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Computer Science & Information Communication Technology

ICT at Key Stage 3

ICT at Key Stage 3

Caedmon College Whitby has invested heavily in ICT hardware and software. For this reason we now have eight fully equipped computer suites across both Normanby and Scorseby sites.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)

At KS3 the College is in the process of switching from an ICT based curriculum to a computing curriculum, in order to meet the requirements of the new Computing Curriculum from 2104. This includes an increased emphasis on the use of a wider range of digital technologies to enhance productivity and creativity, as well as introducing key core computing concepts.

At Key Stage 3 the curriculum has four key strands:

  1. Digital Literacy (DL)
  2. Digital Citizenship (DCT)
  3. Digital Creativity (DC)
  4. Computing (C)

Digital Literacy
Our students will learn

  • to be proficient in using a range of digital online/offline applications
  • how to transfer skills from one application to another
  • how to use search engines effectively
  • how to identify accurate information in the digital world
  • what the cloud is and how to utilise cloud services
  • to use blogs, social networks and other online digital tools

Digital Citizenship
Our students will learn

  • to understand the possible dangers they can face online
  • to be responsible when using social networks, technology and other online tools
  • to learn how to deal with situation they may encounter online
  • to understand the impact ICT has on the world around them
  • the positive and negative effects of ICT on their lives
  • to learn how to use privacy setting on social networks

Digital Creativity
Our students will learn

  • to consider audience and purpose when designing and creating digital products
  • the importance of evaluating existing digital content
  • how to effectively combine text and media to produce effective digital products
  • to learn how to effectively edit, repurpose and combine digital elements.
  • to be effective when working independently as well as when collaborating with team
  • the importance of self and peer evaluation

Computer Science
Our students will learn

  • to be able to create interactive games by using a visual programming language
  • to learn a textual programming language and related computational terminology
  • to learn about the hardware components inside a computer/tablet/smartphone
  • to learn what an operating system is and why it is used
  • to understand the history of Computer Science, as well as key figures in history
  • to understand what an algorithm is and why they are used
  • to have a basic understanding how search engines work
  • to learn what local area networks are
  • to have a basic understanding of how the internet works

Assessment is conducted throughout the year particularly during key units. A variety of assessment methods are used from testing to Assessment for Learning which focuses on the work produced by students and their understanding.

An annual plan is available that shows the range of units delivered throughout the year. All units have a large literacy and numeracy focus to help embed these fundamental skills throughout the college.

Key Stage 3 (Year 9)

In Year 9 students begin work on their Key Stage 4 qualification either Certificate in Digital Applications (CIDA) or GCSE Computer Science. CIDA will appeal to students who want the opportunity to explore and acquire a broad understanding and knowledge of the creative digital industry and the ability to apply that knowledge in practical contexts. The Computer Science option is all about problem solving. Analysing and modelling problems, designing solutions and then evaluating them. You’ll learn about: how and why computers work, data and how it is transferred, programming, designing and developing applications and project management techniques. It’s using technology to come up with your own creative and practical answers to questions and problems.

Extra-Curricular Activities
ICT facilities are available each lunchtime and afterschool to provide students with support with homework. An ICT competition runs each term and students are encouraged to participate and submit entries to a variety of ICT challenges.

Contact
For further information please contact Mr Walker, Director of Learning – ICT and Business.

A GCSE ICT lesson

A GCSE ICT lesson

Edexel Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)

Why study ICT
The Pearson Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications is equivalent in size to one GCSE. It is a Technical Award designed to equip pre-16 students working at level 2 with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills they need to research digital products and applications and design and make them for others to use, within the context of a broad Key Stage 4 curriculum. It will appeal to students who want the opportunity to explore and acquire a broad understanding and knowledge of the creative digital industry and the ability to apply that knowledge in practical contexts.

Course Outline
The UK is a world leader in the creative digital industries and it needs to build on and improve its capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area. This qualification has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in these industries, which include digital graphics, interactive multimedia products and computer games. CiDA encourages students to identify, engage with and apply the skills that contribute to the success of this industry in practical contexts. The qualification consists of two units, one compulsory (25%) and one optional unit (75%). Both units involve the creation of digital products with the optional units offering students an opportunity to focus on a digital product of their choice.

Units
Compulsory Unit 1 ‘Developing Web Products’ – provides students with the knowledge, and practical and creative skills they need to use web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features to produce web products. Students will design, build and test a web product in a computer based examination. Students learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts (learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and well-being, on the move).  They develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice.

Optional Unit 2 ‘Creative Multimedia’ –  a practical unit that gives students the skills to use the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring software to design and create effective multimedia products for specified purposes and audiences. Students design multimedia products of their own. This unit is internally assessed through a project brief.

