The content of our Key Stage 3 syllabus presents a bespoke, engaging selection of activities that not only promote the attainment of high-level digital literacy skills, but also an appreciation of the impact of technology within society. The curriculum features a variety of theoretical and practical technological interactions that hope to enthuse our pupils towards an excitement for the analytical sciences.
Year 7 students study the importance of using technology safely, specifically personal online safety, both in terms of safeguarding and protecting their data. Pupils then complete units of work on computer components, Kodu programming and data handling.
Year 8 students find out how to search for information effectively and efficiently online using Boolean logic, as well as Python programming and units on audio visual editing and 3D design.
Year 9 students learn in more detail about computational thinking and website construction using HTML, as well as the impact ICT has on individuals and society as a whole.
During Years 7-9 pupils develop some basic database and spreadsheet competencies that develop logical thinking and planning skills. They also focus on elements of high-quality graphic design and develop their skills in information literacy. This involves consideration of different sources of information, search techniques, understanding the credibility of different sources and the importance of respecting intellectual property. Analytical and problem-solving skills are developed throughout the Computer Science curriculum with a focus on the fundamentals of programming using a number of different coding languages. All pupils develop their skills in using the standard applications forming part of the Microsoft Office software suite – Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Sway and Access.
Pupils are assessed against National Curriculum standards at the end of each unit of work (typically four or five times a year). For some units this is based on a final summative piece of work for the unit; for others it is based on the work they have done throughout the unit. Pupils are also given an end-of-year assessment based on an extended practical task completed during the Summer Term. Homework is set once a week due to its on-going nature.
Additional educational experiences
- Pupils are encouraged to use ICT and Computer Science facilities to produce and present work for other subjects. The Computer Science room is available for this every lunchtime.
- Pupils are given regular opportunities to present their work to an outside audience, for example in the Eisteddfod or in competitions that involve using ICT and Computer Science.
- The Robotics club runs within the school week, and offers an outstanding opportunity for pupils to apply within a mechanical, competitive and sociable setting.