Computer Science

Curriculum Vision

‘Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.’
- Edsger W. Dijkstra –

Technology is the mainstay of our communication, entertainment, work, and social lives: can we even imagine a day without technology any more? What would a future look like with no further technological developments? A world without digitally literate young people would plunge us back into the dark ages. The current ubiquity of technology puts this subject at the forefront of teaching essential skills for modern life.

Knowledge and skills

The core purpose of Chapel’s Computer Science and IT curriculum is for all pupils to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of technology that enables them to become confident digital citizens. We interleave the three strands within computing - computer science, information technology and digital literacy – throughout years 7, 8 and 9, in an age appropriate and inclusive way, though projects, topics and activities that engage and encourage creativity.

Pupils learn to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively in different coding environments, using both visual and text-based programming. They learn the fundamental workings of the technology they use every day, from networks to computer architecture, operating systems to hardware.

More than anything, our students love projects where they can be creative, and we utilise this to increase their understanding of digital media. Just as in the world of work, they are given specific parameters by fictional clients for whom they must develop sophisticated digital media products that meet exacting standards. In this way, we push our students to think of the application of technology beyond the hills of the High Peak and into a wide variety of settings.

We motivate pupils by learning about our place in history, whilst inspiring them to see our crucial role in the future. We visit the National Gaming Museum in Sheffield in year 10/11 and take part in programmes with GCHQ Manchester. Pupils across all year groups enter a variety of local and national competitions to further enrich their experience in the subject: some of these include Bebras UK Challenge, BAFTA Young Games Designer, Coding for Girls.

And threading its way through this abundance of exciting technology-led learning is the ever-present importance of online safety, from privacy and reputation to time management.

Context

In this fast-paced subject, we keep a close eye on national and international trends and news, so that our rural students are not disadvantaged by living where they do. A global shortage of expertise in this field means that it is more important than ever that we produce high school graduates who are not only digitally literate, but are inspired to become part of the future of technology – we aim to prepare Chapel students to become programmers, project managers, data analysts and graphic designers that work locally and in places as far flung as Silicone valley. Alongside this, we encourage young women to become part of future developments and lessen the highly publicised gender imbalance in computer science-based roles. In short, we aim to inspire all our pupils to become the next generation of innovative thinkers and technology developers.

Curriculum Content

Years 7 to 9

All students study Computing and ICT In years 7, 8 and 9.

The curriculum focuses on understanding computer systems and developing the capacity to create content, programmes and systems. It also covers a wide range of ICT uses and applications. An emphasis on developing students’ computing and ICT capability and creativity is critical throughout. Skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject are developed to enable students to make effective progress both in terms of their computing qualifications and their wider use of ICT.

Years 10 and 11

We offer two qualifications as option subjects. .

Cambridge National Qualification in Creative iMedia – J817

Cambridge Nationals qualifications have full equivalence with GCSEs. They take an engaging and practical approach to learning and the use of digital devices in society. Three themes are covered in Business, Creative and Technical tasks. There are projects in Web Design, Graphics, Animation and a 1 hour exam.

Accreditation: Students must work to specific criteria and grades are awarded at:

  • Pass
  • Merit
  • Distinction
  • Distinction Star

GCSE Computer Science (9-1) J276

This is a challenging course and students need to be able mathematicians and have a keen interest in how computers work, programming and creating systems.

Qualification

OCR Cambridge Nationals Creative iMedia –J817

OCR Computer Science - J277, 9-1 (years 10 and 11)

Board

OCR

OCR

Syllabus number

J817

J276

Website link

www.ocr.org.uk

www.ocr.org.uk

Assessment details: ie 50% terminal exam

4 units 25% each. One unit is an exam.

2 written exams - 100%
Mandatory controlled assessment – does not count towards the final grade but must be completed.

Coursework details

This course focuses on ability and understanding of how to use a computer.

This course is for students who show a keen interest in building, networking and programming computers.

Recommended coursebook if appropriate

 

 

Recommended revision guides

My Revision Notes: OCR Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia L 1 / 2: Pre-production skills and Creating digital graphics

GCSE Computer Science OCR Revision Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Course (CGP GCSE Computer Science 9-1 Revision)

Extra-Curricular

We are an active department offering a range of opportunities. Workshops run after school every day to help students complete coursework and meet deadlines when required.

Lunchtime and after-school clubs: The ICT suites are open every lunch time and after school to allow students to work on coursework and homework. The lunchtime sessions are run by a team of ICT prefects, who not only organise and supervise the students, but also support them in their learning and help them complete tasks. After school sessions are supervised by ICT teaching staff and subject specific staff when necessary.


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