Computing Studies

Year 8

In Year 8, students have a single lesson of one hour and will address the digital literacy and information technology areas of the KS3 national curriculum programmes of study by learning about the following areas:

* Computer hardware and peripherals.
* The main types of software operation including applications and utilities.
* Storage and storage media.
* Spreadsheets.
* Main types of network (bus, star and ring).
* Databases.
* Computational thinking and algorithms.

Work will be evidenced/presented using an e-portfolio which students will maintain for each topic.

Year 9

In year 9 students have two lesson a week and will be introduced to the computer science requirements of the National Curriculum leading onto GCSE preparation, work will explore varied disciplines:

* designing a game using a graphical programming language.
* the ‘Fetch, Decode, Execute’ cycle of CPU processing using the LMC (Little Man Computer).
* coding and writing programs using a textual programming language – Python

Students will then continue by following either a GCSE Computer course or the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) course for the remainder of KS4.

Work will be evidenced using e-portfolios and the BCS’s ‘EnlightUK’ testing system which will also track progress throughout the course.

Year 10

Students in year 10 have two lessons a week and will follow either a GCSE in Computing or the ECDL program of study.

GCSE Computing – this course is split into three areas.
A451: computer systems and programming (theory).
A452: a practical investigation based on a scenario set by the examination board (controlled assessment).
A453: programming project (design, develop and test a solution to a problem set by the examination board).

The ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) course is delivered and validated through the BCS (British Computer Society) and is recognised proof of students’ digital literacy. It is ‘a high quality, internationally-recognised qualification, validated and approved by academic and global experts, and valued by employers around the world’. Students have to gain skills, knowledge and competence in four modules to achieve an overall grade which is graded from a distinction star, down to a pass. The ECDL has GCSE equivalence of A* to C.

ECDL progress will be evidenced using the BCS’s ‘EnlightUK’ testing system which will also record progress throughout the course.

Year 11

In Year 11 students will continue their theory work in the A451 unit for two hours each week:

Fundamentals of computer systems
Computing hardware
Representation of data in computer systems
Computer communications and networking

Year 12

During the first year of this two year course, students will study three units, two of which are mandatory:
Communication & Employability Skills for IT (mandatory)
Information Systems (mandatory)
Business Resources (third and optional unit)
Students will be assessed and graded (Distinction, Merit or Pass) through successful completion of assignments which mainly take the form of reports and presentations.

Year 13

During the second year of this course, students will study a further three units:
Computer Systems
The Business Environment
Students will again be assessed through successful completion of their assignments consisting of case studies, reports and presentations and be awarded a final grade which could be either a Distinction star (D*), Distinction, Merit or Pass. This level 3 qualification gives full credit towards UCAS points should a student wish to apply for university entry, .