Computing

The aim of learning Computing is to enable students to become active participants in the world. It isn't just about producing programmers.

Some will look at computing as a (very well paid!) career, but everybody will use technology in their everyday life. This means that it is vital that we (and the whole school) support pupils to be respectful users, in considering people at the other end of a connection. Students will be taught how to stay safe and how to get help when things do go wrong. They will learn to search efficiently for information and avoid fraudulent sites and emails. We have at least one online safety activity each half-term, to complement the work done in PSHE. This either keys into annual events (antibullying week, safer internet day) or is linked to the work studied (eg image manipulation and body image).

Pupils will learn some coding techniques. This is not just important to prepare for a career in computing. Learning to break down a problem and solve it in a novel way is excellent for developing thinking skills and is shown to support their learning in other subjects. The resilience developed through debugging and retrying will help in many aspects of their lives.

Finally, they will learn to use computers to support their learning in every subject and to undertake creative projects. This might be around photo or video editing, presentation software, designing comic strips (which can be used to storyboard videos) or even designing displays.

At KS3, all pupils have one computing lesson each week. They follow the national curriculum with these three strands:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology

These roughly correspond to the three paragraphs above.

Term Subject content
Autumn 1

What is computing?  Careers in computing

Online safety: Digital resilience

Office skills taught within a project

Autumn 2

Safe and effective searching. Biases and reliable information 

Online safety during antibullying week, 15-19 Nov 2021

Hour of Code activities during Computer Science Education Week (Week beginning 6th December 2021)

Spring 1

Hardware and Software- what components make up a computer, a games console or even traffic lights?

Safer Internet Day (8 February)- "All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online"

Coding (Scratch)- a simple introduction, building on some of the concepts from the Hour of Code

Spring 2

Further work using Scratch, concentrating on the following ideas: sequencing, variables, selection, operators, count-controlled iteration

Online safety- critical thinking

Summer 1

Images- how they are taken, manipulated and stored. Does the camera ever lie? Sounds, video and other types of files- how they can be stored and manipulated.

Online safety activity -what implications does this have for social media and body image?

Summer 2

Work using the tiny Micro:bits - reinforcing coding skills from last term.

Creative projects based on work from this year and the trips.

Online safety activity on relationships before the summer holidays

Our Computing Team

T Hewetson - Curriculum Lead, based at Kings 

S Campbell- Firsbrook (from January 2022)

S Iqbal and T Hayward - Grove

N Khan- Link

E Davies - Millpool

  

Resources

BBC Bitesize is an excellent start, with information, quizzes and video clips.

We take part in the Hour of Code each December, but the resources are available all year-round. They include some computing activities that don't need the internet or even a computer!

Scratch is a language using blocks (so you don't have to memorise commands). It seems simple, but it and the more advanced Snap! can be used to teach concepts right up to University level.

A Raspberry Pi (the 'zero' is from ~£10) is a tiny computer that can connect to a TV or monitor and has been used for amazing projects while being a great introduction to coding.

The NSPCC has excellent resources to help keep children and families safe online.

Our safeguarding advice for parents page contains some further resources for online safety.

Announcement

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