Computing

Welcome to the Computing Department

Aims and Values
  • To provide a high-quality computing education through delivery of Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology, Digital Media and Digital Literacy components.
  • To offer a good grounding in mainstream computing theory, understanding and practice.
  • To equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to be prepared to change the world.
  • To have consistently high expectations and match these with high quality resources and learning strategies.
  • To provide a range of educational experiences appropriate to the age, ability and needs of our pupils utilising all the Computing resources to hand.
  • To ensure that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Resources and Facilities
Resources and Facilities

Currently we have six dedicated (32 workstation) computer suites equipped for multimedia work and other computing related activities. All rooms have projectors and audio capabilities. All students have access to headphones, microphones and other multimedia equipment.

We have an extensive range of software including:

  • The latest Microsoft Office bundle including Office 365 for online versions of Office software
  • The Serif suite of creative software including WebPlus, DrawPlus, PhotoPlus, MoviePlus & PagePlus
  • The Adobe Creative suite including Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver and Illustrator
  • Matchware Mindview project management software
  • Gamemaker
KS3 Structure
KS3 Content: Courses

We utilise a mixture of bought in and bespoke resources to deliver our KS3 curriculum. A website called Eduschemes is the main hub of our core content. This contains three progressive programmes of learning to develop sustainable knowledge throughout Key Stage 3. Lessons heavily pupil activity based so pupils are consistently on-task. With activities related to today’s fast-paced technological world, and differentiation built into every lesson, all pupils are challenged.

Topics covered include:

Year 7:

Year 8:

Year 9:

 

Assessment

Students complete six units of work per year and gain formative and summative assessment feedback for each unit. We provided a ‘foundation’ and a ‘higher’ pathway which set out tasks with different outcomes for the same learning objective. Students are able to flip-flop between tiers as and when they feel they need to. Extension projects are also offered for those students wishing to challenge themselves at the highest appropriate level.

Extra-Curricular

We offer opportunities to use computing suites and gain support from our specialist Computing staff at lunchtimes and in after school sessions.

We run a gifted and talented club each week with a variety of projects based on the interests and wishes of our students.

KS4 Stucture
KS4 Content: Courses

We offer the OCR Cambridge National in Creative iMedia in Key Stage 4. Cambridge Nationals are vocational technical qualifications for 14-16 year olds. They support students who want to develop practical skills and knowledge relating to a broad employment area. Students complete practical activities, learn new skills and develop transferable skills like problem solving which we feel are important in Key Stage 5 and eventually in employment.

Digital Media plays an important part in many areas of our everyday lives and is also an important part of the UK economy.  This course provides you with specific and transferable skills and knowledge that are developed in film, television, web development, gaming and animation.  All units have Computing at their heart and provide knowledge in a number of key areas through a motivating, hands-on approach to learning.

Units covered:
  • Pre-production skills (Unit R081)

This unit will help you to understand pre-production skills. It will develop your understanding of a client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques such as planning and designing, that form part of the planning and creation process.

  • Creating Digital Graphics (Unit R082)

The aim of this unit is for you to understand the basics of digital graphics editing. You will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation.  Digital graphics feature in many areas of your life and play a very important part in today’s world.

  • Creating Multipage Websites (Unit R085)

Multipage websites are the basis of internet content. This unit will enable you to understand the basics of creating multipage websites.  It will enable you to demonstrate your creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website.

  • Digital Amination (R086), or Interactive multimedia (Unit R087) OR Developing Digital Games (Unit R092)

These units will enable you to understand the basics of creating a digital animation, interactive multimedia or digital games and their environments.   It will enable you to create a digital product from an existing design or brief.

Assessment

75% of the qualification is assessed by coursework that is set and marked by our teachers. This will be done throughout the two-year course.

The course has one terminal exam paper (Unit R081) worth 25% of the total marks, and three controlled assessments (Unit R082, R085 and R097 OR R092) worth 25% each.

Accessible grades are:

Distinction*
Distinction
Merit
Pass

Extra-Curricular

We offer opportunities to use computing suites and gain guidance from our specialist Computing staff at lunchtimes and in after school intervention sessions.

KS5 Structure
KS5 Content: Courses
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in I.T. – single option

This course is a vocational qualifications at Level 3 for students aged 16+. It is designed with the workplace in mind and provide a high-quality alternative to A Levels. Vocational education is not just about results, it’s about educating people in the knowledge and skills required for employment and for the community as a whole. It’s also about developing the behaviours and attributes needed to progress and succeed in education and in work.

Why take Cambridge Technicals – 1 ‘A’ Level?

The course has been written with universities, employers and industry specialists to make sure that you gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century. We follow the Application Developer pathway, which focuses on the development of a range of applications across platforms and sectors

Course structure
  • The course consists of five modules/units
  • The two examinations are worth 50% of the final mark, and the three coursework units are worth the other 50%
  • All coursework units are assessed internally and externally moderated
Year 1
Unit 1: Fundamentals of IT – external examination

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.

Unit 8: Project Management

This unit will provide you with the opportunity to understand and use various project planning skills and techniques, thereby enabling you to become more effective in the workplace. The key to any project being a success is the planning and management that takes place and Project management skills are essential transferable skills that can be used for all projects.

Unit 6: Application Design

Besides the technical knowledge that you will gain about designing an application, you will also learn key transferable skills about liaising with clients, questioning people effectively to gain the information you need to develop successful designs, and presenting your ideas to an audience and getting feedback from them.

Year 2
Unit 2:  Global Information – external examination

The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.

Unit 9: Product Development

The purpose of this unit is to prepare you to undertake product development activities. You will learn about different product design methodologies and the role of the product development life cycle. In addition, you will discover the factors that influence product developments.

