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Key Stage 3 Computing

 

Computing at The MFG aims to empower and enthuse students to develop digital literacy skills, practice logical thinking and problem-solving relevant to Computer Science, and gain understanding of the use of Information Technology in the wider world. This helps to ensure that students are provided with the tools they require to excel in the modern workplace and society. Students study the following at key stage 3:

 Year 7:

Computing Basics

Introduction to Computer Systems

Scratch Programming

HTML Web Development

 

Year 8:

Cybersecurity & ELCE

Python Programming

Research Project

Data Representation

App Development

 

Year 9:

Hardware & Storage

Networks

Python Advanced Programming

Spreadsheets

Editing Graphics

 

E-Safety is a focus throughout various points of the year at key stage 3. It is vital that students understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely. Students are taught how to protect their online identity and privacy, recognise inappropriate content, how to conduct themselves, and how to report concerns.

 

GCSE Computer Science

Students will follow the OCR Computer Science specification; they have the chance to develop knowledge and understanding of a wide range of computing and programming. They will learn how to text based programming languages, build algorithms and develop different functionality to meet design criteria.  Understanding of computer hardware and software will be taught in addition to wired and wireless networks. There is also a focus on developing students' computational thinking and ability to develop algorithms and applying the knowledge they have learned by developing a solution to a real-world problem.

Component 1 – Computer Systems:

(examination unit – combination of short and long answer style questions, some of which require the writing of code); 1 hour 30 minutes; 80 marks; 50% of qualification.

In this examined unit students will explore the fundamentals of computer systems. They will study computer architecture, computer hardware and its components. Students will look into how software is used to perform functions for user interfaces and explore custom written and off-the-shelf software. This component will also give students a detailed knowledge of the inner working of wired and wireless networks alongside the importance of systems security.

Component 2 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming:
(examination unit – combination of short and long answer style questions, some of which require the writing of code; 1 hour 30 minutes; 80 marks; 50% of qualification)

This component is another written exam, focused on computational thinking and algorithms. Students will be tested on the elements of computational thinking and logic. The main focus of the assessment is to test students' ability to write, correct and improve algorithms.


Component 3 – Programming Project
(Programming Project; 20 hours)

This is a practical unit where students will be asked to design and create suitable algorithms to provide a solution to a given problem and then develop the solution using a suitable programming language.  They will then need to test and evaluate their solution to provide evidence of a programming solution and to build on techniques they have learnt.

 

BTEC Digital Information Technology


The Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology is for learners who want to acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection as part of their Key Stage 4 learning. The qualification recognises the value of learning skills, knowledge and vocational attributes to complement GCSEs. The qualification will broaden the learners experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

Component 1 - Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques

(coursework unit – internally assessed; 30% of qualification)

Learners will develop their understanding of what makes an effective user interface and how to effectively manage a project. They will use this understanding to plan, design and create a user interface.

Component 2 - Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data

(coursework unit – internally assessed; 30% of qualification)

Learners will understand the characteristics of data and information and how they help organisations in decision making. They will use data manipulation methods to create a dashboard to present and draw conclusions from information.

Component 3 – Effective Digital Working Practices

(examination unit – externally assessed; 40% of qualification)

Learners will explore how organisations use digital systems and the wider implications associated with their use.