Computer Science & ICT

KS3 Computer Science

KS3 Computer Science

Intent

Our focus is to provide a Computing curriculum which is ambitious, coherent, and inclusive of all learners.

The departments aim to provide purposeful lessons which builds upon their prior learning, allowing students to develop their skills and knowledge across Computer Science, Digital Literacy, and IT. We want to encourage students to become independent learners by solving problems and developing their own programs, which will allow them to consider taking the subject further in their studies.

Curriculum sequence

Phase

Topic 1

Year 7

  • Impact of Technology: Collaborating Online Respectfully
  • Networks: From Semaphores to The Internet
  • Using Media: Gaining Support for A Cause
  • Programming Essentials in Scratch Part 1
  • Modelling Data: Spreadsheets

Year 8

  • Representations: From Clay to Silicon
  • Mobile App Development
  • Computing Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Media: Vector Graphics

At KS3, DGS students will be given the opportunity to develop their computing, IT, and digital skills. These skills are carefully planned throughout the curriculum, providing opportunities for the three Computing benchmarks (Computer Science, IT and Digital literacy) to be covered and built upon within the KS3 curriculum

The department builds their lessons using the NCCE Teach Computing curriculum, which has been written in a way that each lesson is sequenced so that it builds on the learning from the previous lesson, and where appropriate, activities are scaffolded so that all pupils can succeed and thrive.

The work of the NCCE is underpinned by 12 principles of Computing Pedagogy, in which the department focuses on:

Lead with concepts

Work together

Get hands-on

Unplug, unpack, repack

Model everything

Poster program comprehension

Challenge misconceptions

Create projects

Add variety

Structure lessons

Read and explore code first

Make concrete

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

Meeting the needs of SEND and disadvantaged students

In line with whole-school priorities, the Computing department will ensure that SEND and disadvantaged students are supported during lessons. The following are used throughout the department to ensure that these groups of learners are making progress:

  • Teachers will ensure groups of learners are identified on seating plans
  • Teachers will ensure that students understanding is checked regularly, through circulating the classroom and using targeted hands-down questioning.
  • Students will often work collaboratively, especially using ‘paired programming’ and when collaborating on creating digital artifacts.
  • Modelling is used throughout the curriculum, as it provides students with both the structure and approach in developing programs and digital artifacts as well providing all students to access the skills/knowledge that is needed to be successful within the lesson.
  • Programming activities will often be scaffolded, by have step-by-step instructions, allowing the task to be broken down so that all students can access the set tasks.
  • The use of multiple-choice retrieval starters which offer the opportunity for all students to have success within the subject.
  • Teaching of explicit key vocabulary to ensure knowledge can be accessed
  • Where possible, teaching assistants are fully utilised to support our SEND students

Retention 

The department are continuing to develop the curriculum and pedagogy by embedding retrieval exercises within the lessons, including the use of multiple-choice question retrieval starters which is set digitally on Forms. The class teacher can provide instant feedback through reviewing student responses ‘live’.

The topics studied at KS3 also show retention, as topics chosen will allow students to revisit prior knowledge and skills from a previous topic. An example of this is that in Year 7, students will create programs using Scratch. The skills learnt in this topic is then revisited and built upon in Year 8 when studying the Mobile App Development unit.

Assessment 

Every unit includes a summative assessment framework in the form of either a multiple-choice quiz (MCQ) or a rubric. All units are designed to cover both skills and concepts from across the computing national curriculum.

Units that focus more on conceptual development include an MCQ. Units that focus more on skills development end with a project and include a rubric.

Each of the MCQ questions has been carefully chosen to represent learning that should have been achieved within the unit.

The rubric is a tool to help teachers assess project-based work. Each rubric covers the application of skills that have been directly taught across the unit. It allows teachers to assess projects that pupils have created, focussing on the appropriate application of computing skills and concepts.

Online Safety

Online safety is an important aspect of the Computing curriculum. Once a term, the department will deliver an Online Safety lesson, with each lesson having a different theme. Online Safety is also covered as part of topic 7.1 - Impact of technology: collaborating online respectfully.

 

GCSE Computer Science

GCSE

This course provides a framework that allows students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in Computer Science. The course allows students to analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

Course outline

Component 01 – Computer Systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

 

Practical Programming

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02 (section B).

 

How it’s assessed

Component

Marks & Duration

Weighting

Computer systems (01)

 

 

Written Exam

80 marks

1 hour 30 mins

50%

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02)

 

Written Exam

80 marks

1 hour 30 mins

50%

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

OCR

 

Grading system:

9-1

Assessment:

Component 1: This paper consists of multiple-choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.

Component 2: This paper has two sections: Section A and Section B. Students must answer both sections.  In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high- level programming language they are familiar with.

 

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Computer Science

Future career links:

Web designer, cyber security analyst, software engineer, game developer, big data analyst, accountants, robotics programmer

 

Contact:

Director of Computer Science: Mr N Rees

nrees@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

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