“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28-32

Intent

The computing department at Mount Carmel aims to ensure that pupils become digitally literate. Pupils are taught to be able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology at a level suitable for the future workplace, and as active participants in a digital world. At Mount Carmel we aim to develop responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. 
Problem solving is at the heart of the computing curriculum at Mount Carmel. Pupils are taught to use computational thinking and creativity in ways that are transferable to almost any career. Pupils learn to analyse problems in computational terms, and, have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. This ensures that pupils can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.

Implementation KS3  

At Mount Carmel, pupils receive one hour of computing per week in key stage 3 and three hours per week at key stage 4 if they choose to study computer science or creative iMedia.

KS3 curriculum

In KS3 pupils study a broad curriculum that covers key elements of computer science, digital literacy and e-safety. These topics are carefully mapped against the national curriculum to give full and even coverage. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the digital world, whether or not they continue to study a computing related subject at KS4. 

Units taught in 2019-20:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Digital Literacy Representation of data 1 Key hardware components
and computer performance
Computer hardware and
storage devices
Searching and sorting 
algorithms
Application of programming
concepts
Algorithms and programming
using block code
Creating digital artefacts for 
specific target audiences
Representation of data 2
E-safety E-safety 2 Cyber security and social
engineering
Python programming 1 Python programming 2 Boolean logic
Creating digital artefacts Mini project Creation and evaluation of 
digital artefacts

 

How will the subject be assessed?
At key stage 3, assessment takes place formatively through mini assessment tasks, observation and question and answer sessions. Repetition is built into the curriculum through mid-unit low stakes tests and starter activities. Summative assessment takes place half termly in the form of end of unit assessments. Assessments mirror as closely as possible those required at GCSE level. 

Implementation KS4   

KS4 curriculum

At KS4, pupils can choose to study GCSE computer science or the Cambridge National in Creative iMedia. Both courses allow pupils to build upon the skills and knowledge gained at KS3 so that they can understand and communicate ideas in greater depth and with increasing complexity.  
Computer science tends to appeal to students with an interest in how computers work and who enjoy and wish to develop their problem-solving skills. Creative iMedia generally appeals to students who enjoy the more creative opportunities that computers bring such as the development of digital artefacts. Students on both courses are offered extensive intervention as and when required in the form of afterschool and morning booster sessions.

How will the subject be assessed?

At key stage 4, assessment in both courses is ongoing through regular homework, in class and end of unit summative assessments. Recall starter activities are used commonly to reinforce knowledge and to prepare students for examinations.
Computer science is a linear course culminating in 2 x 90 minute examinations each representing 50% of the overall grade. 
Creative iMedia is modular and consists of 3 internally assessed units and 1 externally assessed written examination. Two of these modules are completed in year 10 and two in year 11.

Enrichment and / or extra curricular activities    

The computing department offers the following enrichment and extra-curricular activities:

  • Computing club
  • UCLAN university trip.
  • Breakfast and after school revision sessions (year 10/11)

From 2020/21 the computing department will be running a computing drop down day to ensure students not studying a computing related course are taught essential skills that they will need to be successful in a digital world. These activities are carefully mapped to meet the requirements for the KS4 national curriculum. 

Impact

Next steps (College, University, career)    

What can the subject prepare me for?
We live in a digital age and almost all employers require their employees to be digitally literate. Students often progress to study A-level computer science or opt for more vocational courses in game design, web design or digital photography.

Computing skills can be used in almost all areas of work, including:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Media and Marketing

Additional resources:  

https://www.senecalearning.com  

www.testandtrack.io 

https://www.sololearn.com/ 

GCSE computer science specification:

https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/computing/specifications/AQA-8520-SP-2016.PDF 

Creative iMedia specification:

https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/115888-specification.pdf