The key to any product development being a success is the analysis, client review, design, testing and final acceptance that takes place. The skills that you will learn can be applied to the development of any product, large or small. You will use product development skills and work through the product development life cycle, eventually producing a digital product.

Entry requirements

You would benefit from having one or more of the following:

  • Five GCSEs at grade A*-C
  • An ICT or computing qualification at level 2
  • An interest in developing the knowledge and skills you need to be a competent and informed computer user.
Features of the course
  • Specifically, for students interested in using computers in their future employment
  • Taught by experienced computing teachers
  • Can be taken with two of three other A Levels
  • Use of well-equipped computing suites
  • Work individually and as part of a team
  • Develop excellent computing capability and skills
  • Encouragement to manage your own learning
Assessment

This is a two year course.
There is a 4 grade scale:

  • Distinction* = A*
  • Distinction = A
  • Merit = C
  • Pass = E

The course has two externally assessed examinations and three coursework units, internally assessed and externally moderated

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in I.T. – double option
Why take Cambridge Technicals – 2 ‘A’ Level?

The course has been written with universities, employers and industry specialists to make sure that you gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century. We follow the Application Developer pathway, which focuses on the development of a range of applications across platforms and sectors

Course structure
  • The course has three externally assessed examinations and eight coursework units, internally assessed and externally moderated
  • Unit 1 and 2 examinations have greater weight than unit 3 examination, and the three combined are 33% of the final qualification
  • The 8 coursework units are worth the remaining 67% of the qualification
Year 1
Unit 3: Cyber Security -  external examination

This unit has been designed to enable you to gain knowledge and understanding of the range of threats, vulnerabilities and risks that impact on both individuals and organisations. You will learn about the solutions that can be used to prevent or deal with cyber security incidents resulting from these challenges.

Unit 21: Web Design and Prototyping

In this unit you will research, design and produce an interactive responsive website that is specific to a client’s needs, culminating in presenting the concept of the website using the prototype to the client. You will learn about the security risks within website design, and how to minimise these threats.

Unit 22: Big Data

Data is all around us and the amount of data being gathered is growing. Big Data deals with extremely large data sets that can be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations. In this unit you will learn what Big Data is, how it can be gathered, analysed and used by businesses. You will also look at how a company could use Big Data for planning for the future.

Year 2
Unit 12: Mobile Technology

The aim of this unit is to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the wider potential of mobile technologies and its consequences to people and businesses. This unit is as much about new technologies as it is about promoting critical analysis of existing situations and proposing better solutions.

Unit 15: Game Design and Prototyping

This unit will help you develop skills in designing and developing a prototype for a simple game. It will enable you to consider the logic of the programming structures required, as well as the interface design. You will then build a prototype to demonstrate an element of your game.

Unit 17: Internet of Everything

This unit is about the use of the Internet and how it is impacting people and society. You will learn about the Internet of Everything and how it is used. Using your knowledge, you’ll carry out a feasibility study for a potential idea. You will pitch your idea to potential stakeholders and use their feedback to revise your proposal.

Entry requirements

You would benefit from having one or more of the following:

  • Five GCSEs at grade A*-C
  • An ICT or computing qualification at level 2
  • An interest in developing the knowledge and skills you need to be a competent and informed computer user and practitioner
Features of the course
  • Specifically, for students interested in working in the computing industry as users or practitioners e.g. Technicians, Programmers, designers etc.
  • Taught by experienced computing teachers
  • Can be taken with two other A Levels
  • Use of well-equipped computing suites
  • Work individually and as part of a team
  • Develop excellent computing capability and skills
  • Encouragement to manage your own learning
Assessment

This is a two year course.

There is a 7 grade scale:

  • Distinction* Distinction* = A* A*
  • Distinction* Distinction = A* A
  • Distinction Distinction = A  A
  • Distinction Merit = B B
  • Merit Merit = C C
  • Merit Pass = D D
  • Pass Pass = E E

The course has three externally assessed examinations and eight coursework units, internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 1 and 2 examinations have greater weight than unit 3 examination, and the three combined are 33% of the final qualification

The 8 coursework units are worth the remaining 67% of the qualification

Learning at Home
Supporting Learning at Home

Resources for all key stages can be located on our Learning Web which is available in and out of the Academy premises. It is very well organised to allow students to find the exact resource they need quickly and efficiently.

KS3 have a username and password for the Eduschemes.co.uk website.

KS4 and KS5 students have access to an archive of past examination papers and marks schemes within our Learning Web.

We offer opportunities to use computing suites and gain support from our specialist Computing staff at lunchtimes and in after school sessions.

We run a gifted and talented club each week with a variety of projects based on the interests and wishes of our students.

Career Pathways
Career Pathways

Our Level 2 Cambridge National in Creative iMedia is effective preparation for a range of qualifications including our Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in I.T. There are many different careers that this qualification could help students move towards.

Our Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in I.T. is not just about being able to use computers. Employers have told us that they need people who are able to help them develop their systems or the systems for their customers, use I.T. as a tool to analyse data and develop applications. Therefore, this qualification is designed to give learners a range of specialist knowledge and transferable skills in the field context of applied I.T., providing them with the opportunity to enter an apprenticeship, move directly into employment, or progress to a related HE course.

Learners could progress onto a Level 4 apprenticeship such as Network Engineer or Software Developer or into employment in the IT sector in areas such as technical support, digital technologies, application development or data analysis.

Both our introductory and diploma courses follow the Application Developer pathway.

Typical job roles within this pathway include; junior web application developer, junior application developer or junior software analyst.

Many of our students have gone on to study Computer Science or Games Computing degrees.

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