Computer Science and ICT
meet the team
Mrs Johal – Head of Computing & ICT
Mrs Wilde – Key Stage 5 Computing & ICT Coordinator
Mr Sycamore – Teacher of Computing & ICT
In today’s world, where ICT is constantly changing, individuals increasingly need technological and information literacy skills. These skills are now as essential as the traditional skills of numeracy and literacy. As well as the rapid development of new technologies, familiar technologies like television, telephone and computers are evolving and being expanded by digitised information. As a result of this, there is a growing need for individuals who can master and manipulate these new technologies. Computing and ICT here at Southam College encourages learners to start becoming discerning users of both ICT skills and Computer Programming. It allows them to develop a broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding.
KEY STAGE 3
In Years 7 and 8, students are studying Computing but also continue to gain vital, lifelong skills, in area of ICT. The aim is to help students feel empowered to engage and to think imaginatively and creatively to solve problems, rather than purely concentrating on the practical aspects of the subject. The course is designed to ensure that students develop practical programming skills as well as an appreciation of how computing has and continues to develop. They also look at how to use the Internet safely and effectively to find information.
In Year 9, all students take one term of ICT as part of their Enrichment Activities, alongside Business and Food Technology.
KEY STAGE 4
Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)*
The CiDA qualification aims to empower students to play an active role in the digital sector rather than being simply consumers of digital content. Tailor-made to meet the needs of today’s creative industries, the qualification covers imaging, creative multimedia, website development and computer game production. This qualification is ideal for students who want the opportunity to explore and acquire a broad understanding and knowledge of the creative digital industries, and the ability to apply that knowledge in practical contexts.
*This qualification is in its last year of accreditation and therefore is only available for current Year 11
OCR Cambridge National Level 1/2 Certificate in Information Technologies*
The Cambridge National in Information Technologies qualification improves students’ knowledge of the digital environment and their confidence with IT. They learn about data management issues and develop practical skills by planning and creating an integrated technological solution to communicate information. This qualification is separated into two units of study; one coursework element and one examination, both weighted at 50% each.
For the coursework element students create a technological solution that processes data and communicates information, following the phases of the project life cycle using different hardware and software technologies to create an integrated technological solution. They develop practical skills such as carrying out a SWOT analysis, creating GANTT charts, developing online surveys, and presenting data through web-based technologies.
For the examined element students develop their knowledge and understanding of different hardware and software applications and the tools and techniques used to select, store, manipulate and present data. They also explore the various risks associated with the collection, storage and use of data, including legal, moral, ethical and security issues, and how such risks can be mitigated.
*This qualification is currently available for Year 9 & 10 and will continue to be offered as the ICT option
OCR GCSE Computer Science (9-1)
The GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs. This qualification is separated into 3 units of study; two examinations (‘Computer Systems’ and ‘Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming’) plus a compulsory programming project.
For the Computer Systems examined element students will be introduced to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.
For the Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming examined element students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support students when completing the Programming Project.
For the compulsory Programming Project element students use the set OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.
Students will be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course.
key stage 5
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technicals Introductory Diploma in IT
This qualification is designed for learners who want to continue their education through applied learning by developing their knowledge and understanding of the principles of IT and global information systems. Achievement of this qualification can support progression to go on and study in a Higher Education institution either on relevant IT degrees such as, Computing and Technology or Business IT or support progression on to other degree courses.
Learners will take two mandatory units to achieve the AS qualification (Fundamentals of IT and Global information systems) both of which are externally assessed via an examination. The units provide learners with an insight into the IT sector as they investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and important legal and security considerations.
The full A Level qualification requires learners to take a further 3 coursework units (Application Design which is mandatory, Web Design & Prototyping and Project Management).
OCR AS and A Level Computer Science
Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, that can look at the natural world through a digital prism. Computer Science qualifications value computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.
The AS consists of two components: Computing Principles and Algorithms & Problem Solving which will be externally assessed and weighted at 50% each.
The A Level consists of three components: two of which, Computing Principles; Algorithms and Problem Solving will be externally assessed making up 80% of the qualification. The other 20% will be the Programming Project where students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. They will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.