COMPUTER SCIENCE/IT

“Coding is today's language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science.”

 

Maria Klawe

 

"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one"

 

Bill Gates

 

Subject Intent:

 

Our curriculum is designed to provide a high-quality computing education that will use computational thinking and creativity to understand and potentially change the world. The core principles of the curriculum focus on how digital systems work and the ability to abstract and decompose a problem to produce a solution through investigation and resilience. An inclusive spiral journey which builds upon prior learning will develop key skills in digital literacy enabling pupils to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology regardless of their starting points. This will create pupils at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

 

We built the curriculum with the intent that students will:

  • experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum allowing students to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation

  • be literate and numerate in order to apply mathematical skills, analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.

  • have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement so that they can think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

  • develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development allowing them to understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and for the wider society. Leading to an understanding of how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity in an ever-changing digital world

  • be prepared for life beyond the school by building responsible, competent, confident and creative users of digital technology who can evaluate and apply their understanding to new or unfamiliar technologies in an increasingly unpredictable and technological world

 

 

Subject Implementation:

 

  • The curriculum builds through a spiral curriculum from year 7 to 11 focusing on the cumulative development of key knowledge and computational thinking skills. In this respect we deliver clear and coherent step-by-step sequences that build knowledge across the years and between key stages.

  • Schemes of learning are developed and shared on the schools shared area. The schemes of learning follow a consistent format which includes: lesson content, knowledge, skills, success criteria, reading, keywords, careers, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural and British School Values. For each scheme of learning there are a set of lesson folders for each lesson, containing a PowerPoint and associated resources. These are used as a starting point by teachers to differentiate to meet the needs of their students.

  • The KS3 curriculum is designed to ensure students studying GCSE Computer Science have a grounding in the fundamental concepts covered at KS4. Computational thinking is at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence

  • An integral part of the computer science curriculum is applying the academic principles they learn in the classroom to real-world problems in an exciting and engaging way. This enables students to build up their resilience and ownership of their work and thus promote a love of learning that makes the subject relevant to them.

  • Student progress is tracked through the use of rigorous, reliable assessments. These include frequent low stake questioning activities during connects, to enable retrieval of prior knowledge and skills. On-going assessment also occurs through a blend of practical and theoretical challenges that are monitored through classwork and discussions with pupils. Additionally, formal assessment takes place prior to data entry points. At KS3 they are done through an online format Socrative. In KS4 there are end of unit tests and PPEs. Outcomes of these are analysed and discussed within the department and interventions and extra support implemented where appropriate. Assessment outcomes are compared to targets to monitor progress. Specific groups such as SEN, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAMS.  TEAMS is to be used within lessons and at home and is further supported by knowledge organisers, Lesson PowerPoints and any additional resources needed. These are all uploaded to TEAMS and designed to assist students with their blended learning. Teachers will engage with students through feedback which will enable them to continue to develop and make progress.

 

 

Subject Enrichment:

 

In the computer science department, we believe learning can be delivered through a creative blend of practical and theoretical lessons. Students are given the opportunity to develop practical programming skills, and also develop vital understanding across a range of relevant computer science topics. In this way we value learning that occurs both within the classroom and beyond it.

 

Enrichment includes:

  • Students have the opportunity to enter a range of National Competitions such as game design and development for YGD BAFTA and competing against other secondary schools in the cyber discovery competition

  • Students participate with GoDigital that link schools with industry in a meaningful way to teach core digital skills to year 7 and 8 students using a tried and tested industry-led approach, and to provide opportunities for young people to access industry mentors and relevant careers coaching.

  • Code Club will return in 2020.  KS3 students will participate in the fortnightly club, which will aim to raise interest and excitement in computer science, by developing their programming skills through game design and physical computing using the Micro:bits and Makey Makey’s!

  • Signed up to Digital Futures allowing different elements that schools can choose to participate in.

 

Subject Impact:

 

  • The five-year curriculum model ensures that sequences of learning builds on previous knowledge and skills along with laying the foundation for subsequent progression.

  • Develop socially aware, digital literate citizens equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to actively engage within a global community.

  • Develop pupils with an ability to critically think about the modern world and give them the confidence and skills to change the world around them.

  • Provide pupils with a range of vocabulary, core knowledge and skills that creates the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding, providing entry points to further study, training or employment.

Curriculum Journey

Knowledge and Skills

 

Year 7:

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • How to use technology safely and responsibly

  • How to take measures to protect their identity and privacy when using the internet

  • Key terms to do with privacy and security threats

  • How to Identify good and bad online behaviour, including cyberbullying and scams

  • How to report concerns when using technology

  • Several ways in which individuals and organisations can protect their data 

  • Positive and negative ways in which technological developments have impacted the world

  • What algorithms are and what they are used for

  • How to design algorithms using pseudocode and flow diagrams

  • How searching and sorting algorithms work

 

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Computational thinking

  • Using computer science specific vocabulary

  • Writing programs to do specific things

  • Use inputs and outputs within a program

  • Using the basic programming constructs of sequence, selection and iteration within a block based programming language

  • Using variables and constants within simple programs

  • Using arithmetic, Boolean and relational operators

  • How to analyse a problem and suggest how it could be solved algorithmically

 

 

Year 8:

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Why data needs to be converted into a binary format to be processed by a computer

  • Data sizes bit, nibble, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte

  • How to convert positive denary whole numbers (0–255) into 8 bit binary numbers and vice versa

  • How an image is represented as a series of pixels represented in binary

  • How to use binary codes to represent characters

  • How sound can be sampled and stored in digital form

  • What a network is and the different types (LAN and WAN)

  • The advantages and disadvantages of using networks

  • The ways networks can be attacked

  • The ways networks can be protected

 

