Computing

Departmental Objective:

The New Computing Curriculum develops both skills and knowledge.  This September, computing has replaced ICT as a national curriculum subject at all key stages.  Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, how to apply computational thinking and how to make best use of information technology.  It aims to give pupils a broad education that encourages creativity and equips them with the knowledge and skills to understand and change the world.

Computing brings new challenges and opportunities that should excite and empower pupils and teachers. Some of these changes may be new but also may already familiar to students.

The Royal Society has identified three distinct strands within computing, each of which is complementary to the others; computer science (CS), information technology (IT) and digital literacy (DL).  Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasing digital world.

Computer Science is the scientific and practical study of computation; what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.

Information Technology is concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.

Digital Literacy is the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.

Year 7

Unit 1 – Baseline Assessment – What is the aim of baseline testing?

What we are trying to achieve is a measure of current knowledge and understanding at a particular point in time and how that knowledge and understanding progresses for that person over time and for the nation as a whole.  From a secondary point of view, what do learners bring with them in Year 7 and how has that developed at the end of Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11?

We start with a common exam based on the KS3 Program of Study which has quite an overlap with the KS2 POS. This means if we use the exam at the beginning of Y7 and at the end it will give an idea of what has been learnt throughout this year. By administering the same exam to a large representative sample of the population we can determine whether or not any individual is not only making absolute progress as in scoring higher at the end of Year 7 than at the beginning or in relation to the rest of the cohort. This is the starting point and therefore a baseline test for incoming learners.

Students complete baseline assessment at three points throughout the year. The end of year result will become the starting point for the following year.

Unit 2 – E-Safety: Students will be made aware of the risk and dangers associated with the internet. They will consider real life scenarios to help them stay safe when entering personal details. Students will also learn about cyber bullying, using social networking websites and the risks about file sharing.  Within this unit students will create an interactive quiz using PowerPoint. In order to make this an interactive quiz students learn programming skills in Visual Basic.

Unit 3 – How the internet works: Within this unit students will understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration

Students will learn about search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.

Unit 4 – Scratch: Within this unit students will learn about variables, IF statements and logic Operators. Throughout this project students will program a calculator which will work like the traditional calculator.

Unit 5 – Kodu game lab: Using visual programming students will create their own computer game using simple visual programming language which can be played by one or more players.  Anyone can use Kodu to make a game, young children as well as adults with no design or programming skills.

Kodu is available to download free from the internet.

Year 8

Unit 1 – Enigma machine: Within this unit students will study about the history of computers and how the Enigma Machine played an important part in WWII. Throughout this unit students will study about encryption, deciphering problems, Morse code and the systems life cycle.

Unit 2 – Microbit: Students will develop block programs using the BBC MicroBit. All of year 8 students received one free of charge allowing them to continue programming at home.  Within this project students learn how to create a digital compass, Pong Game, Thermometer and an 8 Ball game.

Unit 3 – How the internet works: (Only 2016-2017) Within this unit students will understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration

Students will learn about search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content.

Unit 4 – Website development: Students will learn to program webpages using HTML code. They will learn about syntax and the different elements which make up a webpage.  Students will be expected to be able to code a basic webpage from scratch using only HTML code.

Unit 5 – Databases: Students will study about Databases. Lessons covered throughout this project include:

  • What is a Database
  • Data Types and Primary Keys
  • Foreign Keys & Relationships
  • Forms and Mini Assessment
  • Validation and Verification
  • Queries
  • Reports
  • SQL

Year 9

Unit 1 – Programming using flowcharts (FLOWOL): Using flowcharts students will programme a number of different scenarios using real life systems we see daily.  From programming basic zebra crossings to complete train sets, students will then work in pairs to create a complete programme for a theme park log flume.

