Eaton Bank Academy

Introduction

In our ever changing world, Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology (collectively known as ‘Computing’) is a core skill for everything that we do. We are in the business of preparing our students for jobs which may not even have been invented yet, so embedding core digital skills through our curriculum is vital.

Within the department, we have high expectations of all students and rely on their total engagement in the varied activities that we provide. We will, of course, provide help and support where required both inside and outside lesson time.

Mr L Marling
Head of Computing

Mr M Mills
Computing Teacher

Key Stage 3

The aims of the Computing department at Key Stage 3 are:

  • To develop the relevance of Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology to students’ lives, personal experiences and futures, to give them motivation to succeed in the subject and make learning enjoyable for them.
  • To help students follow enquiries and solve problems, and enhance their skills in logical reasoning, questioning, analysis and research.
  • To enable students to try out ideas, seek innovative alternatives, take risks with their thinking and make new connections without fear of failure.
  • Encourage reflection on the growing use of technology and on its social, ethical and cultural implications for individuals and society.

 

Year 7

  • Baseline assessment
  • Introduction to the school network and good working practices
  • eSafety Briefings
    – Cyberhygiene
    – Online grooming
    – Online reputation / digital footprints
  • Termly projects
    – Impact of computers on our lives
    – Augmented / Virtual Reality
    – Robotics
  • Discrete programming lessons
    – Advanced problem solving and Scratch Programming
    – BBC Microbits and physical computing
  • Unit A : How Computers Work
    This unit will provide an introduction to different types of computer systems and the components which are used to make them. We will consider the difference between hardware and software and take a brief look at operating systems, system and application software. We will introduce data storage and data handling techniques involving binary encoding and character sets. This unit will have a Digital Literacy focus on basic Word Processing techniques. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.
  • Unit B : Algorithms to Live By
    In this second unit, we will focus on some of the algorithms which drive our lives, mainly searching and sorting plus a little foray into the world of ‘Big Data’. The unit will have a Digital Literacy focus on basic Spreadsheet usage. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.
  • Unit C : Networks
    Without networks, the worlds ICT infrastructure would simply not function. This unit introduces a straightforward treatment of networking hardware, some of the common protocols in use on the Internet, compression and encryption techniques and why we use them plus an introduction to the software services like email, document collaboration and the structure of the Internet and the relationship to the World Wide Web. There will be a Digital Literacy focus on basic Presentation software. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.

 

Year 8

  • Recap Assessment
  • Good practice reminders
  • eSafety Briefings
    – Online Gaming
    – Sexting and media sharing
    – Screentime and the effect on health
  • Termly projects
    – Artificial Intelligence
    – The effect of gaming on society
    – Autonomous vehicles
  • Discrete programming lessons
    – Small Basic text and graphics based programming
    – Raspberry Pi and physical computing
  • Unit D : The World Wide Web
    In this unit, students will look carefully at the design and use of the World Wide Web and effective use of web browsers. We will learn how to create simple and slightly more complex web pages by editing HTML, CSS and Javascript code before moving onto consider attribution and accreditation of resources and recapping compression and encryption techniques. There is a Digital Literacy focus on advanced Word Processing techniques during this unit. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.
  • Unit E : Sound, Camera, Action
    This is a more creative unit which will teach students about digital images, video and sound. We will learn about vector and bitmap graphics including common filetypes and use images, video and sound to produce digital artefacts. We will recap compression techniques, attribution and accreditation and create some funny animations. There is a Digital Literacy focus on Desktop Publishing in this unit. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.
  • Unit F : Cyber Security
    Finally, at KS3, we will take a lot at the very hot topic of Cyber Security including the threats we are faced with and some of the potential solutions. There is a mixed Digital Literacy Focus on word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and desktop publishing techniques. This unit will be assessed through a terminal multiple choice test and a ‘Takeaway’ homework task.

 

Key Stage 3 Assessment

Each unit (A through F) will end with a straightforward multiple choice quiz which will provide immediate feedback to the students on their attainment. Each term, there is also a longer term project which focuses the students on research and analysis techniques which are important to develop for further study at GCSE Computer Science and beyond. Finally, each term, there will be a ‘Takeaway Homework’ style activity which relates to each of the main taught units and a broader project based task.

