(Exam Board OCR)
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 500 devices for students to use.
Within computer science and IT lessons we aim to:
- support students to be creators and authors, not merely consumers.
- support students to think critically about information that they are digesting.
- provide students with the skills to embrace and utilise new technology.
- ensure that all students are safe when using new technologies.
Mr A Reynolds (Head of Department
Mr C Challinor (Teacher of Computer Science)
Mr A Johnson (Teacher of Computer Science)
Mr D Birch (Teacher of Computer Science)
Mr M Palmer (Teacher of Computer Science, Assistant Principle)
Mr A Growcott (Teacher of Computer Science, Assistant Principle)
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.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to choose between two qualifications.
GCSE Computer Science (OCR) give students an insight into the science underpinning the way computers work. We look in depth at the components that make up a computer, networking, security and the issues surrounding the industry. Students learn to program to a high level using Python, exploring how to use sequencing, selection, iteration, data structures and sub-routines. We will also look into how data is stored and manipulated across computer systems, converting binary, denary and hexadecimal number systems, alongside how images, sound and text files are stored and processed at a data level. This qualification is assessed via two 90 minute exams at the end of the course, graded GCSE 9 – 1.
Creative iMedia (OCR Cambridge Nationals) gives students more insight into how computer systems and software are used in the ICT and creative industries. Students have the opportunity to explore the different ways that ICT is used from the idea phase right through to development and implementation, largely in creative industries such as design and media. Students will learn how to edit and develop digital images to a high level, alongside learning website design. This qualification is assessed via two extended coursework projects (digital imaging and website design) each weighted at 30%, with a 90 minute exam at the end of year 11 weighted 40% of the qualification.
Three 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.
We are pleased to be one of only a small number of schools who are currently offering the Digital: Production, Design and Development T Level. This qualification has been designed with employers to give young people the skills that they need to work successfully within the Digital industry. Overall qualification is equivalent 3 A Levels and is designed for students to gain a thorough understanding of the essential knowledge for a software developer. It will also give students a valuable insight into how this works in the real world by allowing students to complete a 45-day work placement within the industry. The subject content is spit into 2 sections, Core Knowledge and Specialist skills each are equally weighted. To receive your qualification, you will sit 2 exams which will be sat in Year 12 and 2 externally assessed projects, one completed in year 12 and the other in year 13.
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/
GCSE Computer Science (Y11) – https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j276-from-2016/assessment/
GCSE Computer Science (Y9 and Y10) – https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j277-from-2020/assessment/
A Level Computer Science – https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/computer-science-h046-h446-from-2015/
Programming Resources W3 Schools- https://www.w3schools.com/
Programming Resources Codecademy – https://www.codecademy.com/
BBC Bitesize – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z34k7ty
Isaac Computer Science – https://isaaccomputerscience.org/
BBC Technology News – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology
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.