Computing

Computers are now part of our everyday life, regardless of our profession they are an integral part of how we work and communicate today with each other, both professionally and socially.

There is now a common understanding that the future job market will comprehensively require people to have some form of digital knowledge and skills, whether these are at high level, using applications or low level (machine level) building and maintaining applications.

From our educationalist perspective, computational thinking is essential for all our pupils, which they must learn if they are to be ready for the future workplace and are able to participate effectively in the digital world. 

The three main strands within our computing curriculum

Here at STMLC we provide a broad and balanced computing curriculum, which has been developed to equip pupils with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computer science (CS), digital literacy (DL) and information technology (IT) the three distinct strands within computing, each of which is complementary to the other and each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

https://www.stmlc.co.uk/images/ICT%20Logo.png

 

Key Stage 3

Computing

Our curriculum 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
  • They are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

Pupils learn to programme and code solutions for traditional applications and mobile applications firstly by using various drop and drag programming languages starting with (Scratch, Alice, Kodu, App-Inventor) leading to text editorial language mainly Python. The Computing department offers opportunities for the discerning / gifted pupil to extended and expand their programming knowledge and skills with various provisions to possibly use platforms such as as JAVA.

With regard to CS @ KS4:

We follow the AQA specification Pupils undertake practical projects to design, develop test modular programs that use procedures or functions during which they begin to understand programming theory. We begin this process of learning right from KS3, to build the foundation for pupils if they wish to choose this as an option in KS4. The core elements are:

  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Programming
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer networks
  • Fundamentals of cyber security
  • Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
  • Aspects of software development
  • Programming project

Information Technology (IT)

Information Technology looks at computing from a business perspective. Pupils are taught how IT is used in the world of business; they undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.

Pupils create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability. Typical projects include building a multimedia website, animation for a given purpose as well as creating a small film. The learning outcomes from this strand lead to KS4 option in Creative iMedia or Graphics Level 2 Cambridge Nationals.

Digital Literacy (DL)

Digital Literacy is a strand of computing which teaches students how to use IT safely and is essentially involved with building IT skills. These include learning how to use e-mails safely and in a business type of manner, information handling and essential tools to carry out digital work. Students understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.

Y7 programme of study

Y8 programme of study

Y9 programme of study

KS4 Options Computer Science & iMedia 

Creative iMedia

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia are media sector-focused, including film, television, web development, gaming and animation, and have IT at their heart. They provide knowledge in a number of key areas in this field from pre-production skills to digital animation and have a motivating, hands-on approach to learning. Cambridge Nationals deliver skills across the whole range of learning styles and abilities, effectively engaging and inspiring all students to achieve great things.

Course Structure and assessments

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia Certificate is a Level 2 qualification with 120 glh requiring four units, two mandatory and two optional.

Students study two mandatory and two optional units, which include business strands and creatives strands. These are centre assessed and externally moderated and collectively they make up 60% of the overall GCSE grade, with a written paper, which makes up the 40%.

To download and view the Y10 to Y11 programme of study click the individual units below:

Pre-production skills Written paper 1 hour 15 minutes (mandatory)

Creating digital graphics Centre (mandatory)

Creating a multipage website (optional)

Creating a digital video (optional)

Click here to download the full Creative iMedia specification


Computer Science (CS)

Provides an academically challenging programme of study for students of high ability, who are interested in a strategic programming career, building applications, Artificial Intelligence or computer games industry.

Students will complete this course equipped with the logical and computational skills necessary to succeed in A-level computer science, the workplace or beyond. The qualification is based around the core principles of computer science listed below.

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of data representation
  4. Computer systems
  5. Fundamentals of computer networks
  6. Fundamentals of cyber security
  7. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
  8. Aspects of software development
  9. Programming project

Computer Science Assessments

Paper 1:

Computational thinking and problem solving

What's assessed

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions 

A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills.

Paper 2:

Written assessment

What's assessed

Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3–7 above.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions

A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.

Programming project Purpose

The programming project develops a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content. The skills developed can be applied to exam questions on computational thinking.

What is produced

  • A computer program to solve the programming project
  • Written report: totalling 20 hours of timetabled work

Tasks

The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.

Click here to read the Computer Science KS4 programme of study

Click here to read the full AQA specification

Entry Requirements

Although there are no entry requirements, it is expected students must have high level of mathematical understanding, Maths grade predictions must be ideally 7 and above.

Progression 

The specification provides progression from key stage 3 studies by building on the knowledge and skills taught and will provide excellent progression to 'A' level Computer Science, vocational courses and on to degree level courses in the areas of Computing, Engineering and Science. The course provides the knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding.

For further information on both the Creative iMedia and Computer Science qualifications please contact Mr A Khan.

 

St Thomas More Language College,
Cadogan Street, Chelsea,
London, SW3 2QS