Computer Science

Meet The Team

Faculty Leader: Miss S Mason, Head of STEAM mason.s1@welearn365.com

Deputy Faculty Leader: Miss A Munro, 2nd in STEAM munro.a1@welearn365.com

The Team:

Introduction

Studying Computing/IT is a great choice, no matter what industry you’re interested in. You may want to develop software that powers and supports successful businesses, design a super new mobile phone app, or create digital effects for blockbuster films, computing skills will be indispensable and in huge demand for the future. Even if you’re not sure what exactly you want to do with your life, studying Computers and Information Technologies can position you to transition into lots of other fields. Law, finance, engineering, and even entertainment have serious demand for people with tech skills. After studying this at GCSE and post 16 you could end up doing a degree in Computing /IT to develop a really thorough understanding of the theory behind creating computer applications and programs, or in Information Technologies to focus on the applications of computer technology in supporting a business. A few degree specialisations could be:

  • Software Engineering
  • Newtworking and Operating Systems
  • Artificail Intelligence
  • Web Design
  • Animation Industry
  • Computer Graphics and Visualization
  • Cyber Security

Your career path will depend on what you choose to specialise in, but IT industries are on the up, and they offer heaps of choice: programming, front- and back-end development, systems analysis, web design, UX design, online security, games and apps – the list really is endless. Starting salaries vary a lot for this type of work as the roles are so varied, but typically they’ll be around £25,000. It’s worth mentioning that despite this average, graduates have reported receiving anything from £17,000 to £70,000 in IT roles.

Throughout KS3 and 4 learning portfolios are evidenced with every project. These not only develop professional evidencing and collating skills it also great to take to any college interview to evidence skill and aptitude,  work ethic or simply to give pupils a sense of pride and achievement.Assessment-Feedback and assessment is extremely important in all lessons. Every year in KS3 pupils will firstly sit a baseline assessment which covers a range of skills. This will then set the benchmark for pupils to build from. All STAR marking will be actioned and responded to over time to ensure that common mistakes and continued mistakes are tackled and improved upon to ensure progress. Literacy, interim marking and spellings will also be marked and addressed contributing to accurate assessment.

What do we study in Computer Science?

Year 7

This is a skill building year and the pupils have the opportunity to develop basic skills and technique in a variety of applications in Computing and IT. After covering the essentials such as emails, E Safety, working from home we move onto the first project which is Logo. This is a fully functional, yet flexible program for pupils to use. There are three levels to allow progression. 1. They are introduced to distances and angles and use easy on-screen buttons. 2. Recording sequences of movement which introduces them to simple programming. 3. Use the on-screen keypad or type commands straight onto the page.

The second project is thematic and based on business document problem solving and creation. It encourages the effective use of Office Applications through practical problem solving. Covers Desktop publishing, Data bases, Spreadsheets, Word, Presentation skills. Learners can choose from ‘Le Fashion’: Fashion show planning or ‘First Gear’: Car show planning.  For example from ‘First Gear’:” We will create car designs and plan a ‘promotion’ to advertise the cars, which enables us to use all Office Applications. We learn skills that are really helpful for all our subjects and home learning” (Abigail Smith Year 7). Examples and success criteria guide pupils through each of the tasks. These projects have been carefully selected to build on the basics and allow scope towards meeting the needs the KS4 curriculum/specification.

Year 8

Year 8 continues to build on the learning form Year 7.  The first project is programming Micro Bits. The BBC Micro: bit is a handheld, programmable micro-computer that can be used for all sorts of cool creations, from robots to musical instruments – the possibilities are endless. It can be coded from any web browser in Blocks, Javascript, Python, Scratch and more; no software required. Micro bit technology is super simple to use yet empowering. Learners have the opportunity to understand that anyone can really have the ability to code to quite complex levels and control physical devices and outputs! Throughout their work learners are encouraged to update their portfolios with AO1: Analysis, AO2: Design, AO3: Create, AO4: Evaluate as they would at GCSE level.

The second thematic project is a multimedia project for promoting a theme park. Learners will work to a project brief to create an interactive multimedia product to promote the features and facilities available at the park. They follow all the steps required to create high level and professional outputs. They learn where and why interactive multimedia is used and what features are needed for a given purpose. Learners also create time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process for creating an interactive multimedia product. This project works on the development of the key skills required within the KS4 option whilst also building on the skills from year 7.

Year 9

We continue to develop on previous building blocks in Year 7 and 8. The first project develops computational thinking and study using Flowol. Computational thinking embraces the methods and abilities to express and solve problems in languages that a computer can understand, process and execute. These skills are not uniquely about the computing world, and have educational benefits that improves learner’s intellectual skills including decomposition, abstraction and algorithmic thinking. These can be applied to any sphere of life and also supports subjects across the entire curriculum. By the end of the project learners have the confidence to create a complex sequence as a solution to a real life mimic of their choice.

The second creative project focusses on Webpage creation which is a key component of the KS4 option. Learners understand the basics of creating multi page websites. This will enable learners to demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website. It will allow them to interpret a client brief and to use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website. On completion of this unit, learners will be able to explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multi-page websites, plan and create a multipage website and review the final Website against a specific brief.

Year 10 and 11

Specification: Creative I Media:
Exam Board: OCR – Cambridge National Level 1 / 2 ; Specification code: J817

This qualification and 2 year course will encourage independence, creativity and awareness of the digital media sector. It will equip learners with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, learners will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products. The course will equip them with highly transferable skills and tools enhancing learner’s employability, contributing to their personal development and future economic well-being.

GCSE Computer Science

Exam Board: OCR Specification code: J277 For first assessment in 2022

This 2 year course will encourage learners to understand and apply fundamental principles and concepts of computer Science. This includes abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. It will also encourage learners to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging problems. Learners are trained to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. Theory allows them to understand the components that make up digital systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. Ethical considerations such as the impacts of digital technology to individuals and wider society are learnt and applied.

Assessment Overview :

AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.

AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.

AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:

• To make reasoned judgements • To design, program, evaluate and refine solutions

Course Content:

Useful Links