 

Extra Curricular Opportunities

The department will offer the following extra curricular activities at Key Stage 3 …

 

How you can help to support their son’s / daughter’s learning

  • Regular checking of homework
  • Ask your child questions about what they are learning
  • Encourage your child to use computers to enhance their learning
  • Encourage the use of the Internet for its educational purpose
  • Keep up to date with technological advances

 

One of the key aims of Key Stage 3 Computing is to provide your son / daughter with an understanding of Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology, equip them with some of the core skills necessary to allow them to be successful in the digital world and prepare them for further study beyond the key stage.

 

If you have any queries, please contact Mr M Mills – m.mills@eatonbank.org

Key Stage 4

Computer Science GCSE

OCR GCSE Computer Science, J276 – Homepage / Specification

 

A modern course for a modern world
This is a course that has real relevance in our modern world. While learners will no doubt already have some knowledge of computers and related areas, the course will give them an in-depth understanding of how computer technology actually works and a look at what goes on “behind the screens”. As part of this, they will investigate computer programming, which many learners find interesting.

The fun of computing
Through this study of computer programming, the course will help learners develop critical / computational thinking, analysis and problem solving skills. For many, it will be a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this way, the course will stimulate interest and engagement with technology and technology-related careers.

Looking to the future
In fact, information technologies continue to have a growing importance. This means there will be a bigger demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. If learners want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone. Learners who have taken a Computing GCSE and who then progress to study the subject at A Level or university will have a sound underpinning knowledge of this subject area.

 

Areas studied

The GCSE Computer Science curriculum at Eaton Bank Academy covers the following main areas of study …

  • Computer fundamentals / Programming : Covers fundamental aspects of computer systems, input / output devices and learning to program (using the Python programming language)
  • Data handling : Covers file handling, databases and sorting / searching algorithms
  • Software design : Covering validation, verification and authentication techniques, writing robust programs, testing and algorithm / programming challenges.
  • Data representation : We learn about how numbers, images and sounds are stored and manipulated by computer systems and also fundamentals of compression techniques.
  • Hardware / software : We will learn about computer hardware and software.
  • Networking : Where we learn about local and wide area networks, networking components and cyber security.

 

Supporting resources

The course is supported by the learning resources on The Computing Cafe (http://the.computing.cafe/). Programming techniques are taught during timetabled lessons and are also supported by an ‘All Access’ subscription to Grok Learning, a world leading, Australian technology education company (http://groklearning.com/).

 

Key Stage 4 Assessment

Each of the modules of study in the course is assessed through a series of multiple choice quizzes and written assessments at, and shortly after, the end of study of topic itself. Each assessment includes questions from previous areas of study to encourage revision and there are summary assessments at the end of each term. At the end of Year 9 and 10, students will sit mock examinations which cover the content studied to date and will be in the style of the terminal assessment papers.

Homework activities will be set when appropriate and may include completing tasks not completed in lesson, research and further study or preparing for assessments.

Students will be encouraged to complete a ‘thinking mat’ revision summary and key term revision cards at the end of each topic of study. During Year 11, students will also be issued with bespoke revision cards and have to opportunity to purchase third party revision guides to help them prepare for the terminal examinations.

Currently, the OCR GCSE course is externally assessed through two terminal examinations and a compulsory programming project, all of which take place in Year 11.

Paper 1 : Computer Systems (80 Marks / 1.5 hrs)

Covers …

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • Algorithms

Paper 2 : Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (80 Marks / 1.5 hrs)

Covers …

  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Programming project (20 hours, supervised)

Formal requirement which is used to consolidate the learning across the specification through practical activity. The task is set by the examination board and must take place during Year 11. Whilst the project is not currently formally assessed, it is a requirement of the course and forms vital preparation for the programming aspects of the course.

 

Extra Curricular Opportunities

The department will offer the following extra-curricular opportunities at Key Stage 4 …

 

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