Unit 2 – Understanding computers: The unit is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles of computer architecture and use of binary. Pupils will revise some of the theory on input and output covered in previous learning and continue to look at the Input-Process-Output sequence and the Fetch-Decode-Execute cycle through practical activities. Pupils will then look at some simple binary to decimal conversion and vice versa, and learn how text characters are represented using the ASCII code. This will be followed by some simple binary addition. Pupils will learn more in depth how storage devices represent data using binary patterns and physically save these patterns. Finally, they will look at a brief history of communication devices, how new technologies and applications are emerging and the pace of change.

Unit 3 – Databases (2016-2017 only): Students will study about Databases. Lessons covered throughout this project include:

  • What is a Database
  • Data Types and Primary Keys
  • Foreign Keys & Relationships
  • Forms and Mini Assessment
  • Validation and Verification
  • Queries
  • Reports
  • SQL

Unit 3 – Python: Using script based programing students will learn how to programme with Python linking it into real life situations.  Students will learn how coding is used to create games and how games can be hacked in order to change the way in which they are played.

The curriculum at KS3 is preparing students for the Computing GCSE.

Year 10

Our GCSE (9-1) Computer Science builds on our pioneering qualification development in this field. Relevant to the modern, changing world of computing, it’s designed to boost computing skills essential for 21st century.

Why choose OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science?

Engaging and contemporary – We’ve talked to companies like Microsoft, Google and Cisco, organisations like Computing At School (CAS), plus teachers and academics.

Focus on cyber security – It looks at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems, which students will study for the first time at this level.

A greater emphasis on ‘computational thinking’ – We’ve partnered with a specialist education technology company, Codio, to provide you with a cloud based programming and course content platform where students can learn the theory and apply it in real life situations, in any computing language.

Encourages mental versatility – Students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.

Support and guidance – You have access to outstanding resources, including Codio’s platform to help you enhance your own computer science knowledge and skills.

The new OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science has taken the best bits from our extremely successful GCSE Computing specification and we have modernised and reformed it into a specification that is teacher friendly, dependable and worthwhile.

The new specification is split into three components:

Component 01 – Computer Systems: Component 01 focuses on Computer Systems and is similar in style to the old A451 unit. It is an examined unit and makes up 40% of the assessment total. 

Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming: Component 02 is a new written exam, focused on computational thinking and algorithms. Students will be tested on the elements of computational thinking and logic. They are principally assessed as to their ability to write, correct and improve algorithms. 

Component 03 – Programming Project (non-exam assessment): This component is the non-exam assessment where candidates will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Our Computer Science qualification will, above all else, be relevant to the modern and changing world of computer science. Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. It is an intensely creative subject that involves invention and excitement. Our Computer Science GCSE will value computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so.

These skills will be the best preparation for learners who want to go on to study Computer Science at AS or A Level and beyond. The qualification will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

Year 11

GCSE Computing

This carefully planned course gives students a real, indepth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing. 

Through this qualification:

    • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work
    • Look at the use of algorithms in computer programs l Become independent and discerning users of IT
    • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
    • Develop computer programs to solve problems
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society. 

 

Unit title and description

Assessment and duration

Weighting

Unit A451: Computer systems and programming

This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based.

1 hour 30 minutes

Written paper

80 marks

40%

Unit A452: Practical investigation

An investigative computing task, chosen from a list provided by OCR, Controlled assessment which assesses the following: research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing skills, recommendations/evaluation.

Investigative task. OCR-set scenario with a choice of research tasks.

45 marks

30%

Unit A453: Programming Project

Students will need to:

• Understand standard programming techniques

• Be able to design a coded solution to a problem including the ability to:

– Develop suitable algorithms

– Design suitable input and output formats

– Identify suitable variables and structures

– Identify test procedures.

• Create a coded solution fully annotating the

developed code to explain its function

• Test their solution:

– To show functionality

– To show how it matches the design criteria

– Identifying successes and any limitations.

Controlled assessment Programming task. Design, develop and test a solution to a problem within the OCR-set scenario.

45 marks

30%