Students in year 7 and 8 study IT and Computing discreetly for one hour a week in an ICT suite, with a trained member of staff. We use both educational and industry standard software, with the emphasis on allowing our students to learn and develop generic skills which can be transferred from home to school and eventually into further education and employment.
In addition to our ICT suites we also have a small hub of Raspberry Pi computers, with external hardware such as Makey Makey kits, programmable robots and Pico Boards for the students to use to improve and inspire their programming skills.
Due to the requirements of the new computing curriculum from KS1 we find that each year, pupils joining us in Year 7 have a better understanding of computational thinking and the use of algorithms. Therefore our curriculum in Year 7 & 8 changes annually to reflect the current cohort of students. Here is, therefore, a flavour of some of the units that we offer to our Year 7 and 8 students.
BBC Micro:bit We are excited about the arrival of the Mirco:bit for all year 7 pupils, at least a half term of teaching will be focused on the pupils using their own Mirco;Bit in the lessons
E-Safety Students create an animated head in the software ‘Crazy Talk’ to verbalise their learning from this unit. E-Safety is revisited during the year and is marked each year by the Safer Internet Day.
Kudo Game Programming Medieval games are created Kudo – they create a multi-level game with score and health bars that includes an underwater world.
Computational thinking everything from flow charts in Flowol, algorithms, binary and logic gates are covered.
HTML & CSS Websites are created using the HTML language and Cascading Style Sheets are added. Pupils are introduced to the technical side of the working of the Internet and how websites work.
3D Design Detailed 3D structures are created with Google Sketch-UP, students get to showcase their talent for design while thinking. Students also get to explore building lego in Chrome.
Python Students gain an insight into this textual high level programme language. It helps them to develop understanding for a variety of different languages as it teaches concepts of strings, Variables, loops and syntax.
A number of IT & Computing competitions run through the year, this is to encourage the students to widen their knowledge and deepen their understanding of an area of study.
We offer a range of educational trips and opportunities to our students, we have partnered up to run in school workshops with game developers, child net and …..
Examples of past and upcoming trips in the IT & Computing department include:
Bletchley Park – Guided tour, workshop and interactive museum looking at the code breaking computers developed during WW2.
Lego Land –Students have a hands on experience with the LEGO WeDo Software where pupils build and program an interactive model during a workshop followed by time in the park. See photos and information on a recent trip to Legoland.
Apple Store – pupils create a Video to enter for a national competition using footage they take themselves
Microsoft – students went to the HQ in London to see a classroom of the future and experience how Microsoft see learning and technology advancing.
Girls in Coding – Each year a small group of girls take part in a 6 week programme for girls in coding at the Amex Community Stadium.
The Centre for Computing History –Students will learn about the extraordinary advance in technology over 50 years of computing history and discover how computers have not only accelerated our lives, but radically transformed them. A hands on workshop in a Raspberry Pi suite using Python to control external objects will be an exciting opportunity for the students.
Pictured: Students at Bletchley Park investigating computers used to break the Enigma Code.
Key Stage 4
At key stage 4 we offer Computer Science or an IT vocational qualification.
GCSE COMPUTING gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming. It’s a great way to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to further learning and to everyday life. Students who want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of computer science will find it provides a superb stepping stone. The assessment is made up of controlled assessments and a final exam. Computer Science is recognised as an EBAC subject.
The IT qualification is much more hands on and gives pupils the chance to create a project and products using both familiar and new software. The course is heavily weighted to coursework and what students can create in a given time. Students are required to sit an external exam set by the exam board at the end of the course. Students who have a flair for creative work will find they can excel in this option.