Computing

The aim of learning Computing is to enable students to become active participants in the world. It isn't just about producing programmers.

Some will look at computing as a (very well paid!) career, but everybody will use technology in their everyday life. This means that it is vital that we (and the whole school) support pupils to be respectful users, in considering people at the other end of a connection. Students will be taught how to stay safe and how to get help when things do go wrong. They will learn to search efficiently for information and avoid fraudulent sites and emails. As well as within computing topics, we do a discrete online safety lesson each half-term. NB As online safety is so crucial to our pupils' safety and wellbeing, it is also covered as part of the PSHE curriculum.

Pupils will learn some coding techniques. This is not just important to prepare for a career in computing. Learning to break down a problem and solve it in a novel way is excellent for developing thinking skills and is shown to support their learning in other subjects. The resilience developed through debugging and retrying will help in many aspects of their lives.

Finally, they will learn to use computers to support their learning in every subject and to undertake creative projects. This might be around photo or video editing, designing comic strips (which can be used to storyboard videos) or even designing displays.

At KS3, all pupils now have two computing lessons each week. They follow the national curriculum with these three strands:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology

These roughly correspond to the three paragraphs above.

We have recently begun to use the Hodder 'Compute-IT' scheme and resources. The topics to be studied for the rest of the year are:

Term Subject content
Spring 2

3: Drawing and manipulating shapes 

This will include seeing the links between art, maths and computing. Pupils will design algorithms for basic shapes and put them together to produce artwork.

Summer 1

Units 4: Creating an animation and 5: The foundations of computing

Students will look at rehearsed or pre-written dance moves, comparing robots used in industry with dancers performing routines.

They will then program an animation (in Scratch) to either recreate a dance routine from a music video, or design their own. They will use programming techniques such as sequences, iteration, procedures, selection and variables.

In the second topic, they will see how computers have developed from the basic calculators and machinery used to solve problems, to programmable, general-purpose computers, and some of the key people involved in that process. Finally, they look in detail about how the CPU handles program instructions and data.

Summer 2

Unit 7: Web page creation from the ground up

This term's work will build on the work they have done on the World Wide Web. It provides students with the challenge of getting to grips with HTML, considering things such as accessibility, style sheets, user interface design, embedding multimedia and uploading the web content to a server.

Pupils will have the opportunity to design and code web pages, practising both their HTML skills but also learning some design principles.

Key Staff

T Hewetson - Curriculum Lead, based at the Grove Centre .

A Kapur, R Parmar, B Dawson- Firsbrook

S Griffiths and T Hayward - Kings

M Bird- Link

E Davies - Millpool

  

Resources

BBC Bitesize is an excellent start, with information, quizzes and video clips.

SAM Learning has some computing activities. You will have received login information from your centre. 

We take part in the Hour of Code each December, but the resources are available all year-round. They include some computing activities that don't need the internet or even a computer!

Scratch is a language using blocks (so you don't have to memorise commands). It seems simple, but it and the more advanced Snap! can be used to teach concepts right up to University level.

A Raspberry Pi (the 'zero' is from ~£10) is a tiny computer that can connect to a TV or monitor and has been used for amazing projects while being a great introduction to coding.

The NSPCC has excellent resources to help keep children and families safe online.

Our safeguarding advice for parents page contains some further resources for online safety.

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