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Computational thinking

  • Using computer science specific vocabulary

  • Use inputs, outputs and assignments within a program

  • Using the basic programming constructs of sequence, selection and iteration within a text based programming language

  • Using variables and constants within programs

  • Using arithmetic, Boolean and relational operators

  • How to analyse a problem and suggest how it could be solved algorithmically

  • Using count and condition controlled loops within a program

  • Creating structured programs using sub programs

 

 

Year 9

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The principles of computational thinking including Abstraction, Decomposition and Algorithmic thinking

  • The common arithmetic operators

  • The common Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT

  • The units of data storage including Bit, Nibble, Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte and Petabyte

  • How data needs to be converted into a binary format to be processed by a computer

  • Data capacity and calculation of data capacity requirements

  • How to convert positive denary whole numbers to binary numbers and vice versa

  • How to add two binary integers together and explain overflow errors which may occur

  • How to convert positive denary whole numbers into 2-digit hexadecimal numbers and vice versa

  • How to convert binary integers to their hexadecimal equivalents and vice versa

  • The effect of a binary shift (both left or right) on a number

  • The use of binary codes to represent characters

  • The term ‘character set’

  • The relationship between the number of bits per character in a character set, and the number of characters which can be represented, e.g. ASCII and Unicode

  • How an image is represented as a series of pixels, represented in binary

  • The effect of colour depth and resolution on the quality of the image and the size of an image file

  • How metadata stores additional image information

  • How sound can be sampled and stored in digital form

  • The effect of sample rate, duration and bit depth on the playback quality and the size of a sound file

  • The need for compression and the types of compression (Lossy and Lossless)

  • Standard searching  and sorting algorithms including Binary and Linear search and Bubble, Merge and Insertion sort

 

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Identifying the inputs, processes, and outputs for a problem

  • Creating, interpreting, correcting, completing, and refining algorithms using Pseudocode and Flowcharts

  • Identify common errors within a program

  • Using variables, constants, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments within programs

  • Using of the three basic programming constructs used to control the flow of a program Sequence, Selection and Iteration

  • Random number generation

  • Using different data types within a program including Integer, Real, Boolean, Character and string

  • Casting

  • Using basic string manipulation

  • Using arrays (or equivalent) when solving problems, including both one-dimensional and two-dimensional arrays

  • Calculate capacity of devices

  • Calculate required capacity for a given set of files

  • Calculate file sizes of sound, images and text files

  • Using computer science specific vocabulary

 

 

Year 10

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Types of network including LAN (Local Area Networks) and WAN (Wide Area Networks)

  • Factors that affect the performance of networks

  • The different roles of computers in a client-server and a peer-to-peer network

  • The hardware needed to connect stand-alone computers into a Local Area Network including Wireless access points, Routers, Switches, NIC (Network Interface Controller/Card) and Transmission media

  • The Internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks including DNS (Domain Name Server), Hosting, The Cloud and Web servers and clients

  • Star and Mesh network topologies

  • Modes of connection including Wired (Ethernet) or Wireless (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)

  • Encryption

  • IP addressing and MAC addressing

  • Standards and Common protocols including, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), POP (Post Office Protocol), IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

  • The concept of layers

  • Forms of attack on networks including Malware, Social engineering, e.g. phishing, people as the ‘weak point’, Brute-force attacks, Denial of service attacks, Data interception and theft and The concept of SQL injection

  • Common network prevention methods including Penetration testing, Anti-malware software, Firewalls, User access levels, Passwords, Encryption and Physical security

  • Truth tables

  • Combining Boolean operators using AND, OR and NOT

  • Defensive design considerations including Anticipating misuse, Authentication and Input validation

  • Maintainability of programs including Use of sub programs, Naming conventions, Indentation and Commenting

  • The purpose of testing and types including Iterative and Final/terminal

 

 

Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • The use of basic file handling operations including Open, Read, Write and Close

  • How to use sub programs (functions and procedures) to produce structured code

  • Drawing simple logic diagrams using the operators AND, OR and NOT

  • Applying logical operators in truth tables to solve problems

  • The use of SQL to search for data

  • Identifying syntax and logic errors

  • Selecting and using suitable test data including Normal, Boundary, Invalid, Erroneous

  • Using computer science specific vocabulary

  • Using a range of tools within at least one IDE

  • Design, Writing, Testing and Refining through programming tasks

 

Year 11

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Characteristics and purpose of different levels of programming languages including high-level and low-level languages

  • The purpose of translators and the characteristics of a compiler and an interpreter

  • Common tools and facilities available in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) including editors, error diagnostics, run-time environments and translators

  • The need for primary storage and the difference between RAM, ROM and Virtual memory

  • The need for secondary storage including common types optical, magnetic and solid state

  • The advantages and disadvantages of different storage devices and storage media relating to the characteristics capacity, speed, portability, durability, reliability and cost

  • The purpose and functionality of operating systems including user interfaces, memory management and multitasking, peripheral management and drivers, user management and file management

  • The purpose and functionality of utility software including encryption software, defragmentation and data compression

  • The purpose of the CPU including the fetch-execute cycle

  • Common CPU components and their functions including ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit), CU (Control Unit), Cache and Registers

  • Von Neumann architecture including MAR (Memory Address Register), MDR (Memory Data Register), Program Counter and  Accumulator

  • How common characteristics of CPUs affect their performance including clock speed, cache size, and the number of cores

  • The purpose and characteristics of embedded systems including examples

  • Impacts of digital technology on wider society including ethical, legal, cultural, environmental and privacy issues

  • Legislation relevant to Computer Science including, The Data Protection Act 2018, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and Software licences (i.e. open source and proprietary)

 

 

Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Using computer science specific vocabulary

  • Using a range of tools within at least one IDE

  • Design, Writing, Testing and Refining through programming tasks

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