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Curriculum Information for Key Stage 3 students
Welcome to the Computer Science department
Aim: to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
What topics will I study in KS3 (years 7, 8 & 9):
Click here for the full overview of the Computer Science Curriculum Model
Below is a quick summary of the Computer Science learning journey from the curriculum model above.
To create confident, independent and resilient learners through well planned and delivered lessons supported by best practice in assessment and feedback. Students will leave with the fundamental knowledge and understanding of how data, hardware and software have developed and operate both now and into the future. This includes a good grasp of programming, communications technology, e-safety and the components which make computer systems function.
The intent is that students leave year 7 well equipped to cope and safely use online technology. They will all know how and where to report any E-Safety concerns and are taught to keep everyone safe both now and in the future rather than just themselves in the here and now. Cyberbullying, Grooming, Radicalisation, Sexting and Digital Footprint are all covered in the curriculum. This is followed by an introduction to the fundamentals of programming. by the end of year 7 students will know about computational thinking, algorithms, variables, loops, selection statements, functions and procedures. They will have multiple opportunities to apply this knowledge in a carefully structured and sequenced series of tasks using the blocky language on code.org
The intent is that students will develop their knowledge of programming from year 7 and apply it in one of the worlds most widely used written programming languages, Python. We will also apply the same knowledge in a different way when we program our own website using html code and css style sheets. Further to this we study all the hardware components of a typical computer system and a range of software that runs on that hardware. Lastly although it is not explicitly listed in the national curriculum we also include an introductory unit for spreadsheet modelling. We intend students to have at least the basic skills to build simple spreadsheets that are so common place in most modern workplaces.
In year 9 we further develop students understanding of computer systems looking at the transfer and communication of data between the systems in each network alongside the security and legal issues that presents. Additional hardware and the protocols used to make them work are studied. We continue to develop the students python programming and then we study the code and methods used in important algorithms for searching and sorting data which are vital for understanding how so many programs, apps, search engines and websites maintain and operate large data sets successfully. Lastly we teach about the implications of technology use on the world. This includes environmental, privacy, security, legal and ethical issues surrounding the production and use of technology both now and in the future.
Can I study this at KS4?
The intent is that we further develop students knowledge and understanding of Programming, Algorithms, Data, Networks & Communication, Implications of Technology and Hardware\Software.
Are there any enrichment opportunities in school?
In year 10 we run a school trip to the British Education and Training Technology Show
What could I do at home to help myself or where could I visit to help my learning?
Regularly review your work from previous units and set yourself practice questions to test if you can still recall the content correctly. You can also continue developing your programming skills using pynewbs.com and your theory by following the crash course computer science channel on YouTube.
code.org – If there’s one resource you should go and plunder then it’s definitely code.org. Aside from its rich collection of links to all the websites and resources trying to teach students to program, it has an online course that uses computing celebrities, popular games and genuine excitement to deliver a course in the basics of Computer Science.
codeavengers.com – This is the nicest online course to teach students the fundamentals of programming.
https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-python-3 – This course is a great introduction to both fundamental programming concepts and the Python programming language.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zvc9q6f – A KS3 computer science learning resources for adults, children and parents organised by topic.