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Edgbarrow School

IT & Computer Science

Welcome

Welcome to the IT & Computer Science Department. Students study with us throughout all key stages. We strive for the very highest standards of teaching and learning, supporting students to develop transferable skills for their future.

IT & Computer Science systems are at the heart of modern life. We aim to help students to think logically and use technology to solve a wide range of problems. We encourage all students to be creative with technology and be confident as both users and developers of software tools, including understanding how to stay safe in the connected digital world. IT & Computer Science are instrumental in everything we do - from the vehicles we drive, to the movies and music that entertain us, to the ways businesses and governments operate and interact with us. IT & Computer Science are disciplines that offer rewarding and challenging career possibilities for a wide range of people regardless of their aptitudes and interests. We are lucky to be located in an area surrounded by tech companies.

Our curriculum has been sequenced from Key Stage 3, where students study both IT & Computer Science through individual and combined topics giving students a broad and balanced range of skills and knowledge, through to Key Stage 4 and 5 where students successfully complete qualifications in IT & Computer Science, whilst being given opportunities to engage with meaningful employer involvement at Key Stage 5. We are proud of our Key Stage 3 curriculum; we feel it provides a good balance between both subjects so that they can make informed choices for their Key Stage 4 options.


Key Staff

Miss Mullane - Head of IT & Computer Science
Miss Pilgrim - Teacher

Mrs Puddy - Teacher
Mrs Hartley - Teacher
Mr Marshall - Teacher



Key Stage 3

Curriculum Intent

The aim of IT & Computer Science is to develop young people who are digitally literate, resilient and have problem-solving skills. Students will develop transferable skills to use across the curriculum, and in the wider world.

Students study IT & Computer Science for one hour per week in their form groups. Students will learn the difference between IT and Computer Science and will study units of each throughout their time in Key Stage 3. Where possible, we will use lesson topics to introduce various careers in the field of IT and Computer Science. E-Safety and cyber security is a core part of each year and is addressed both within IT & Computer Science lessons and through whole-school events and PSHE.

Year 7
Students study the fundamentals of Computer Science, including problem-solving skills, developing algorithms and writing block-based code. They also begin to develop an understanding of theory concepts such as cyber security and how data is represented in Computer Systems. Students also cover the core office skills and research skills that they will require in their other subjects, as well as increasing their awareness of e-safety. While some students will have seen some skills or applications before, the emphasis is on the depth of understanding.

Year 8
Year 8 builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Year 7 with further coverage of e-safety and cyber security, as well as an introduction to some hardware and software theory. From a practical perspective, students will progress to text-based programming (python), as well as creating their own logos and graphics using various software packages. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a project where they design and create their own computer game, developing project management skills.

Year 9
Year 9 will provide an overview of both IT and Computer Science at Key Stage 4 in preparation for options choices and study at GCSE level. Students will continue to develop their programming skills and creative talents through a variety of projects designed to help students decide which route they wish to follow at Key Stage 4, including studying web design and app design and gaining further experience of programming. Students will cover theory such as algorithms and problem-solving, as well as an introduction to ethics in IT & Computer Science.

The emphasis is on extended project work, bringing together a range of skills and tools for a specific business purpose. This will culminate in an end of year project where students will have input into the type of project they complete.

Curriculum Map

Summary Curriculum Plans

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Assessment Bands

Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based on their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow. The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.

FOR YEAR 7 ONLY: We have recently changed the way in which we track progress in Key Stage 3. The new format is currently in operation with Year 7 only. In each individual subject, students are given one of three progress bands: foundation, intermediate and higher. These bands are based on Key Stage 2 scores, as well as evidence gathered by class teachers. Throughout Key Stage 3, students will be judged to be meeting, exceeding or below expectations for their given band. The headline criteria for each of these bands can be found below. More information about the new banding format will be given to Year 7 parents/carers well in advance of the first Student Progress Report, which is sent to parents/carers at the beginning of February.

Key Stage 4

Curriculum Intent

GCSE Computer Science
The aim of GCSE Computer Science is to encourage student’s curiosity and creativity in relation to Computer Science; by enabling students to gain a balanced understanding of computer science theory and practical skills and helping students to become independent and reflective learners. Students will develop their understanding and application of core concepts in relation to Computer Science theory, algorithms and programming. Students will also develop their ability to analyse problems using computational thinking principles so that they can design, write, test and evaluate programs effectively. This course helps us to accomplish our department’s mission: to develop young people who are digitally literate, resilient and have problem-solving skills. Students will develop transferable skills to use across the curriculum, and in the wider world.

IT Creative iMedia
The aim of IT Creative iMedia is for students to develop their knowledge of, and apply, creative media skills into real-world scenarios. Equipping students with the opportunities to develop transferable skills such as research, planning, communication of creative concepts and practical application of designs into media materials. Building resilience and confidence in digital literacy, students will develop transferable skills to use across the IT & media industry, and in the wider world.

All our qualifications at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 help us to accomplish our department’s mission: to develop young people who are digitally literate, resilient and have problem-solving skills. Students will develop transferable skills to use across the curriculum, and in the wider world.