Assessment

Unit title and summary Assessment Time allocated Assessment Weighting
UNIT 1: Developing Web Products Computer based controlled assessment externally marked Students have 180 minutes controlled assessment 25%
UNIT 2: Creative Multimedia Controlled Assessment -internally marked and externally moderated Students have 20 hours to complete the final controlled assessment 75%

How can I support my son/daughter?
We use a subject textbook in class and it is recommended students purchase a personal copy of the recommended textbook and revision guide for the course:

  • Edexcel DiDA ISBN-13: 978-1846901164

Required skills/attributes
To achieve your full potential and succeed on this course, you need to have/develop these skills:

  • be very hardworking and eager to learn as this will help with your progress
  • be able to work independently and solve problems as you will need these skills to excel in the controlled assessment and would also sit an exam and should be able to answer questions
  • be able to work well within a team by listening to the opinions and ideas of others as well as being able to lead a team into making a success of the tasks given.
  • be a very good communicator as you will create websites for communicating information and make presentations to pass on information.

Future pathway
Students will develop a range of knowledge and skills, as outlined above, which will provide a strong basis for progression to further academic or vocational study of computing and IT-related courses at level 3, or an apprenticeship. Students will also develop a range of transferable knowledge and skills which will be valuable in support of any level 3 qualification, and later in the workplace. This qualification requires students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to a brief, to work professionally within time limits, to carry out research and evaluate the outcomes and to use appropriate tools to produce digital solutions. They will enhance their English skills through the requirement for analytical writing, and they will apply mathematical skills in the development of the digital products and solutions.

Useful Resources

  • http://www.ictworkout.co.uk/ (username & password to be issued)
  • http://www.teach-ict.com/DIDA.htm

OCR GCSE Computer Science

Why study Computer Science
This award has been developed after consultation with companies like Microsoft, Google and Computing At School (CAS) to deliver the key knowledge and skills required to work in today’s fast moving computing industry.
Simply put, the skills you’ll learn. Not just how to program, apply algorithms, use networks and code your own video games and mobile applications – although you’ll do plenty of that. You’ll learn skills and techniques that will help you in your career, whatever you go on to do. Basic project management techniques. Product development cycles. Problem solving. Skills that you’ll find useful every day in every career, not just the IT industry. And then there is the understanding you’ll get of modern technology – not just how to use it but how to create it. How information is stored, transferred, manipulated and controlled. Computer science also opens a lot of doors. It’s part of your 5 A*–C measure, and counts as a science for the English Baccalaureate.

Course Outline
Computer Science is all about problem solving. Analysing and modelling problems, designing solutions and then evaluating them. You’ll learn about:

  • how and why computers work
  • data and how it is transferred
  • programming
  • designing and developing applications
  • project management techniques.

It’s using technology to come up with your own creative and practical answers to questions and problems.

The Exam Board is OCR and there are three components to the qualification:

Component 1 – Computer Systems
The first component is an exam focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory.

Component 2 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
This component is focused on the core theory of computer science and the application of computer science principles.

Component 3 – Programming Project (non-exam assessment)
This component is the non-exam assessment where candidates will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Required skills/attributes
To achieve your full potential and succeed on this course, you need to have / develop these skills:

  • be very hardworking and eager to learn as this will help with your progress
  • be able to work independently and solve problems as you will need these skills to excel in the controlled assessment and would also sit an exam and should be able to answer questions
  • be able to work well within a team by listening to the opinions and ideas of others as well as being able to lead a team into making a success of the tasks given.
  • be a very good communicator as you will create websites for communicating information and make presentations to pass on information.

Future pathway

  • A-level Computing
  • Vocational IT qualifications
  • Industry-standard IT qualifications
  • Degree courses in Computing, Engineering and Science.

As you can see, GCSE Computer Science is not just for people wanting a career in the IT and computing industry – the skills and techniques you learn can be useful in any workplace. The creative and technical skills you learn are relevant to a host of careers in a range of sectors, from arts and graphics-based roles through to engineering, finance and business. .

How can I support my son/daughter?
We use a subject textbook in class and it is recommended students purchase a personal copy of the recommended textbook and revision guide for the course:

  • Useful Resources: http://www.computingatschool.org.uk
  • Python: Python is a programming language that lets you work more quickly and integrate your systems more effectively. Python is an easy to learn programming environment. www.python.com
  • Visual Basic Express books: McGrath, M. Visual Basic Express in Easy Steps (2006) ISBN: 9781840783292

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma Creative Media Production

What will you be learning?
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Creative Media provides knowledge, experience and skills for those wanting a career in the field of interactive multimedia. The course covers multimedia and web development, film, photography and animation, as well as providing learners with a solid background in the theory of media studies.

The course consists of seven units studied over two years and is equivalent to one A-level.

How will I be assessed?
All units are assessed and graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction and an overall grade for the qualification is awarded. Continuing coursework forms the basis for assessment.

The course consists of three mandatory units and four specialist units.

Three Mandatory Units

  • Unit 1 – Pre-production Techniques
  • Unit 2 – Communication Skills
  • Unit 3 – Research Techniques

Four Specialist Units

  • Unit 19 – Digital graphics
  • Unit 59 – Web Authoring
  • Unit 62 – Digital Video Production
  • Unit 64 – Motion Graphics

Entry Requirements:
Four GCSEs at Grade C or above. One of these should be in a discipline related to Computer or Art and Design.

What other learning could you do?
This course will provide progression to a wide range of ICT, Computing or Graphic Design courses at university.

What career options do you have?
The course is aimed at those wishing to progress to Higher Education or seek employment in the Media industries such as Website Development, Video Editing, Digital Design and Computer Animation.