The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an essential skill for life. ICT capability is fundamental to participation and engagement in modern society. It encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly in learning, everyday life and employment.
As a department we follow a Computing curriculum and our students get to develop skills in a number of different programming languages as well as understanding the underpinning science of how computers function.
Here at St Augustine’s, we are committed to making the use of ICT central to the whole school curriculum. The ICT department also runs a games design club and various Cyber Security clubs to provide students with opportunities to do extra-curricular projects outside their normal ICT lessons.
Key Stage 3 – COMPUTING Curriculum
In year 7, 8 & 9, students follow a broad curriculum that prepares them for an active role in the digital world, instead of being passive consumers of opaque and mysterious technology. They not only learn the technical skills of using different tools, but their application in everyday life too.
Year 7 units
– Unit 7.1 – Getting Started (web development & E-safety)
– Unit 7.2 – Scratch Programming
– Unit 7.3 – Lifting the Lid (what’s inside the computer)
– Unit 7.4 – Getting into Robotics
– Unit 7.5 – School Disco (group project)
Year 8 units
– Unit 8.2 – Computer Networks
– Unit 8.2 – Python Programming
– Unit 8.4 – App Development (group project)
– Unit 8.5 – Alice 3D Programming
Year 9 units
– Unit 9.1 – Visual Basic programming
– Unit 9.2 – Sustainable St A’s (group project)
– Unit 9.3 – GameMaker Programming
– Unit 9.4 – IT in Society
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students learn to solve increasingly demanding problems and use more complex information from a wide range of sources in a variety of contexts. They have the option of taking either:
- GCSE Computer Science (technical option)
- CiDA – Certificate in Digital Applications ( creative option)
1. GCSE Computer Science – J276 (OCR) – technical option
This course has been designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It’s an excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of computer science. Students will develop their critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to other subjects. It therefore provides an excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on those skills e.g. engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.
Component 01 – Computer Systems (Exam – worth 40%)
This covers the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science. The areas covered are: Systems architecture, Memory, Storage, Wired and wireless networks, Network topologies, protocols and layers, System security, Systems software, Moral, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.
Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Exam – worth 40%)
This area is 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. The areas covered are: Algorithms, Programming techniques, Producing robust programs, Computational logic, Translators and facilities of languages, Data representation.
Component 03 – Programming Project (Controlled Assessment – worth 20%)
Students will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in a project provided by OCR. The areas covered are: Programming techniques, Analysis, Design, and Development, Testing and evaluation and conclusions.
80% – External assessment – written paper
20% – Controlled assessment – Programming Project
What can the qualification lead to?
This qualification provides learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding to progress to:
- Academic qualifications e.g. A Level in Computer Science or IT
- Level 3 Vocational qualifications e.g. BTEC Level 3 in Computing or IT
- Employment in the IT field
Find out more info at: ocr.org.uk
2. CiDA – Certificate in Digital Applications (Edexcel) – creative option
This unit has been designed to enable students to acquire a broad understanding and knowledge of the UK creative digital industries. Students will gain the ability to apply the knowledge acquired in practical contexts and learn to use different digital tools to express your creativity in an informed and responsible way.
Unit 1: Developing Web Products – 25%
This unit will provide students with the knowledge and skills to design, create, test and evaluate professional attention grabbing web products.
Practical exam. 2.5 hours – 50 marks.
Students will use web authoring and other software tools to build and test a website based on a scenario set by the exam board in a computer based exam.
Unit 4: Game Making – 75%
This unit will provide students with the skills to investigate different aspects of the game industry and then learn to plan, design, create, test & evaluate computer games.
Coursework project. Approx. 30 hours – 33 marks.
Students will research, design, create, test and evaluate a computer game based on a scenario provided by the exam board.
Find out more: qualifications.pearson.com
Key Stage 5
BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in IT – (Edexcel) – equivalent to one A Level
Why choose BTEC’s
- They provide a practical, real-world approach to learning without sacrificing any of the essential subject theory.
- They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to prepare for employment, progression to higher education, degree and professional development programmes.
- They’re built to accommodate the needs of employers and allow progression to university.
Year 12 units
– Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information (External Exam)
– Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business (Coursework based)
Year 13 units covered
– Unit 1: Information Technology Systems (External Exam)
– Unit 5: Data Modelling (Coursework based)
This course is 50% internally assessed through coursework projects and 50% through one written exam and one practical exam. The first exam is at the end of year 12. A 10 hour exam on the computer over 5 days. The second exam is a written exam in year 13.
This course is equivalent to one A level, hence students can go on to university or start their career straight from school.
- A 4 grade certificate at GCSE
- A B grade certificate at CiDA
- If a student has taken a different course at Key Stage 4 these will also be taken into account.
- An entry test is available for those who didn’t take ICT at GCSE level.
Find out more: edexcel.com