GCSE Computer Science

Students can opt for GCSE Computer Science, which is part of the Ebacc offering at Edgbarrow. The course is assessed through two written final exams at the end of Year 11, each of 90 minutes duration. The course offered is OCR GCSE Computer Science (J277) which is a new course with a further emphasis on Network Security and topical issues in Computer Science. Click here for further course details from OCR.

Component 1 - Computer Systems (written exam worth 50% of course marks):
Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 2 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (written exam worth 50% of course marks):
Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 1. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

Practical Programming project:
As part of the course, students must undertake a practical programming task where students analyse a problem before subsequently proceeding to design, develop, test and evaluate a solution to this problem. Students complete this work in the Summer Term of Year 10.

Cambridge Nationals IT - Creative iMedia

As an alternative to Computer Science, students can study our Vocational iMedia course. 

This focuses on learning practical, real-life situations, such as: developing visual identities for clients, planning and creating original digital graphics and digital media products. This will help you to develop independence and confidence in using skills that would be relevant to the IT & media industry.

The qualification will also help you to develop learning and skills that can be used in other life and work situations, such as: thinking about situations and deciding what is required to be successful, exploring different options and choosing the best way forward to a solve problem, exploring and generating original ideas to find imaginative solutions to problems, selecting the best tools and techniques to use to solve a problem, appropriate use of media to convey meaning and use of planning techniques to complete tasks in an organised and timely way.

The units of study in this new specification include:

  • R093 Creative iMedia in the media industry (written examination - worth 60% of final grade)
  • R094 Digital graphics (NEA coursework - worth 30% of final grade)
  • R099 Digital games (NEA coursework worth 30% of final grade) or R097 Interactive digital media e.g Websites (NEA coursework worth 30% of final grade)

This unit will be decided depending on the cohort and software available.

Summary Curriculum Plans

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Key Stage 5

Curriculum Intent

A-Level Computer Science
The aim of A-Level Computer Science is to build upon the foundations of GCSE Computer Science; by challenging students to develop a deeper understanding of core computer science concepts and supporting students in applying their knowledge and skills to a real-world scenario to successfully complete an independent programming project. Students will develop both their technical understanding and practical competency within the subject, with a particular focus on developing effective problem-solving skills, and will be well-placed for further study in this subject. This course helps us to accomplish our department’s mission: to develop young people who are digitally literate, resilient and have problem-solving skills. Students will develop transferable skills to use across the curriculum, and in the wider world.

Level 3 IT
The aim of Level 3 IT is to develop core knowledge, transferable skills and deeper understanding of the IT sector, whilst specialising in Application Development. Students will develop a range of systems and applications for real world clients, equipping them with multiple opportunities to develop their communication, planning, research, design, development, testing and evaluation skills. Students will establish transferable skills across the IT section and engage in meaningful employer involvement throughout their studies.

All our qualifications at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 help us to accomplish our department’s mission: to develop young people who are digitally literate, resilient and have problem-solving skills. Students will develop transferable skills to use across the curriculum, and in the wider world. 

A-Level Computer Science

This course is an ideal stepping stone to further study at university and complements A-Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. The focus is on understanding algorithms, including their efficiency and computability. Students explore these topics practically in a variety of ways and have the opportunity to put their understanding into practice through their Programming Project, a core part of the course. The course is assessed through two written final exams at the end of Year 13, each of 150 minutes duration and worth 40% of the marks available and a Programming Project (NEA) worth 20% of the marks available. The course offered is OCR A-Level Computer Science (H446). Click here for further course details from OCR.

Component 1 - Computer Systems (written exam worth 40% of course marks):
Aims to provide students with a deeper knowledge of topics studied at GCSE level such as the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; Software and software development; Exchanging data; Data types, data structures and algorithms; Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. There is an emphasis on databases and web technologies.

Component 2 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (written exam worth 40% of course marks):
Aims to provide students with a deeper knowledge of topics studied at GCSE level such as algorithms. Students seek to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in component 1. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking; Problem solving and programming; Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms.

Practical Programming project (NEA worth 20% of course marks):
As part of the course, students must undertake an extensive programming project, working independently to solve a real-world problem. The project involves analysis of the problem at hand; design of the solution; developing the solution; testing and evaluating the solution. Students are expected to use a test-driven approach and work with a real client. This work takes place between June of Year 12 and February of Year 13.

Summary Curriculum Plans

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Level 3 IT (Cambridge Technical)

This course covers the skills required to pursue a career in the IT industry, with a focus on application development. Assessments are through assignment-based coursework and examinations. The assignments are continuous throughout the course with a variety of written reports, reflective journals, presentations, teacher observation, discussions and written tests. The courses both focus on the design and implementation of an organisation’s IT infrastructure together with the activities and roles that are carried out in the workplace, such as selecting hardware and software to meet client’s needs, and learning how to build, upgrade or install computer systems and networks that are safe and secure.

A wide range of centre-assessed units with practical and wider project-based assessment opportunities, as well as examined units on the Fundamentals of IT, Global Information and Cyber Security has resulted in focused qualifications. Students may choose to study the Introductory Diploma or Diploma pathway for this course.

