Within the De La Salle community the subject of Computing is taught both as a standalone subject to KS3 and KS4 and as a cross curricular link with most of the other subjects within the school. Outside of computing lessons students are able to use the ICT facilities to carry out work for other subjects.
It is the aim of our department that students leave our community prepared for the working environment, with a wide range of ICT and Computing skills as well as being responsible, safe users of technology and online services.
Key Stage 3
At Key stage 3, students within the department begin to explore various projects which develop skills in computational thinking, digital literacy and technical understanding.
In Year 7, students are introduced to computing. They learn the fundamentals of computing, computational thinking and algorithms - all skills essential to the development of computer applications. Digital literacy is taught as well as aspects of e-Safety such as cyberbullying. Throughout the year they gain experience of the Google products which provides a useful toolset to support other subjects.
In Year 8 and students deepen their understanding of computing by way of learning binary, selection statements and boolean expressions, together with sorting algorithms. E-safety is revisited focusing on how to stay safe on-line. Students are also introduced to some aspects of animation which culminates in a mini-project.
In Year 9, an eclectic mix of topics are covered. The topics have been selected to give students exposure to some of the option subjects that they might choose at Key Stage 4. All students cover databases, encryption, representing sound and spreadsheets. However depending on their set, students may learn programming with Python, creative media or the business side of IT.
In all years, homework tasks are set regularly to consolidate skills learnt in class. All students are routinely assessed.
Key Stage 4
At KS4 all students have the opportunity to develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology.
They have the opportunity to develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills and learn how to understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns. The school utilises outside agencies to support this part of the curriculum.
Students have the opportunity to cover the above aspects in many school subjects such as design in Technology, problem-solving in Maths, online privacy in PSHE, but should a student choose Computer Science at GCSE then they will have the opportunity to pursue them in greater depth.
GCSE Computer Science (OCR): Students get an excellent opportunity to investigate how computers work and how they are used, and to develop computer programming and problem-solving skills. Pupils also do some fascinating in-depth research and practical work, for example, a project to develop a dice game written in the Python programming language. Students are assessed with two written exams which are taken at the end of Year 11.
BTEC Tech Award in Creative Media Production: Students complete three components over 2 years and are awarded a BTEC Tech Award in Creative Media Production, at one of the grades Pass, Merit or Distinction. Students complete the following two internally assessed components:
Component 1 – Exploring Media Products
Component 2 – Developing Digital Media Production Skills
The third component builds directly on Components 1 and 2, and enables learning to be brought together and related to a real-life situation. Component 3 is an externally marked controlled assessment carried out in the second year of the course.
Component 3 – Create a Media Product in Response to a Brief