“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.”
— Bill Gates
As a department we want our students to be able to problem solve, using a variety of differing methods, techniques and thinking processes. We want them to be willing to get things wrong, to be confident enough to then sit back down, look at the problem again, reflect on their mistakes and be self-reliant and assured in their own abilities to be able to tackle the problem again and be willing to get it wrong again. As a department we feel that this provides a solid basis going on into KS4 not just for Computer Science and every other subject, as well as gaining very valuable skills for use in life beyond school.
We cover lots of maths, MFL, literacy (as a by-product of our MFL skills) and we provide students a platform to enable them to use computing / ICT safely and responsibly in their everyday life.
We have set schemes of work that are differentiated for students but all involve problem solving. This could be through block level programming, MS Word and PowerPoint, number bases, logic through to Python (high level programming language).
We support, develop and enhance student skills in problem solving in the specific areas: programming, ciphers, number bases etc. We do this through increasingly sophisticated and complex problems, techniques and skills.
Students begin the year by learning computing basics such as how to log on, Google Classroom, E-Safety and Word & PowerPoint. They undertake a unit of data representation involving binary, and logic gates: again, these are problem-solving skills but linked to a mathematical side of Computer Science. Following these units, students will study problem-solving, not only in a Computer Science environment but also with real world skills and knowledge before finishing the year programming in both a block level programming language and a text-based language.
They learn this knowledge, skills and techniques as these not only provide the bedrock for developing their Computer Science / ICT skills but also give them important life skills which are also cross curricular.
Students are introduced to Movie Making, recording and editing short videos. They further their knowledge, skills, techniques and understanding of the techniques used in Year 7 as these not only provide the bedrock for developing their Computer Science/ICT skills which also give them important life skills which are also cross curricular.
Students are again given ever increasingly sophisticated problems to solve: this includes Cyber Security problems they have to solve. We create 3D and 2D animations. We develop and extend their Python programming skills beyond GCSE specifications as we include SQL alongside python to a basic commercial level. We further discuss careers etc within lessons.
In Year 10, students who are taking OCR Computer Science are expected to build upon their KS3 skills and develop their creativity and problem solving skills, understanding and knowledge. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science (Systems architecture, Memory and storage, Computer networks, connections and, protocols, Network security, Systems software and Computational thinking, algorithms and Programming). We follow the GCSE specifications as set out by the OCR Exam Board. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programmes.
We add extra-curricular activities such as Cyber Security / GCHQ trips (when available), and Computer Science competitions to support and further develop students’ knowledge and understanding: these very often map across to the curriculum specifications but also extend knowledge and understanding.
In Year 11 we develop and extend the skills and knowledge from the above specifications as well as providing students with an extended Python project to develop and support their programming skills.
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