Computing

Why is the subject important?

Computing is how computers and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, how to apply computational thinking and how to make best use of information technology. It aims to give students a broad education that encourages creativity and equips them with the knowledge and skills to understand and change the world. Computing brings new challenges and opportunities that should excite and empower students.

Computing incorporates techniques and methods for solving problems and advancing knowledge, and includes a distinct way of thinking and working that sets it apart from other disciplines. The role of programming in computer science is similar to that of practical work in other sciences – it provides motivation and a context within which ideas are brought to life.

The Royal Society has identified three distinct strands within computing, each of which is complementary to the others:

  • Computer science is the scientific and practical study of computation: what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.
  • Information technology is concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work, and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.
  • Digital literacy is the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.

Each component is essential in preparing students to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Year 7

What will I be studying?

  • Digital Citizenship – This unit has been designed to ensure that learners are given sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the school network. It also allows the teacher to discuss appropriate use of the school network, and to update and remind learners of important online safety issues. Whilst completing this unit, students will also learn how to use presentation software effectively. In terms of online safety, this unit focuses on respecting others online, identifying strangers, and the effects of cyberbullying.
  • Using Media – During this unit, students develop their understanding of information technology and digital literacy skills. They will use the skills learnt across the unit to create a blog post about a real-world cause that they would like to gain support for. Students will develop software formatting skills and explore concerns surrounding the use of other people’s work, including licensing and legal issues.
  • Scratch – This unit is the first programming unit of KS3. The aim of this unit is to build students confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs. Importantly, this unit does not assume any previous programming experience, but it does offer students the opportunity to expand on their knowledge throughout the unit. The main programming concepts covered in this unit are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration.
  • Networks – This unit begins by defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols. The types of hardware required are explained, as is wired and wireless data transmission. Students will develop an understanding of the terms ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’, and of the key services and protocols used. Practical exercises are included throughout to help strengthen understanding.
  • Modelling Data – Spreadsheets – The spreadsheet unit takes students from having very little knowledge of spreadsheets to being able to confidently model data with a spreadsheet. The unit uses engaging activities to progress learners from using basic formulas to writing their own COUNTIF statements. This unit will give learners a good set of skills that they can use in computing lessons and in other subject areas.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment

Which websites should I use to support my learning?

What will I be studying? 

  • Digital Citizenship – This unit has been designed to ensure that learners are given time to familiarise themselves with the school network. It also allows the teacher to discuss appropriate use of the school network and to update students and showcase the range of online platforms accessible to them.
  • Edublocks – This unit will introduce students to Edublocks Python code by means of a comparison to an already familiar language, Scratch. Students will gain an understanding of creating code in a block based environment and understanding how key coding concepts are across all languages and can be illustrated using different languages. Students will use Edublocks Python code by creating a sequence of code that will draw shapes and patterns on the screen and capturing user input and using that input to control a simple application made in Turtle. Students will also learn about data types and what each type can be used for. Students will be introduced to variables using Edublocks by creating an application that will draw different shapes on the screen. The class will also be introduced to functions using Edublocks by creating an application that will draw different shapes on the screen, while using only one module of code.
  • Developing for the web – In this unit, students will explore the technologies that make up the internet and World Wide Web. Starting with an exploration of the building blocks of the World Wide Web, HTML, and CSS, students will investigate how websites are catalogued and organised for effective retrieval using search engines. By the end of the unit, students will have a functioning website.
  • Media Vector Graphics – This unit offers students the opportunity to design graphics using vector graphic editing software. Vector graphics can be used to design anything from logos and icons to posters, board games, and complex illustrations. Through this unit, students will be able to better understand the processes involved in creating such graphics and will be provided with the knowledge and tools to create their own.
  • Networks – This unit begins by defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols. The types of hardware required are explained, as is wired and wireless data transmission. Students will develop an understanding of the terms ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’, and of the key services and protocols used. Practical exercises are included throughout to help strengthen understanding.organised for effective retrieval using search engines. By the end of the unit, students will have a functioning website.

How will I be assessed? 

Summative assessment

Which websites should I use to support my learning?

What will I be studying?

  • Digital Citizenship – This unit has been designed to ensure that learners are given time to familiarise themselves with the school network. It also allows the teacher to discuss appropriate use of the school network and to update students and showcase the range of online platforms accessible to them.
  • Edublocks – This unit will introduce students to Edublocks Python code by means of a comparison to an already familiar language, Scratch. Students will gain an understanding of creating code in a block based environment and understanding how key coding concepts are across all languages and can be illustrated using different languages. Students will use Edublocks Python code by creating a sequence of code that will draw shapes and patterns on the screen and capturing user input and using that input to control a simple application made in Turtle. Students will also learn about data types and what each type can be used for. Students will be introduced to variables using Edublocks by creating an application that will draw different shapes on the screen. The class will also be introduced to functions using Edublocks by creating an application that will draw different shapes on the screen, while using only one module of code.
  • Spreadsheets and Modelling – The spreadsheet unit takes students from having very little knowledge of spreadsheets to being able to confidently model data with a spreadsheet. The unit uses engaging activities to progress learners from using basic formulas to writing their own COUNTIF statements. Students will also learn a range of advanced functions to model data.  This unit will give learners a good set of advanced skills so that they can use in computing lessons and in other subject areas.
  • Python Programming – This unit introduces learners to text-based programming with Python. The lessons form a journey that starts with simple programs involving input and output, and gradually moves on through arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration. Emphasis is placed on tackling common misconceptions and elucidating the mechanics of program execution. A range of pedagogical tools is employed throughout the unit, with the most prominent being pair programming, live coding, and worked examples.
  • Cyber Security – This unit takes the students on an eye-opening journey of discovery about techniques used by cybercriminals to steal data, disrupt systems, and infiltrate networks. The students  will start by considering the value of their data to organisations and what they might use it for. They will then look at social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals to try to trick users into giving away their personal data. The unit will look at the more common cybercrimes such as hacking, DDoS attacks, and malware, as well as looking at methods to protect ourselves and our networks against these attacks.

How will I be assessed? 

Summative assessment

Which websites should I use to support my learning?

What will I be studying?

  • J277/01: Computer systems
    • 1 .1 Systems architecture
    • 1.2 Memory and storage
    • 1.3 Computer networks, connections and protocols
    • 1.4 Network security
    • 1.5 Systems software
    • 1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology
  • J277/02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
    • 2.1 Algorithms
    • 2.2 Programming fundamentals
    • 2.3 Producing robust programs
    • 2.4 Boolean logic
    • 2.5 Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

How will I be assessed?

  • J277/01: Computer systems
    • Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes
    • 50% of total GCSE
    • 80 marks
    • This is a non-calculator paper
    • All questions are mandatory
    • This paper consists of multiple choice questions
    • Short response questions and extended response questions
  • J277/02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
    • Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes
    • 50% of total GCSE
    • 80 marks
    • This is a non-calculator paper
    • This paper has two sections: Section A and Section B. Students must answer both sections
    • All questions are mandatory
    • In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high-level programming language they are familiar with

Which examination board am I following? 

Exam Board: www.ocr.org.uk/gcsecomputerscience

Specification: https://ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j277-from-2020/

Website: www.ocr.org.uk/gcsecomputerscience

Which websites should I use to support my learning?

Ofsted Outstanding Provider