Introductory Diploma (1 A-Level Equivalent)
Student study 5 modules covering a range of topics including Fundamentals of IT & Application Development.

Diploma (2 A-Levels Equivalent)
Students study 11 modules covering a range of topics including Fundamentals of IT, Cyber Security, Application Development, Computer Game Prototyping, Internet of Everything and Social Media.

Summary Curriculum Plans

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Homework Intent

The purpose of homework within the ITCS department is to provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their learning, recap on previous material taught and, in some cases, seek to extend their learning in preparation for an upcoming lesson. Across all key stages, homework is only set at appropriate times within units of study and so parents and students should not expect homework to be set on a regular weekly or fortnightly basis. While all work is set on Google Classroom and is mostly expected to be submitted electronically, students without devices at home can be supported in various ways, such as handing in work on paper, having access to an IT room at lunch or after school etc. 

Inclusion

It is our intent that pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum, learn alongside their peers and achieve similar outcomes. In addition, they may benefit from additional opportunities in the lessons and in the co-curricular activities that are arranged especially for them.

SEND Implementation and Impact

Pupil Premium Intent

Literacy

Reading Aims:

  • To support students in understanding key subject and English vocabulary so that they can confidently use it in the appropriate context.
  • To ensure students are equipped to understand command words in exam questions/coursework tasks, as well as what is required by the question/task.
  • To encourage students to read/research topics both in and outside of the lessons to help develop their understanding of complex topics and their ability to extract relevant information.
  • To encourage students to read news articles and articles relating to technology/computing for pleasure in their own time.

Writing Aims:

  • To ensure students are equipped with effective strategies to construct/structure their answers.
  • To encourage and support students in writing clearly, concisely, accurately and including key subject terminology so as to maximise their marks.
  • To ensure students understand how long answered questions are marked to help develop accuracy and thoroughness when planning and answering such questions.
  • To support students in having confidence in answering all question types so that they attempt all questions/complete all tasks that they are capable of.
  • To equip students with strategies to reflect on their written responses.

Spoken Language Aims:

  • To ensure students are equipped to use a range of subject specific vocabulary in their spoken language.
  • To ensure students are equipped with the skills to structure a spoken presentation.
  • To support students to use spoken Standard English.
  • To teach students how to listen and respond fully to the questions set.
  • To provide students with opportunities for structured discussions.

Literacy Strategies

Co-Curricular 

iDEA Award
As part of our homework programme, as well as being offered as a club, we encourage students to complete the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA). iDEA is a programme that helps pupils develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. It is completely free of charge. Through a series of online challenges, students can earn skill-based digital badges and work towards industry-recognised awards that help them stand out from the crowd. Through participating in iDEA, students develop their digital literacy; gain an understanding of IT & Computer Science topics such as Cyber Security, Coding, Computer Graphics; develop their literacy; develop a basic knowledge of money management & different aspects of business; and learn about topics that are particularly relevant to young people today such as Social Media Ethics and Fake News. As with the Duke of Edinburgh Award (offered to students separately), it is offered at Bronze, Silver and Gold (September 2021) level. All students will also have a Record of Achievement which documents the digital badges they have earned and the skills they have developed – this may prove useful for CV’s and interviews.

Co-Curricular Clubs
We love being able to provide students with the opportunity to come together to work on new and exciting projects, meet new people and develop new skills. Throughout the year, a variety of clubs are offered ranging from an iDEA club to a touch typing club to Python Fridays.

We recently undertook a survey of Key Stage 3 students and in light of the findings we are currently working towards offering Minecraft and eSports clubs in the near future - watch this space!

Independent Study

All students

  • iDEA Award (www.idea.org.uk) – Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award; free of cost; involves completing badges online relating to ITCS subject knowledge, as well as cross-curricular badges; the digital equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Students can work towards Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards.
  • Teach-ICT Activities (www.teach-ict.com) – Our subscription includes a range of activities including subject knowledge texts, videos, games and questions.
  • Little Book of Algorithms – A series of coding challenges available in print form. 
  • BEBRAS Challenge (www.bebras.co.uk) – A computational thinking challenge. Past challenges available online.

Key Stage 3

If students would like to work further on this subject or extend their knowledge, they can gain credit for this by showing evidence on Google Classroom. They can either speak to their teacher for suggestions or choose to focus on extending their knowledge within the current topic being studied.

Key Stage 4

View current revision material

www.ocr.org.uk – Past exam questions and mark schemes accessible for exam technique practicewww.GCSEPod.com – A series of videos explaining GCSE content across all subjectswww.isaaccomputerscience.org – a series of resources and courses available for ITCS.

Key Stage 5

IT Level 3 Reading List

Computer Science Reading List

www.ocr.org.uk – Past exam questions and mark schemes accessible for exam technique practicewww.isaaccomputerscience.org – a series of resources and courses available for ITCS

 


For further information regarding our IT& Computer Science Curriculum please contact:
Miss Mullane (Head of IT & Computer Science)