Computer science and ICT

Introduction

ict-department

Introduction

At Christ’s College Finchley we see proficiency in ICT as an essential skill for our learners and their future, and recognise the power it has to enhance and enrich the learning process. Computing is currently a subject of national importance and there are significant developments ahead. The department is currently focused in teaching Computing both at KS3 and 4. The department is committed to raising students’ aspirations and achievement and have a long, successful history of doing so.

The Department consists of 2 teachers:

Mr Lopes (Head of Computer science and ICT)

 

Ms Aydin

The facilities

The department offers excellent IT facilities, these include:

*         Three dedicated Computing teaching suites with 30 student networked desktop PCs

*         Wi-Fi access across the school site

*         Student access to Apple Macs

*         Adobe Creative Suite CS5 Web Standard

*         Interactive whiteboards and audio as standard in each teaching room

*         A Moodle-based learning platform

*         Google Apps for Education

Contact Mr Lopes (Head of Department) for more info:

rl@ccfplus.com

twitter: @computingccf

Aims and enrichment

Aim

The main aim of the department is to get students enthusiastic about Computing. We have, what we believe to be, a very exciting curriculum which will get the students interested in studying Computing and encouraged to follow a career in the industry. The topics and tasks assigned to students aim to make a link between what they learn in the classroom and real life applications. Students learn how to program using Python, learn the basics of database management using MySQL, learn Linux as part of their controlled assessment and are encouraged to do so at home as well.

Future carers:

Enrichment

Lunchtime and after school Computing and ICT clubs

Coursework catch up sessions

Registered for the MicroBit project (all students in year 7 will receive a MicroBit device)

School trip to the National museum of Computing (Bletchley park)

Recent successes:

OCR Cambridge Technicals (A2): 85% A*-A, 100% A*-C

OCR Cambridge Technicals (AS): 66% A*, 75% A*-A ,100% A*-C

As a member school of the Network of Excellence for computer science teaching we are committed  to the development of computer science provision at our school.

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Key stage 3

Key stage 3

The key concepts of computational thinking – for example, thought process, abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, evaluation and generalisation – are embedded throughout the course. By teaching the broader principles of computing – for example, binary, iteration in programming and computer architecture – through Compute-IT you we will be developing students’ computational thinking abilities. And, by developing students’ computational thinking abilities, we will provide them with the problem solving tools to approach programming tasks with confidence and to make the outcomes meaningful. We have therefore selected programming languages appropriate to the task and which facilitate teaching the concepts, rather than teaching a range of languages.

In year 7, students have 3 computing lessons a fortnight and from September 2014 they will be following our revised Key Stage 3 Computing curriculum. Topics studied include: The Foundations of Computing, Under the Hood of a Computer, How the Web Works, Designing for HCI: a hand-held digital device, Designing for HCI: an operating system interface, Programming a quiz and a calculator.

In year 8, students have 1 computing lesson a week and from September 2014 they will be following our revised Key Stage 3 Computing curriculum. Topics studied include: Operating systems, The command line, Binary, Instruction set design, Connecting to the internet, Programming using selection statements and Boolean expressions.

In year 9, students have 1 computing lesson a week and from September 2014 they will be following our revised Key Stage 3 Computing curriculum. Topics studied include: Cracking the code: binary characters, cyphers and encryption, Client-side and server-side scripting, Digital circuits, Computer architecture, Creating an app to solve a problem.

Key stage 4

Key stage 4

Studying Computing at Key Stage 4 is optional and from September 2014 students will be able to choose from GCSE Computing (OCR Specification) and OCR Cambridge National in ICT.

OCR Computing: OCR J275

This course gives pupils a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Pupils are no doubt familiar with the use of computers and other related technology, however, this course will give them an insight into what goes on behind-the-scenes, including computer programming, which many pupils find absorbing.

Through this qualification pupils can:

  •         Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work;
  •         Look at the use of algorithms in computer programs;
  •         Become independent and discerning users of IT;
  •         Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts;
  •         Develop computer programs to solve problems;
  •         Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.

Pupils will develop critical thinking analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to further learning and everyday life. In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for pupils who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to a technical problem, such as engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

There are three units:

  • Computer systems and programming – this unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems; it is assessed by a written paper, which has a mixture of short- and long-answer questions.
  • Practical investigation – this will be on a topic chosen from a set of options supplied by the exam board (controlled assessment); it will assess research, technical understanding, analysis of a problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing, recommendations/evaluations.
  • Programming project -pupils create solutions to computing tasks chosen from a set of options supplied by the exam board (controlled assessment); pupils will need to:

o   Understand standard programming techniques;

o   Be able to design and create a fully coded solution, which they have annotated to explain its function;

o   Test their solution to show functionality and how it matches the design criteria;

o   Identify successes and limitations of what they have made.

Pupils who want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of computer science will find that this course provides a superb stepping-stone. The increasing importance of computers and other technologies means there is a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area.

ICT: Level 2 Cambridge National Certificate in ICT

The Level 2 OCR Cambridge National Certificate in ICT is a vocationally related qualification that takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment, and is the equivalent to one GCSE. It is industry relevant, geared towards their key requirements and is very popular with students because it suits such a broad range of learning styles and abilities.

Course Content

Over the course of the two years students will study four units:

Two core units

Unit 1: Understanding computer systems – this unit will give students a solid base to develop knowledge and understanding of computer systems and the implications of working with data to enable them to use computers effectively. This includes an understanding of how ICT can be used to meet business needs, how to work with information and data to meet specific business needs, how IT can be used to support business working practices, and an understanding of the legal, ethical, safety and security issues that affect how computers should be used. This is assessed by a 1 hour written paper, with a 25% weighting.

