Pupils are introduced to the school network, the rules that apply to the use of this and how to keep their work and themselves safe on the network and the Internet within school and at home. The focus at the start of the year is on giving pupils grounding in how to be safe online. The units of work following this include learning text based projecting languages such as Small Basic and HTML. Pupils are also introduced to digital literacy skills through all modules and a final digital skills project at the end of the end. The curriculum is design to prepare pupils for the rigours of Computer Science at Key Stage 4.Pupils are introduced pupils to all the major software packages that they are going to use throughout the school. Pupils are expected to develop skills using the software and applying these skills to solve problems, process, store and present information.
During this year pupils are introduced to skills and units that will help guided students in there option choices at the end of year and introduce them to the skills that they will need and use in Key Stage 4. They will be introduced to Spreadsheet Modelling and apply these skills to real world situations such as running a business and calculating VAT. The pupils further develop their visual and text based programming languages as part of this year by introducing Python. Pupils will learn the basic of computer architecture and how computers work using binary and computing maths. Finally pupils will learn some multimedia aspects of ICT to help student develop design skills and work to given briefs. The curriculum in year 8 is design to cover the basics of subject pupils will be taught at Key stage 4 depending on the subjects chosen by individuals.
After developing their skills in years 7 and 8 pupils are expected to work more independently from year 9 following a course that will lead to accreditation. There are 2 courses in operation at present but we are always looking to make sure that these are the most appropriate for our pupils. All of the courses are Level 2 standard leading to Grades equivalent 1 to 9. or Pass, Merit and Distinction.
This course is a challenging option for budding future programmers. It will run alongside the BTEC Digital Information and is offered to those who show an aptitude for programming in the lower school. It has two themes running throughout the course. The first theme is programming. The language used is Python a structured language that ensures pupils develop good habits in structuring their programs and writing efficient code that solve a wide variety of problems they are presented with. There is a piece of coding coursework that help develop practical skills needed for the real world and their final examination. The second theme deals with the theoretical side of computing. This includes looking at the components of a computer system, the peripheral devices needed and the way that a computer operates internally as well as how people are able to interface with the machine and the social aspects of computer use. Pupils will earn their final grade from sitting two final exam papers worth 50% each.
BTEC Digital Information
This course is our vocational route option. The course is made up of three components. Components 1 and 2 are coursework based and Components 3 is an externally accessed exam. Component 1 involves pupils exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques. Pupils 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 involves pupils collecting, presenting and interpreting data. Pupils 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 involves pupils learning about effective working practices. Pupils will explore how organisations use digital systems and the wider implications associated with their use. Pupils will then be examined on this knowledge. Pupils must pass all 3 elements to achieve an overall grade of a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.