new specification this year. Students will have five lessons over two weeks of computing and will be entered for a Single Award, which is one full GCSE.

The two-year course comprises of 3 distinct units. This first is a 90-minute written exam paper which accounts for 40% of the learner’s final grade and this will be taken in the summer of Year 11. Topics on this paper include:

  1. Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  2. Systems Architecture
  3. Memory
  4. Storage
  5. Wired and wireless networks
  6. Network topologies, protocols and layers
  7. System security
  8. System software
  9. Ethical, legal, cultural and
  10. environmental concerns

This second is also is a 90-minute written exam paper which accounts for 40% of the learner’s final grade and this will be taken in the summer of Year 11. Topics on this paper include:

  1. Algorithms *
  2. Programming techniques
  3. Producing robust programs
  4. Computational logic
  5. Translators and facilities of
  6. Languages
  7. Data representation

The third and final unit of this qualification is a programming project where learners must create solutions to computing tasks from a set of possible options supplied by the OCR examination board. This project is a controlled assessment accounting for 20% of the learner’s final grade where they have approximately 20 hours to complete it. Candidates projects should include:

  1. Programming techniques
  2. Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Development
  5. Testing and evaluation and conclusions.