Unit 2: Using ICT Skills to create business solutions – in this unit students will refine their existing knowledge of computers to reflect the working practices of the commercial world, this includes using a wide range of software efficiently. The content will give students the skills to use techniques to search for, store and share information, to select and use software to handle data, to select and use software to communicate information for a business purpose, and to use software tools to format documents. The work for this unit is internally assessed and externally moderated, it has a 25% weighting.

And two optional units from the following:

Unit 5: Creating an interactive product using multimedia components – students will be able to develop and demonstrate their creative flair by combining multimedia components to create a vibrant, energetic or stimulating webpage or interactive product. The content will provide students with the skills to design and create interactive products containing multimedia components, and complete usability testing. The work for this unit is internally assessed and externally moderated, it has a 25% weighting.

Unit 7: Creating dynamic products using sound and vision – students will focus on developing their expertise in music, video or animation. They may create products such as a music recording and/or mix, video news clip or animation for a webpage. The content will provide students with the skills to prepare for the production of and create dynamic products. The work for this unit is internally assessed and externally moderated, it has a 25% weighting.

Key stage 5

Key stage 5

OCR Cambridge Technical in ICT Level 3 (2016 suite)

The OCR Cambridge Technical in ICT Level 3, which provides a vocational qualification with relevant, practical skills application. IT is one of the most popular vocational qualifications subjects offered by OCR and the Cambridge Technicals builds on the legacy and reputation of the OCR Nationals. IT is at the heart of everyday life, at home, work and in our leisure time from computer graphics and control systems to communications and problem-solving, IT has an ever increasing role to play. We will be offering  the following qualifications:

▸Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in IT

▸Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in IT

Course content: Application developer pathway

This pathway focuses on the development of a range of applications across platforms and sectors.

Students will gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century, enabling them to demonstrate the skills of writing specifications, and the design, build, testing and implementation of applications. Students will have to complete 5 units in order to be awarded the Technical Introductory Diploma: two mandatory unit, one pathway unit and two optional units.

Two mandatory units:

Unit 1- Fundamentals of IT: A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.

Knowledge gained in the study of this unit will also help prepare you for relevant industry qualifications such as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Mobility+ and Cisco IT Essentials.

Unit 2- Global information: The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.

Knowledge gained in the study of this unit will also help prepare you for relevant industry qualifications such as VM Ware.

Pathway unit (Application developer)

Unit 6- Application design: This unit is mandatory to the Application Developer pathway due to its relevance to the job role of an application developer. The unit supports the development of skills, knowledge and understanding appropriate to a wide range of job roles requiring the development of applications within mobile technology, business software, graphics, games and web design to name but a few

Two optional units

Unit 3- Cyber security:This unit has been designed to enable you to gain knowledge and understanding of the range of threats, vulnerabilities and risks that impact on both individuals and organisations. You will learn about the solutions that can be used to prevent or deal with cyber security incidents resulting from these challenges. You will be able to apply your knowledge and understanding of cyber security issues and solutions by reviewing and making recommendations for ways to best protect digital systems and information.

Learning within this unit will also support the delivery of the Cisco Cyber Security and CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Mobility+ qualifications. The unit also makes reference to UK government cyber security initiatives, for example, the UK government’s UK Cyber Security Strategy, Cyber Essentials Scheme, 10 Steps Strategy, and Cyber Streetwise.

Unit 21- Web design and prototyping: Organisations are increasingly reliant on their website to market goods or services and interact with clients and customers. In this unit you will research, design and produce an interactive responsive website that is specific to a client’s needs, culminating in presenting the concept of the website using the prototype to the client. You will learn about the security risks within website design, and how to minimise these threats. This unit will also allow you to incorporate existing interactive elements, as well as prototyping your own website.

Assessment

▸Unit 1: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper 80 marks OCR set and marked(M)

▸Unit 2 : 1 hour 30 minutes written paper 80 marks OCR set and marked(M)

▸Unit 3: 1 hour written paper 60 marks OCR set and marked

Unit 6: coursework (M)

▸Unit 21: coursework

Computer Science (AS)

Component 01 COMPUTING PRINCIPLES: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response markscheme-type questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

▸The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

▸Software and software development

▸Programming

▸Exchanging data

▸Data types, data structures and algorithms

▸Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Component 02 ALGORITHMS AND PROBLEM SOLVING: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper and will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions. There’ll be a short scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving. Other areas covered include the following:

▸Elements of computational thinking

▸Problem solving and programming

▸Algorithms.

Assessment

▸Component 01 Computing principles: Externally marked question paper 50% :: 70 marks ::1 hr 15 mins

▸Component 02 Algorithms and problem solving: Externally marked question paper 50% :: 70 marks :: 1 hr 15 mins

Computer Science (A level)

Component 01 COMPUTER SYSTEMS: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response markscheme-type questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

▸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.

Component 02 ALGORITHMS AND PROGRAMMING: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with two sections, both of which will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions.

SECTION A Traditional questions concerning computational thinking:

▸Elements of computational thinking

▸Programming and problem solving

▸Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition

▸Algorithm design and efficiency

▸Standard algorithms.

SECTION B There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.

Component 03 PROGRAMMING PROJECT: External postal moderation or repository. Students and/or centres select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable them to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Students will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Assessment

▸Component 01 Computer systems: Externally marked question paper 40%  :: 140 marks ::  2 hr 30 mins

▸Component 02 Algorithms and programming: Externally marked question paper 40% :: 140 marks :: 2 hr 30 mins

▸Component 03 Programming project: Internally assessed :: externally moderated 20% :: 70 marks