Computer Science

As Head of Computing and ICT at Churchmead my vision is to see ICT and Computer Science forming part of a broad and balanced curriculum, in which every young person should have the opportunity to learn and become passionate about computing from an early age starting at primary school and continuing onwards into secondary, higher education and into the workplace.

At Churchmead we try to organize this curriculum to best meet the needs of our learners.

Key Stage 3 represents the core of computing, which is now referred to as computer science; in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

This is developed using four different models or strands these being:

Systems Development Programming Modelling Analysis

 

If not already being taught computer science at primary school parents and pupils will instantly see a huge difference between the two subjects. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) focuses on the creative and productive use and application of technology and computer systems. Especially in organizations and where we still use elements of this in our teaching and learning of Computer Science; particularly in the Internet Safety modules, pupils are no longer reliant on being able to produce excellent PowerPoints or display fantastic posters to achieve.

Computer Science was brought in by the current government as part of its sweeping changes to establish the subject as a new foundational element of the school curriculum. Computer Science in a nutshell is the study of computers, how they work, their application and what can be designed by using them. The subject has been made an “academic subject” in line with Mathematics and Science.

In Computer Science pupils will now be taught to understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal]

At key stage 3 in Computer Science pupils are introduced to subjects such as programming using languages such as Scratch, Python and Visual Basic and will be expected by the time they reach KS4 to be able to use 2 or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of l problems. In KS3 pupils will investigate how to make appropriate use of data structures for example, lists, tables and arrays; as well as design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions. As programming plays a large part of the new curriculum at Key Stage 3 pupils will taught to understand how to use flow chart software such as Gliffy to construct algorithms that reflect problems.

The internet now plays such a large part of our lives, that I feel that pupils need to be able to stay safe when they are online. Therefore in year 7, when pupils start Computer Science we will continue to build on the knowledge that they should have been taught in Key Stage 2. Giving them the understand of a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns.

In addition to this they will be taught to understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.

Pupils will be able to experience how to design, use and evaluate spreadsheet models that simulate real world examples that businesses are often faced with.