Subject Head: Martin Alsaigh
During their first three years at Farmor’s all students will study Computer Science and ICT for two periods each week. Our aim is to “provide students with a challenging but engaging curriculum which addresses the needs of an ever changing world, leading to excellent employment opportunities”. At Farmor’s School, the Computing & IT department is reinventing itself, and is well into transforming a new curriculum that focuses on computer science, graphical communication and digital media.
Over the course of 3 years, students will learn how to become independent problem solvers, logical and critical thinkers with an ability to recognise the impact technology has on society. Computing & IT will provide students with the necessary tools and skills that will allow them to become interactive users of technology as it develops. The table below sets out the structure of this Key Stage in more Detail.
7.1 Baseline Test
Students demonstrate subject knowledge and skills of Computing & IT
7.2 Microsoft Digital Literacy
Basic introduction to key Information Technology skills. Students will identify and present work with a given purpose and audience
Identify long term consequences of not being cyber-wise
7.4 What are Computers
Understand the key components that make up a computer system. Introduced to binary and ability to convert to denary numbers. Gain an understanding of computer networks and operating systems
7.5 Computational Thinking
Basic concepts of decomposing and abstracting a problem; using a range of algorithms
Introduction to sequence of instructions and developing writing in pseudocode and using standard key word
8.1 The Wild Web
An introduction to the world of the internet and how it works. How web browsers work, effective searching techniques, IP, DNS, Topologies, cloud storage and ethical issues such as hacking and censorships
8.2 Python Programming
An introduction to using a text based language. Using syntex and variable, “IF” statements, mathematical operators and counter variables
This is a follow on from the python programming module
8.4 Computer Logic
Examine the most common logic gates and able to solve problems
9.1 Web Development
Introduction to the main languages involved in web development (HTML, CSS and Java Script) and protocols involved with networking
9.2 Digital Imaging
Understand how digital images are made up and gain an understanding of some key tools in open source digital applications
Introduction of the importance of Database systems and how they play a vital part to our daily lives. Create a database, queries, a set of reports and using a range of validation rules
9.4 Advanced Modelling
An opportunity to develop skills and knowledge through the use of advanced features such as validation, conditional formatting and advanced formulas
Two courses are offered as option choices at KS4 for students and as such are each studied for four hours per week. There is no restriction on students opting to study both of these courses at KS4 as they are distinct in content. The first course is titled ‘Computer Science’ and the second ‘Digital Applications’, both are described in detail below.
Specification: AQA GCSE Computer Science (8520)
Students will look at the principles of computer science including the opportunity to develop analytical and problem-solving skills (transferrable skills that are highly sought after). Students will develop an understanding of components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with each other. There will also be an in-depth understanding of the impact of digital technology on the individual and on wider society.
What should students expect to do during the course?
This course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and an insight into what goes on “behind the scenes”, including computer programming. This course is suitable for those students with a strong mathematical and scientific background and a keen interest in computing and technology.
Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving – 40% external examination
Paper 2: Written assessment – 40% external examination
Non-examined assessment (NEA): Computer Science Project – 20% internally and externally assessed
We offer an A-Level course in Computer Science at Farmor’s School. Students who have taken this subject, and who study the subject at a higher level, will have an advantage over their colleagues. Universities will allow students to combine Computing with other subjects: Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Medicine, Business Management, Languages and Design Technology, leading to many diverse career opportunities.
Qualification: Technical Award
Specification: Edexcel certificate in Digital Applications (ICT) 6627
“The UK is a world leader in the creative industry.” The aim of this qualification is to build on this technical innovation and creativity such as imaging, creative multimedia, website development and computer game production. You will learn to play an active role in the digital sector rather than being simply consumer of digital content. This will ideally be suited to students who want to develop creatively.
The course will provide and equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to design and create effective digital products for others to use. You will also learn the importance of creating professional, using real-world skills in planning, project management and communication.
Unit 1: Developing Web Products
Unit 2: Creative Multimedia, Artwork & Imaging or Game Making
In this final unit you will complete one of the three optional units.
Unit 1 is externally assessed through a practical examination and accounts for 25% of the final mark. Unit 2 is the final unit and accounts for 75% of the final mark which is internally assessed. The qualification is a CiDA level 2 and is awarded as a Distinction, Merit or Pass.
This qualification provides a broad and solid foundation for further study of various aspects of creative computing, such as graphic design, web design, computer games design and interactive media. It will also enhance your overall digital literacy and provide you with a solid foundation for employment.