Technology is increasing in importance in people’s lives and it is expected that this trend will continue, to the extent that technological literacy will become a functional requirement for people’s work, social, and personal lives. In the twenty-first century, both computing and ICT have an especially prominent, and growing role in learning in the classrooms, in organisations and in the society we live in. Studying Computing and Information Communication Technology is therefore seen by many to be a necessity, as it equips students not only with the skills they need to learn and live in the 21st Century, but also to cope with the rapid rate of change we associate with living in the world today and enable them to be capable and appreciative users of computing and IT.
The creative study and use of both computing and ICT at Walton High aims to provide pupils with a high quality of learning and achievement at all levels in:
- The ability to critically evaluate and assimilate the information they encounter, particularly through sources such as the internet.
- An appreciation of the role that computing and IT plays in the world around them.
- An understanding of the need to practice e-safety when using IT resources, particularly online.
- The role computing and ICT plays in businesses
- To reinforce a cross-curricular approach to computing and ICT - students should encounter both in a wide range of contexts and not exclusively through the study of computing itself
- To emphasise access - Children should have frequent access to ICT tools and have adequate opportunity to use these tools when it is appropriate to do so
The study of computer science, at all key stages, encourages students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the impact that developments in information technology have on themselves, communities worldwide, and the future. It also helps emphasizes the growing importance attributed to the communication aspects of new technologies which students are so keen to engage with nowadays. Consequently, studying computer science and ICT will contribute in a significant way to the general education of pupils, whether or not they intend proceeding to further studies or employment specific to information technology.
Below are our Curriculum/Courses:
- Basic Skills: Introduction to ICT & Computing following the national curriculum
- GCSE OCR Computer Science
- Cambridge Nationals L1/2 in IT
- Cambridge Technicals L3 Introductory Diploma in IT
We believe it is important for our students to gain experience and skills of Computing as well as ICT at KS3 and our curriculum allows them to achieve this. Through year 7-8 students will be able to develop their computational thinking and creativity. The KS3 curriculum can help inform students about their options choices for KS4 and whether they might be suited to ICT or Computing. Some of the units of study across the new ICT and computing curriculum in Year 7-8 includes:
- Digital Literacy
- Computer Architecture
- Computer Networks
- Programming using scratch, flowol and python
In Year 9 and upwards, students receive 4 sessions of Computing or ICT per fortnight. Students who choose computer science follow the OCR Computer science course, whilst students who choose ICT as their applied learning option take the Cambridge Nationals in Information technologies, equivalent to one GCSEs. Students have access to the virtual learning environment (firefly). This system is available from home and school from any computer that is connected to the Internet.
Both pathways are assessed through a combination of set assignments/coursework and exam assessments.
Both pathways are applied learning courses, where students have the opportunity to understand how computing and ICT works in real world working environments.
Computer Science GCSE
Why study Computer Science?
The course gives you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It will give you an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing. The course provides excellent preparation for further study and employment in the field of computer science.
The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving you a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. An ideal Computer Science student should be able to think outside the box, be an independent learner, and have good ICT and mathematical skills. If you want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems, such as areas like engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine, then this is the course for you.
What will students study?
The specification covers the following topics:
- Computer Systems
- Computational thinking, Algorithms and programming
- Programming project
How is the course assessed?
1. Written Examination on computer systems (J276/01) (1 hour 30 minutes; 80 marks; Weighting: 40%)
The written exam is designed to test students’ understanding of various topics related to computer systems.
2. Written Examination on Computational thinking, Algorithms and programming (J276/02) (1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks; weighting: 40%)
A written exam to test student’s understanding on the following topics:
- Translators and facilities of languages
- High- and low-level programming
- Computational logic
- Data representation
3. Programming Project (J276/03/04) (20 hours, 40 marks; weighting: 20%)
The programming project is a computing task, chosen from a list provided by OCR, which assesses the following: programming techniques, design, development, effectiveness and efficiency, technical understanding, testing, evaluation and conclusions. There are multiple tasks to choose from – but students must complete all three questions from the same overall task. Students can use any language they like, as long as they can complete the task. The controlled assessment is intended to take 20 hours and will be carried out under controlled conditions without access to the internet.
OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Information Technologies
Launching for first teaching September 2017, the new Cambridge National Level 1/2 Certificate in Information Technologies qualification has been re-drafted and will allow students to achieve their potential and progress to the next stage of their lives, whether it be Further Education, an apprenticeship or employment.
