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Computer Science

 

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Introduction

 

As a STEM subject, we are proud to offer our students an enriching and lively curriculum throughout the five years that they study with us at Hodge Hill College. We believe that everyone is capable of achieving great things when they can use technology as a tool for learning.

 

We have up-to-date modern facilities at Hodge Hill College with three fully equipped Computer Science classrooms and a team of qualified, experienced teachers. The school has invested heavily in the technology and we are proud to offer a diverse range of topics as part of our curriculum ranging from exploring the inner workings of computer hardware to programming in multiple languages.

 

At the core of our work are the interests of our students. Historically Computer Science has been labelled as one of those ‘tougher’ subjects; hard to access and hard to achieve. Our students have proven over and over again that this is a myth. They have shown that with hard-work and a strong attitude to learning, our learners can and do make great progress in this subject.

 

                                                         

 

In years 7, 8, and 9, our students follow a curriculum proposed by the Computing at Schools (an education community created by the British Computing Society and the Chartered Institute for IT) wherein they have the opportunity to learn and explore all of the key topics studied in at GCSE level Computer Science. They will build projects, explore the social, moral, spiritual, and cultural implications of our subject, and learn how the technology at their disposal can offer them opportunities for their future. In years 10 and 11, we offer two courses: the GCSE in Computer Science (Edexcel) and the Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia (OCR). This allows our students to select the best course for them, making use of the skills they have developed with us during their earlier years at the school. Please click the links above to explore more of the learning that takes place.

 

We are always delighted to discuss your child’s progress in this subject and the provision that we offer. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the school if you have any questions.

 

Curriculum Overview

  Computer Science & Information Technology

 

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KS3

Our new KS3 curriculum embraces the five strands of Computer Science (as proposed by the Computing at Schools education community and specified within the National Curriculum). Students study the following topics: Algorithms & Programming, Data, The Computer, Information Technology, and Communication. In addition, we teach our learners key skills when using digital devices in our annual Core lessons including skills such as touch typing, folder management, etc.

 

Algorithms and Programming (year 7)

This provides an introduction to computational thinking, algorithm development, and programming in two different programming languages. Students will learn to program in a visual-based programming language (Lego MindStorms and/or BBC MicroBits (JavaScript), and a text-based programming language (Python).

 

Students will complete two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Problem solving using visual based programming languages. (1 x Project)

  • Phase 2 – Problem solving using text-based programming languages. (1 x Project)

It is expected that the course will take the entire school year to complete.

Students are assessed with three mid-topic assessments and an end-of-topic assessment taking place at the end of the course.

 

Data (year 8)

This is an introduction to data representation within a computer system.

Students will cover:

  • Data vs information

  • Data security

  • Flat-file databases

  • Data types

  • Queries

  • Binary

  • Images/text in binary

  • Logic gates

Students are assessed with a mid-topic and an end-of-topic assessment.

 

The Computer (year 8)

Students will explore how computers are built using hardware.

Students will cover:

  • The input, process, output model.

  • The components of a computer system including the ‘fetch, decode, execute’ CPU cycle.

  • Embedded systems

  • Software

Students are assessed with a mid-topic and an end-of-topic assessment.

 

I.T. (year 9)

Students will prepare a digital outcome using technology.

Students will cover:

  • Using online services to achieve a digital outcome.

  • Prepare a design in consideration of the target audience and purpose.

  • Ethical issues surrounding the publication of digital material.

  • Key legislation concerning the development of digital products.

Students are assessed with a mid-topic and an end-of-topic assessment wherein they will develop their own websites for a specific purpose.

 

Communication (year 9)

This is an introduction to the structure, functions, and safety with respect to the world wide web.

Students will cover:

  • The internet and internet access

  • Introduction to HTML and CSS

  • Networking and addresses

  • Safety in practice online.

Students are assessed with a mid-topic assessment and an end-of-topic assessment wherein they will develop their own websites for a specific purpose.

 

 

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KS4 (Computer Science)

Exam board

Edexcel

Course code

1CP1

Examined by

Two exam papers worth 50% of the grade each. One paper is 1 hour 40 minutes and the other is 2 hours. Both are assessed at the end of year 11.

One compulsory project assignment completed within controlled conditions over 20 hours. This is assessed at the end of year 10.

Key topics taught

Principles of Computer Science such as:

· Data representation

· Networking

· Emerging trends in Computing

Application of computational thinking

· Binary representation

· Hardware components

· Databases

Programming project

· Algorithms (decomposition and abstraction)

· Designing, writing, and testing programs

Students will study the GCSE Computer Science qualification provided by Edexcel. There are three components to this qualification:

  1. Compulsory project programming task – a 20 hour programming task.
  2. Principles of Computer Science – a 1 hour 40 minute examination taken in year 11.
  3. Application of Computation thinking – a 2 hour examination taken in year 11.

This linked overview has been issued by the exam board. Each examination taken in year 11 is worth 50% of the final grade. The programming project is not graded, but nevertheless is a requirement for the completion of the qualification.

 

There are six topics studied:

  • Topic 1 & 2: Algorithms and Programming
  • Topic 3: Data
  • Topic 4: The Computer
  • Topic 5: Communication
  • Topic 6: Issues

 

Year 10

In year 10 our students begin their GCSE curriculum immediately. This is based upon the content that they will have learnt in years 7, 8, and 9, and uses those skills as foundation upon which to access the topics demanding greater skill.

 

Our students commence their studies with Topic 1 & 2, where they will discover and learn how to program in the text-based programming language Python. They will learn how to think computationally, solving algorithmic challenges from an early stage. Students will be assessed through a combination of mid- and end-of-topic assessments and written responses to programming challenges called ‘assessment points’. This will culminate in an end-of-year mock examination taking place in June.

 

During year 10, students will also complete the programming project. This is a required practical task completed over a period of 20 hours of lesson time. Students will be challenged to analyse, design, program, test, and evaluate a solution to a programming problem.

  

Year 11

During the final year of the course, students will study the remaining four topics of Computer Science. They will explore how data is represented within a computer system, how the physical components within a standard computer architecture work together, how data is transmitted online, and the key social, moral, spiritual, and cultural issues arising from Computer Science in the 21st century.

 

Students are assessed via mid- and end-of-topic assessments and a mock exam taking place in January of their final year. Students will be supported in their learning through access to dedicated revision drop-in sessions, after-school masterclasses, online webinars and tutorials, and access to a wide range of independent study materials including recordings, revision cards, and past paper questions.

 

Certificate in Creative iMedia

Exam board

OCR

Course code

J817

Examined by

One exam paper worth 25% of the grade lasting 1 hour 15 minutes. There is an optional re-sit opportunity with one paper completed in year 10 and the re-sit in year 11 if needed.

Three project assignments worth 25% of the grade, completed within controlled conditions over 10 hours each. This is assessed during year 10 and year 11.

Grades are awarded as: Level 1 Pass, Level 1 Merit, Level 1 Distinction, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction, Level 2 Distinction*

Key topics taught

There are four units taught. Each unit is worth 25% of the final grade.

R081 – Pre-production skills (examination unit)

R082 – Creating digital graphics (controlled assessment unit)

R086 – Creating a multi-page website (controlled assessment unit)

R091 – Designing a game concept (controlled assessment unit)

 

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Support

  • Regular revision classes timetabled after school.
  • Year 11 Drop-in (Monday 8:00 – 8:25, Thursdays Lunch 1).
  • Evening masterclasses.
  • FOLDR resources for all year groups.
  • Revision cue cards.
  • QR code sheets.