Teaching Staff and Responsibilities
Mrs Shaw: Teacher of Computer Science and Computer Science Lead
Mr Sterling: Head of Business
Ms Molloy: Teacher of Business and Computing
Mr Hitchman: Teacher of Music and Computing
KS3 (Years 7-9)
How do we organise teaching groups at KS3?
Each year group is divided into 6 mixed ability teaching groups (class size 20-24)
What are our aims at KS3?
In line with the National Curriculum, our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education which equips pupils with the skills and knowledge to understand and change the world around them. We are preparing our pupils for a radically different employment environment, where many new jobs are being created in new digital industries. The curriculum will teach children key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. However, we believe the best way we can prepare our students for the future workplace is by helping them to become independent and resilient learners with the ability to adapt and learn new skills as and when needed.
By the time students leave Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School, students will have gained key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully).
How does this subject develop over KS3?
In KS3, pupils will begin with a focus on E-Safety which evolves from basic skills on how to use social media to cybersecurity, malware and information protection. Pupils will develop the ability to problem solve. In Year 7, pupils will learn how to decrypt and manipulate small passages of code by using a block programming language. But, by Year 9, there will be greater focus on creating your own blocks of code using the three main programming constructs in a text based programming language. In year 7, pupils will be taught the principles of information, computation and how digital systems work. Over the course of the KS3 curriculum students will learn how to put this knowledge to use through programming. They will start off by learning about hardware and software in year 7, and they will end year 9 knowing how to create their own programs and how to program Raspberry Pi Computers.
What will my daughter learn at KS3?
- Unit 1 Online Safety (Using Computers Safely, Effectively and Responsibly) : This unit aims to teach students about why appropriate usage is important, as well as allowing for opportunities to highlight online safety issues. Students will learn about: Emailing staff, attaching files, file management, using computers safely, using the internet safely, digital footprint and social media.
- Unit 2 Understanding Computers: This unit covers the different layers of computing systems from programs and the operating system, to the physical components that store and execute these programs, to the fundamental binary building blocks that these components consist of.
- Unit 3 Programming with Micro:Bits: This unit aims to build students’ confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs and skills. The main programming concepts covered in this unit are algorithms, input, output, processing, what is a MicrobiT, introduction to coding using blocks editor,sequencing, variables, selection, and iteration which are used in programming of activities/games using Micro:Bit
- Unit 4 Spreadsheet Modelling: This unit aims to introduce the students to the wonderful world of spreadsheets. They will learn: what a spreadsheet is used for, how to use excel, formulas, conditional formatting, sum, max, min, if, average, countif,
- Unit 5 Using Media: This unit will develop students’ understanding of information technology and digital literacy by using skills to create a blog post about a real world cause that they are passionate about. Students will learn about word processing software, how to licence appropriate images, credibility of sources, research and planning, plagiarism and presentation software
- Unit 6 Networks: This unit aims to teach students about the basics of networking. They will learn about: what is a network, LAN vs WAN, network topologies, networking hardware and wired & wireless networks
- Graphics: This unit aims to give students a better understanding of the processes involved in creating vector graphics and will be provided with the knowledge and tools to create their own. They will learn about: vector graphics, bitmap images and the creation of a range of vector graphics (icons, logos and illustrations) using inkscape.
- Computer Crime and Cybersecurity: This unit will allow students to discover the techniques that cybercriminals use to steal data, disrupt systems, and infiltrate networks. Students will learn about: different types of cyber attacks (Malware, Social Engineering, Hacking, DOS Attacks, Brute Force attacks), cybersecurity methods, Encryption, Computer Misuse Act & Copyright Design and Patents Act..
- Computational Thinking & Logic: This unit introduces students to the world of computational thinking and logic. Students get to understand the power of problem solving and the different methods that Computer Scientists use to tackle problems. Students will learn: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithms, flowcharts, pseudocode and boolean logic
- Python: This unit introduces learners to text-based programming with Python. This unit builds upon skills taught in the year 7 Microbits unit. Students will learn about variables, data types, operators, numbers, string manipulation, selection, loops and python turtle.
- Data Science: This unit teaches students how to use data to investigate problems and make changes to the world around them. They will learn about global and local data sets and understand how visualising data can help with the process of identifying patterns and trends.
- HTML & Website Development: In this unit students will explore the technologies that make up the internet and World Wide Web. They will learn: the differences between the internet and WWW, HTML coding & CSS, website design and creating a website for a given brief.
- AI & Machine Learning: This unit gives students a first insight into the fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Pupils begin by considering where AI is used and how machine learning and deep learning are used in image recognition. This is a fast moving area of development, so the Ethics of AI is considered. This unit builds upon knowledge taught in the Computational Thinking unit in year 8.
- Python Next Steps: This unit builds upon skills taught in year 8. Pupils will be introduced to more advanced programming skills such as arrays, procedures and functions and file handling. This unit is designed to take students up to a point where a GCSE in Computer Science can pick up and should provide ample experience in programming.
- Raspberry PI PICOs: This unit builds upon the previous unit as students will be using their python skills to program a Raspberry PI PICO and use the Pico keypad to create a game. They will design, create, test and evaluate a game using all the skills gained over the KS3 curriculum.
- Sound Manipulation: In this unit students will learn how sound is digitized and stored on computers. They will learn basic sound editing techniques and how to add sound effects and mix tracks.
Are there any websites that will support my daughter’s learning?
KS4/GCSE (Years 10-11)
How do we organise teaching groups at KS4?
At KS4, classes are taught in option groups which are all mixed ability.
Which GCSE specification do we prepare pupils for?
OCR GCSE Computer Science. Here is a link to the specification for more detailed information:
What will my daughter learn at KS4?
The GCSE is split up into two exams:
- Paper 1: Computer Systems
- Paper 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
We have selected the following options from the specification to teach in Year 10.
This year, your daughter will learn the following topics from paper 1:
- Systems Architecture
- Memory and Storage
- Units and Data Storage
- Systems Software
- Network Security
From paper 2, the following topics will be taught:
- Programming Fundamentals
- Producing robust programs
- Boolean Logic
We have selected the following options from the specification to teach in Year 11.
- Computer networks, connection and protocols
- Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Concerns of using technology
From paper 2, the following topics will be taught:
- Programming Fundamentals
- Programming Practical
- Programming Languages and Integrated Development Environments