Computing and ICT

Computing 100

Computing plays an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives. The Curriculum offered to students must provide experience of using computers in a wide range of situations.

At Prenton, in ICT and Computing lessons we meet these requirements by encouraging and supporting our students to use technology safely and responsibly and with confidence. Not just in computing but in all other subjects, when required, using up to date facilities and applications. From this students will become independent learners capable of critical thinking, creativity and effective communication.

The skills and knowledge that students will acquire in ICT and Computing, will underpin all other subjects within the curriculum offer, e.g. how to search efficiently and safely on the Internet, used across all subjects; modelling and programming underpins Maths; visual literacy, programming, and web design underpins English Language; and programming and sequencing encourages critical thinking.

Our aim in Computing is to ensure that all our students:
• Know and understand how to keep safe and away from harm, whilst using the Internet and other communications facilities.
• Are able to explore and become confident, using emerging technologies.
• Develop a range of transferable skills.
• Use technology effectively, creatively and imaginatively.
•  Are able to identify and understand when and where to use skills and Computing knowledge, in other areas of the curriculum. To extend, support and enrich learning across the whole curriculum.
•  Develop a Growth Mindset through inquisitive problem solving tasks and debugging code
But above all we strive to make our students selective, confident and skilled enough to become independent users of technology.

Staff

Mr T Simon | Subject Leader
Mrs A Brown | Teacher ICT  and Computing
Mr E Tang | Progress Leader | Teacher of Maths | ICT and Computing
Mr D Richardson |  Teacher of Maths | ICT and Computing | House Champion

Facilities

At Prenton, there are currently three air-conditioned computing suites, each equipped with 28 work stations, Colour and Laser printers, LCD projection systems and Interactive White Boards.

The workstations are equipped with a wide range of software, ranging from software for general use e.g. MS Office 2010 to more specific software including, Adobe Design and Web Premium, Scratch, MIT APP Inventor (Web Based) and Python. We also have additional technology to facilitate lessons including USB Robot Arms, Mobile Phones, Flip Cams and Video Equipment Packs.
There are also smaller suites of computers available in individual subject areas.
Many departments have published a wide variety of learning resources on our Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle. We are currently re-developing our VLE Moodle to update with the new Computing curriculum content.

Curriculum Provision Years 7,8 and 9

In Years 7 to 9, ICT with aspects of Computing are taught as discrete/separate subjects. Students currently have two lessons per week. The course is built around the basic skills of Research, Critical Thinking, Word Processing, Desk Top Publishing,  Databases, Modelling, Web Design, including Html programming, Animation, Graphics, Multimedia including Sound and Video and Programming including Scratch, Mit APP Inventor and Python.

Students undertake a basic skills unit to teach them the basic skills required so they are equipped to use technology across the curriculum in their first term. This allows us to pinpoint, at an early stage, any problems or misunderstandings students may have about the use of technology and application in a networked environment. It further allows us to design our curriculum to meet the specific needs of our students.

Students are taught software use, in-line with Industry Conventions.

Our modern computer facilities have greatly improved the opportunities to acquire Computing skills/knowledge, both in lessons and for private study. There is a school policy on Internet Acceptable Use which applies to all members of the school community.

GCSE Courses

Currently – GCSE Course-WJEC in ICT and OCR Computing (Computer Science)

Why choose ICT as an option?

GCSE ICT encourages the investigation and study of Information and Communication Technology in a variety of contexts, for example home, school, recreation, community, business and industry. Students can acquire competence and capability through the creation, implementation, use and evaluation of a range of ICT systems. Students will also study the theory underpinning ICT. This course will allow them to progress to a GCE Advanced specification in Information and Communication Technology.

Syllabus GCSE in Information Communication Technology – Single award

Examination Board WJEC

Qualification- 1 GCSE A-G

Assessment 2 x controlled assessments, (1 in Year 10, 1 in Year 11- 22.5 hours each).

2 x externally set examinations. (1.5hrs each)

Course content:

Unit 1– Understanding ICT. This assesses the functional elements of ICT in a home and school context. (Written Examination)

Unit 2– Solving Problems with ICT. (Controlled assessment) Candidates will produce a Portfolio of work, which demonstrates candidates understanding of using, developing, and communicating information to meet the needs of the practical aspects of the functional elements of ICT, e.g. E-mail, Web Design, Spreadsheets, Database Design etc.

Unit 3– ICT in Organisations. This will assess the “application” content of ICT in a business and Industry context. (Written examination)

Unit 4– Developing Multimedia ICT Solutions. This controlled assessment gives candidates the opportunity to develop a piece of work using multimedia software following a task brief issued by the Exam Board.

Results

For the past two years, 90% of students have achieved GCSE ICT (95.7% in 2015), Grade A*-C. All students entered achieved their target grade with over 70% of students exceeding their target grade.

 

Why choose Computing as an Option?

GCSE Computing encourages the investigation and study of Computing in a variety of contexts, for example home, school, recreation, community, business and industry. Students can acquire competence and capability through the creation, implementation, use and evaluation of a range of program scenarios. Students will also study the theory underpinning Computing. This course will allow them to progress to a GCE A level in Computing (Computer Science)

Important requirements

Have an understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work. Understand what an algorithm is in computer programs and how to use key programming concepts to create algorithms. Be an independent and discerning user of technology. Be able to apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of technology in a range of contexts. Develop computer programs to solve a problem. Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.

Syllabus: GCSE – Single award

Examination Board: OCR

Qualification: 1 GCSE A*-G

Assessment
1 x controlled assessment chosen by exam board (approx. 20 hours 30% of the qualification)
1 x controlled assessment (approx. 20 hours 30% of the qualification)
1 x externally set examination (1 hour 30 mins 40% of the qualification)

Course content   
Unit A451 – Computer Systems and Programming (Written Examination)
This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based.

Unit A452 – Practical Investigation (Controlled Assessment) An investigative computing task, chosen from a list supplied by OCR. Assessed based on research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing skills, recommendations/evaluation

Unit 453 – Programming Project (Controlled Assessment) Students will need to:
• Understand standard programming techniques
• Be able to design a coded solution to a problem including the ability to:
– Develop suitable algorithms
– Design suitable input and output formats
– Identify suitable variables and structures
– Identify test procedures
• Create a coded solution fully annotating the developed code to explain its function
• Test their solution:
– To show functionality
– To show how it matches the design criteria
– Identifying successes and any limitations

Extra-Curricular

Students have access to the three computing suites as well as additional facilities in the Learning REsource Base, DT Computer room and individual department facilities, during lunchtime and after school. Qualified teachers in computing are available at these times to help students who may be sruggling, or need extra help.