Curriculum

Computing

(GCSE exam board: OCR)

Computing Department Aims

The aim of Computing is to provide students with the tools and skills to be authors and creators, not just consumers of ICT.  In an ever changing technological world, we aim to ensure that all students can embrace new technology and use it to improve learning. Students are given opportunities to develop their ICT skills but also to learn computer programming using software such as Scratch and Python. The importance of e-safety is a recurring theme each year.

The Computing department is well resourced with four main IT suites of 34 stations. Additionally, there are another 8 IT suites in the school. In total over the school there are over 400.

  • To support students to be creators and authors, not merely consumers.
  • To support students to think critically about information that they are digesting.
  • To provide students with the skills to embrace and utilise new technology.
  • To ensure that all students are safe when using new technologies.

For information regarding the ICT department, including policies and facilities provided for staff and students please select a link below

Student ICT Handbook

Staff ICT Handbook

Computing Staff

Mr M Palmer (Head of Department)

Mr C Challinor (Teacher of Computing)

Mr A Reynolds (Teacher of Computing)

Computing Curriculum Overview

Students in Years 7 and 8 study Computing and ICT using different software applications. In Year 7 students are introduced to programming via a visual programming language called Scratch. In Year 8 students further develop their skills by learning to program in Python. Students also learn how different software applications are used in the real world  e.g. spreadsheet modelling, database design and photo editing.

Most students complete the vocational qualification, Creative iMedia level 2, gaining a GCSE equivalent qualification. This consists of 3 controlled assessment projects and one examination each weighted at 25%. The course is graded by Pass (C), Merit (B), Distinction (A) and Distinction*(A*).

Some students study OCR GCSE Computer Science. This consists of two examinations (50% each), one programming project has to be completed in Year 11 which allows students to put into practise the skills they have learnt in previous years. Students are taught to program in a high level language using Python. They also cover topics relating to how the internal components of a computer works along with the different types of software used by a computer, networking types and protocols, converting between binary, denary and hexadecimal and how data such as text, images and sound are represented.

Two Computing and ICT qualifications are offered at the Painsley VI Form. BTEC ICT is a popular course that consists of one examination and a piece of portfolio work in Year 12, with a second examination and further project in Year 13. Students build upon their previous skills in spreadsheet modelling as well as databases.

A Level Computer Science is a course that caters for those with a strong interest in computers and/or a strong mathematical background. Students use a high level programming language to create bespoke software and learn more about how computers function. Assessment in Year 12 is by two examinations (one practical programming exam and one theoretical exam). In Year 13, students submit a programming project and sit two theory examinations.

Parents can help prepare students for  the world of Computing by encouraging your child to explore the following software applications. All applications are completely free and help with the development of sequencing, writing instructions as well as the development and understanding of programming syntax.

Scratch is a free visual programming language. Scratch is used by students, scholars, teachers, and parents to easily create animations, games, etc. and provide a stepping stone to the more advanced world of computer programming.  https://scratch.mit.edu/scratch_1.4/

Code Combat is an interactive platform game where students portray a character in a medieval realm, completing different challenges along the way. As the game progresses through different levels so does the challenge.  http://www.codecombat.com

Code Academy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 11 different programming languages including Python.  https://www.codecademy.com/

Assessment Framework

How to guides- links to tutorials

Useful Websites

OCR (for the OCR GCSE Computing  and Creative iMedia  and also for A Level Computing and ICT courses)

W3Schools (web programming guidance)

Code Academy(Learn to code interactively, free of charge)

http://scratch.mit.edu/ (free downloads)

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/home.html  Pearson Qualifications

Extra Curricular

The department will be running a weekly Computing club in B4 for Year 7 and Year 8 students. The club will explore multiple languages, including Python and HTML. Watch this space for more information.

In addition to this, B1 is open for completing Computing and ICT homework and coursework between 12.30 and 1.00pm every day. The ICT supervisors (Y9 and Y10 students who volunteer their time) are always on hand to help and to make sure that everything runs smoothly.