This qualification will teach the learner what different technology could be used, why they should use it and how to make best use of it, to gather, store, manipulate and present data; this is known as data management.
They will learn about tools and techniques for use in different digital hardware and software technologies, and how these can be integrated to create digital solutions to manage and communicate data and information.
They will also be taught what data and information are and the legal and moral considerations when using technology to gather, store and present data and information, and how to mitigate the risks of cyber-attacks.
Through this qualification they will be able to select and use the most appropriate technology safely and effectively, to complete a data management task, such as a cable TV provider monitoring customers’ viewing to make recommendations for additional packages in the customer’s subscription.
They will also learn to follow a project life-cycle of initiation, planning, execution and evaluation to complete a data management task and use their skills, knowledge and understanding of technology to complete each of the stages of the project life-cycle.
What will students study?
This qualification is 120 Guided Learning Hours, and is equivalent to a GCSE in both size and rigour. It will fit into a study programme at Key Stage 4. There is one centre assessed unit offering practical task-based assessment opportunities, alongside the examined unit of assessment, which contains underpinning knowledge and understanding.
There are two units of assessment. Learners must complete both units of assessment to achieve the qualification :
Assessment unit R012 is assessed by an exam and marked by the exam board
Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions
Learners will sit an exam to assess their knowledge and understanding of different technologies (hardware and software applications), and tools and techniques used to select, store, manipulate and present data and information (e.g. using formulae to link data sets).
They will also be assessed on the stages of a project life cycle and the methods and processes that can be used to complete each of these which, combined with their understanding of information technologies, will prepare them for developing technological solutions.
They will need to understand the legal, moral, ethical, and security issues that can impact on collecting, storing and using data, and also the different risks associated with data and storage and how these can be mitigated.
This knowledge and understanding will help them to make decisions and appropriate choices when developing a technological solution, which they will be asked to do in the practical assignment.
Assessment Unit R013 – Developing technological solutions
This assessment focuses on how effectively learners use their skills when developing a technological solution.
Learners will be given a project to develop a technological solution that processes data and communicates information.
They will follow the project life cycle stages of initiation/planning, execution, communication and evaluation, demonstrating the practical skills they have acquired such as carrying out SWOT analyses, creating GANTT charts, developing online surveys, or presenting data through web-based technologies; keeping their project on track through on-going, iterative reviews.
Learners will use different hardware and software technologies to interrogate and model data to create, integrate and format a technological solution for data/information processing and communication.
Assessment unit R013 is marked by the centre and moderated by the exam board.
All results are awarded on the following scale:
Level 2 – Distinction* (*2), Distinction (D2), Merit (M2), Pass (P2)
Link to exam board website: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-type/cambridge-nationals/
Technology related skills are a major factor in the UK’s economic and social success. Students at A level get to study a range of units under the OCR/Oxford exam board which will equip them with the knowledge, technical know-how and opportunity to put into practice a wide range of software and hardware to create solutions to solve problems.
KS 5- ICT Introductory DIPLOMA -Cambridge technical
Cambridge Technicals are vocational qualifications at Level 3 for students aged 16+. They are designed with the workplace in mind and provide a high-quality alternative to A Levels.
We will be taking students to the pathway that focuses on the design, implementation and management of an organisation's IT Infrastructure. Plus, the activities and roles that are carried out in the workplace such as selecting hardware and software for clients, and learning how to build, upgrade or develop computer systems and networks that are safe and secure. We endeavour to have employers involvement throughout the course and students also take part in work experience for each coursework unit to meet part of the requirements of the qualification.
Units covered include:
Exam based units:
· Unit 1: Fundamentals of IT- exam based unit which is externally assessed
This unit will provide students with a sound understanding of IT technologies Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT. After completing this unit, the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed will underpin your study for the additional units.
· Unit 2: Global Information - exam based unit which is externally assessed
This unit demonstrates the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential, and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.
· Computer Networks- coursework unit, marked by the centre and moderated by the exam board.
· Systems Analysis and Design- coursework unit, marked by the centre and moderated by the exam board.
· Internet of Everything- coursework unit, marked by the centre and moderated by the exam board.
At A level students are encouraged to undertake more independent learning and study.
Students would be expected to have studied ICT or computer science at GCSE level or equivalent.