Curriculum Statement - Computing
‘In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.’ – Mark Zuckerberg
Powerful Knowledge in Computing
Powerful Knowledge in Computing is based on the ability to abstract and decompose a problem to produce a solution thorough investigation. Technology is now an integral part of life, from communication and connecting with others, to how we collaborate, share and plan. Students have opportunities throughout KS3 to produce robust and considered solutions to problems posed in class. Alongside this, it is important students develop an understanding of how the hardware within a computer functions (Digital Literacy), removing the ‘black box’ nature of technology.
The KS3 curriculum is designed to ensure students studying GCSE Computer Science have a grounding in the fundamental concepts covered at KS4. Students start with the ‘big picture’, studying Hardware and Algorithms, giving them the skills to access later topics such as Binary and Hexadecimal where students study the mathematical makeup of machines. Over the 3 years, students learn to program in 3 languages, starting with block-based languages before progressing to High-Level Languages. The development of programming skills is also built into physical Computing tasks such as coding thermometers and LED lights to effectively apply the knowledge learnt in earlier Algorithm and Programming units.
Students will use the class notebook feature of Office 365 to record their progress, this reduces the need for paper and allows students to work both at home and in school, it also supports the need to teach students how to access and use online services.
The principal impact of the KS3 curriculum is to prepare students for their chosen course in Computer Science. It is also designed to equip students with sufficient skills in ICT and computing should they wish not to choose the subject as an option. This is regardless of prior ability. The assessments will allow for a range of outcomes for students and be accessible for all levels, there will also be provision for stretch and challenge. These assessments will both reflect the content studied and provide a signpost of what to expect at the next key stage.
Co Curriculum Enrichment
- Students have the opportunity to enter a range of National Competitions such as game design and development for YGD BAFTA and competing against other secondary schools in CyberGame events.
- Students from the University of Manchester run ‘Mini MIT’ for KS3 students to learn how to program robots.
- Amaze, a digital marketing agency, support our year 9 female students through web development sessions in Girl:Code.
- The First Tech Robotics challenge features as part of the Electives programme, using BBC microbits.