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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 can achieve great things when they can use technology as a tool for learning and creating in a digital world.

We have up-to-date modern facilities at Hodge Hill College with 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 repeatedly, 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 the GCSE in Computer Science (Edexcel). 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

View document /curriculum/computing/curriculum_overview_2020.pdf

 

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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.

Year 7: Algorithms and Programming 

This introduces 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, 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.

 

Year 8: Digital systems and Representing Data

 This continues computational thinking and algorithm development, by looking at how computers work, the components that make them up and how data is represented when they are used. 

Students will cover:

  • The input, process, and output model
  • Computer components
  • Data vs information
  • Databases
  • Queries
  • Binary
  • Text, images, and sound

 

Year 8: Creating in a Digital World

Students will complete two projects that will give them the skills to create an app and a website. 

Students will cover:

  • The creation life cycle
  • Target audience and purpose
  • Legislation involved in creating on the internet
  • HTML and CSS
  • Safety in practice online

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KS4 

Year 10

Exam board

Pearson Edexcel

Course code

1CP2

Examined by

One written paper worth 50% of the qualification.  This is a 1 hour 30 minutes examination worth 75 marks.  This is sat at the end of year 11.

 

One onscreen worth 50% of the qualification.  This is a 2-hour examination worth 75 marks.  This is sat at the end of year 11.

Key topics taught

  • Computation thinking - understanding of what algorithms are, what they
  • are used for and how they work; ability to follow, amend and write algorithms; ability to construct truth tables.
  • Data - understanding of binary, data representation, data storage and compression.
  • Computers - understanding of hardware and software components of
  • computer systems and characteristics of programming languages.
  • Networks - understanding of computer networks and network security.
  • Issues and impact - – awareness of emerging trends in computing
  • Technologies, and the impact of computing on individuals, society and the
  • Environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.

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 computation thinking, 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.

Year 11

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.

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.

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

  • Compulsory project programming task – a 20-hour programming task.
  • Principles of Computer Science – a 1 hour 40-minute examination taken in year 11.
  • 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.

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Support

  • Regular revision classes timetabled after school

  • Year 11 Drop-in

  • Evening masterclasses

  • FOLDR resources for all year groups

  • Google Classroom resources

  • Video help library

  • Revision cue cards

  • QR code sheets