Broughton Hall Catholic High School - Curriculum / Computing

Introduction

The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.

Bill Gates

Computing As citizens of a modern world, an understanding of Computer Science and ICT is fundamental to your future. It allows you to understand the impact of technology on your own life, as well as making you more capable of shaping the world in a meaningful way. The subject covers a wide range of areas ranging from the hardware you hold in your hands, the software that allows you to use it but also gives you the skills to create your own solutions to enhance your life. Ever wondered how Netflix comes up with your recommended watch list? Ever wondered how your predictive text on your 'phone seems to know what you want to type before you type it? These are just some of the mysteries that Computer Science helps you unravel putting you back in control of your life in an ever changing world. Computer Science an important option subject you can choose at KS4. Not only does it enhance your understanding of the modern world around you, it gives you specific practical and cognitive skills that employers and colleges feel are essential for future success. Computer Science is regarded as a Science (giving it the same prominence as Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and as such is included as part of the English Baccalaureate.

Our vision in the Computing department at Broughton Hall Catholic High School (BHCS) is to provide a broad, balanced, and in-depth curriculum for the needs of each child, including those with SEND or those who are disadvantaged. We challenge our students to think and act like computer scientists by actively encouraging them to use computing terminology from the start of year 7. We also aim to stretch and challenge the more able students, by providing wider reading extension tasks in every lesson. Our computing curriculum maps the national curriculum at key stage 3 and offers the choice of GCSE computer science and BTEC Digital Information Technologies (DIT) at key stage 4 and Cambridge Technicals in IT at key stage 5. Our curriculum covers the knowledge and skills needed to prepare students for the future. Aspects of the curriculum such as ESafety, programming and spreadsheets allow students to lead a life that includes positive relationships, resilience, and financial independence. As a knowledge engaged curriculum, we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. As a department we define the knowledge that our students need and help them to recall it by using a variety of teaching styles and methods. Our aim is for all students to have access to all their lessons and resources on Microsoft Teams and OneNote/Class Notebook. This keeps all the lessons and topics in the order they were taught, and students can easily look back and find earlier resources to enable them to complete their fortnightly homework, revise for half termly milestone assessments or national exams.

Alongside our classroom curriculum, we make a concerted effort to emphasise the many opportunities available to our girls. We emphasise that computing is for girls through culturally rich displays, a working relationship with Liverpool University's 'women in science and engineering program,' and the NCCE's STEM ambassador program and subject matter expert. These initiatives provide local female computer scientist 'role models' to engage with our students. It is hoped that these initiatives, such as the 'Gender Research, Apps for Good pilot,' CyberFirst for Girls and Bebras programs will increase the participation at GCSE and let the girls know that computing and IT is not just a career for boys.

Extra-curriculum

  • Code club. More details when we have access to computers.
  • CyberFirst Girls Competition.
  • Bebras.

Staff

Mr. G Martin - Head of Department
Ms. L Hewitt - Head of Year 10
Mr. T Wilkinson. - Computing Teacher

Programme of Study KS3



The curriculum at key stage 3 is sequenced and increasingly challenging. Topics covered in KS1 and KS2 are revisited, but at a greater depth. The topics include aspects of academic rigour (programming) and practical vocational tasks (data collection using spreadsheets and databases). Our computing curriculum maps the national curriculum at key stage 3.

Programme of Study KS4


Computer Science GCSE (OCR)

In years 10 and 11 you are given the option to follow the OCR GCSE (9-1) in Computer Science which encourages learners to: Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation. This enables students to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.

These activities encourage students to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. Developing the understanding the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems helps students develop understanding of the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society. Students are well prepared and well supported to access the material for all components and this is backed with extensive online revision and theory activities. While prior interest in programming is very beneficial to the course, it is not essential.

BTEC Digital Information Technology (Pearsons)

In years 10 and 11 you are given the option to follow the Pearsons BTEC in Digital Information Technology which encourages learners to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • development of key skills that prove your aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data
  • process that underpins effective ways of working in digital information technology, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct
  • attitudes that are considered most important in digital information technology, including personal management and communication
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.

This Award complements the learning in GCSE programmes such as GCSE in Computer Science by broadening experience and skills participation in different type of performance activities with the opportunity to practically apply your knowledge and skills, through project work such as developing ideas and performing for specific audiences.

Programme of Study KS5


Key Information

Level: Level 3 Cambridge Technical
Examination Board: OCR
Subject Leader: Mr Martin

Entry Requirements

GCSE Grades 4 - 9 in 5 subjects
GCSE English Grade 4

Why Choose this course?

The qualifications aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. You will gain an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale, and the importance of legal and security considerations.

Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in IT focuses on the requirements that today's universities and employers demand.

Prospects

Cambridge Technicals provide a strong base for progression to university, apprenticeships or work and are recognised for UCAS tariff points. The course can lead to jobs related to IT infrastructure design, applications developers, digital technology practitioners and data analyst experts to name a few.

Course Content

Compulsory Units
Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Information Technology

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.

Unit 2 - Global Information
The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. Your students will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.

Optional Units Unit 13 - Digital Marketing
The use of social media has increased massively over recent years and is now a world-wide phenomenon. Users of social media are able to share ideas and files, compare opinions and pass comment on the activities of their friends and contacts. In doing so, they are not only generating huge amounts of data about themselves, but also allowing others the opportunity to contact them and monitor some of their online activities. Social media also allows users to collaborate with others across the globe.

Unit 17 - Internet of Things
This unit is about the use of the Internet and how it is impacting people and society. Your students will learn about the Internet of Everything (IOE) and how it is used. Using their knowledge they'll carry out a feasibility study for a potential idea. They will pitch their idea to potential stakeholders and use their feedback to revise their proposal.

Unit 6 - Application Design
The world is increasingly reliant on applications that help individuals, business and organisations achieve specific activities or purposes. In this unit your students will explore potential ideas for a new application and develop the fundamental design for it. They will then develop the designs for an application and how users will interact with it. The application that students will design could be for any sector and for any purpose. They will have the opportunity to present their ideas, prototype them and gain feedback before refining their design.

Careers

Your future employment may well rest on your knowledge and understanding of modern technologies. Computer Science based jobs are not limited to "programming" as people often believe, there is a need for Computer Scientists in every field you can imagine. Finance, Medical, Environmental, Retail, Research, Security and just about every other sector you can think of has a need for Computer Science. The technology industry is one of the only growing employment markets in the United Kingdom and it is expected that many existing non-Computer Science jobs will be replaced over the next 20 years. The sheer number of potential careers is too vast to list here, but here is as an example of Computer Science type jobs:

  • Artificial Intelligence Developer
  • Games developer
  • Database administrator
  • Information Systems manager
  • IT Consultant
  • Multimedia Programmer
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Developer
  • Help desk support
  • Technician
  • Web Developer