Computing Curriculum 2020-2021
Head of Department: Mr. P. Martin
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our aim is for pupils to combine computational thinking and practical skills in order to understand and prepare them for an ever changing technological landscape.
- Game design and realisation
- Algorithms, logic and control
- Visual-based programming versus textual-based programming
- Online safety and the responsible use of computers
- Hardware and software
- Understanding the infrastructure that makes up a network
We are currently following the National Centre for Computing Education's scheme of work.
5.1 Impact of Technology
This unit has been designed to ensure that learners are given sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the school network. It also allows the teacher to discuss appropriate use of the school network, and to update and remind learners of important online safety issues. Whilst completing this unit, learners will also learn how to use presentation software effectively. In terms of online safety, this unit focuses on respecting others online, spotting strangers, and the effects of cyberbullying.
5.2 Sharing information
In this unit, learners will develop their understanding of computer systems and how information is transferred between systems and devices. Learners will consider small-scale systems as well as large-scale systems. They will explain the input, output, and process aspects of a variety of different real-world systems. Learners will also take part in a collaborative online project with other class members and develop their skills in working together online.
5.3 Vector drawing
In this unit learners will find out that vector images are made up of shapes. They will learn how to use the different drawing tools and how images are created in layers. They will explore the ways in which images can be grouped and duplicated to support them in creating more complex pieces of work. This unit is planned using the Google Drawings app other alternative pieces of software are available.
5.4 Video editing
This unit gives learners the opportunity to learn how to create short videos in groups. As they progress through this unit, they will be exposed to topic-based language and develop the skills of capturing, editing, and manipulating video. Active learning is encouraged through guided questions and by working in small groups to investigate the use of devices and software. Learners are guided with step-by-step support to take their idea from conception to completion. At the teacher’s discretion, the use of green screen can be incorporated into this unit. At the conclusion of the unit, learners have the opportunity to reflect on and assess their progress in creating a video.
6.1 Web page creation
This unit introduces learners to the creation of websites for a chosen purpose. Learners identify what makes a good web page and use this information to design and evaluate their own website using Google Sites. Throughout the process learners pay specific attention to copyright and fair use of media, the aesthetics of the site, and navigation paths.
6.2 Computing systems and networks
In this unit, the class will learn about the World Wide Web as a communication tool. First, they will learn how we find information on the World Wide Web, through learning how search engines work (including how they select and rank results) and what influences searching, and through comparing different search engines. They will then investigate different methods of communication, before focusing on internet-based communication. Finally, they will evaluate which methods of internet communication to use for particular purposes.
6.3 Programming essentials in Scratch – Programming 1
This unit is the first programming unit of KS3. The aim of this unit and the following unit (‘programming 2’) is to build learners’ confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs. Importantly, this unit does not assume any previous programming experience, but it does offer learners the opportunity to expand on their knowledge throughout the unit.
The main programming concepts covered in this unit are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration. All of the examples and activities for this unit use Scratch 3.
7.1 Programming essentials in Scratch – Programming 2
Programming II follows on from the foundations built in ‘Programming I’. It is vital that learners complete ‘Programming I’ before beginning this unit.
This unit begins right where ‘Programming I’ left off. Learners will build on their understanding of the control structures’ sequence, selection, and iteration (the big three), and develop their problem-solving skills. Learners will learn how to create their own subroutines, develop their understanding of decomposition, learn how to create and use lists, and build upon their problem-solving skills by working through a larger project at the end of the unit.
7.2 Using Media
During this unit, learners develop their understanding of information technology and digital literacy skills. They will use the skills learnt across the unit to create a blog post about a real-world cause that they would like to gain support for. Learners will develop software formatting skills and explore concerns surrounding the use of other people’s work, including licensing and legal issues.
7.3 Modelling Data - Spreadsheets
The spreadsheet unit for Year 7 takes learners from having very little knowledge of spreadsheets to being able to confidently model data with a spreadsheet. The unit uses engaging activities to progress learners from using basic formulas to writing their own COUNTIF statements. This unit will give learners a good set of skills that they can use in computing lessons and in other subject areas.
8.1 Representations - from clay to silicon
This unit conveys essential knowledge relating to binary representations. The activities gradually introduce learners to binary digits and how they can be used to represent text and numbers. The concepts are linked to practical applications and problems that the learners are familiar with.
8.2 Programming – mobile app development
In a world where there’s an app for every possible need, this unit aims to take the learners from designer to project manager to developer in order to create their own mobile app. Using App Lab from code.org, learners will familiarise themselves with the coding environment and have an opportunity to build on the programming concepts they used in previous units before undertaking their project. Learners will work in pairs to consider the needs of the user; decompose the project into smaller, more manageable parts; use the pair programming approach to develop their app together; and finish off by evaluating the success of the project against the needs of the user.
8.3 Introduction to Python Programming
This unit introduces learners to text-based programming with Python. The lessons form a journey that starts with simple programs involving input and output, and gradually moves on through arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration. Emphasis is placed on tackling common misconceptions and elucidating the mechanics of program execution.
A range of pedagogical tools is employed throughout the unit, with the most prominent being pair programming, live coding, and worked examples.
The Year 7 Programming units (ncce.io/year7) are a prerequisite for this unit.