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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School

ICT and Computer Science

"Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living" Nicholas Negroponte

Head of Department: Mr Stephen Price

Introduction to the Course:

Students will follow the Computing National Curriculum at both KS3 and KS4. We offer a varied, engaging and challenging curriculum to students regardless of ability. We aim to foster a curiosity for the world through practical application of subject knowledge, and to develop both students’ creativity and critical thinking skills: essential skills for all students as life-long learners.

The aim of the Computing course at RGS is to promote Digitally Literate students that understand about their digital footprint. This is done through E-safety topics such as how to stay safe online, cyberbullying and your digital presence. We also cover the legal aspects of Computing such as the Computer Misuse Act, the Data Protection Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

Subject Content KS3

Students study a range of texts at KS3. Year 7 subjects include, Introduction to the School Systems, E-Safety-Cyber bullying, Scratch Introduction to Programming, Computational Thinking, Flowcharts, Python an Introduction, Hardware and Computing Systems, Online Safety, Representing Data: Images, Sound and Text.

At Year 8 they study, Computer Networks and the Internet, HTML and CSS an Introduction, Python Drawing, Boolean Logic, Logic Gates and Truth Tables, Python Numbers and Games Design. Students are assessed throughout the year with a variety of assignments, culminating in an end of year assessment.

Subject Content KS4

Depending on which options students pick they will be following either OCR 9-1 Computing or BTEC Level 2 Information and Creative Technology.

The OCR Computing course is broken down into three parts.

Part one focusses on Computer Systems. This part is worth 40% of the overall GCSE and is assessed with an exam at the end of the course. Topics include;

·         study how processors work

·         investigate computer memory and storage

·         explore modern network layouts and how they function

·         build skills in the ever important realm of cyber security

·         investigate how types of software are used within computer systems

·         stretch wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues

Part two focusses on Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming. This part is worth 40% of the overall GCSE and is assessed with an exam at the end of the course. Topics include;

·         study fundamental algorithms in computer science

·         build a firm foundation in programming techniques

·         produce programs through diagrams

·          thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse

·         explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT)

·         understand how we store data within computers in binary form

Part three is a Programming Project. This part is worth 20% of the overall GCSE and is assessed as a NEA (Non Exam Assessment). This is complete during 20 Hours in Year 11. The project aims to develop students understanding in the following areas;

·         use new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice

·         the project is carried out under exam-like conditions

BTEC Level 2 Information and Creative Technology is a more practically based subject as 75% of the final grade is decided by coursework, which means students have more control over their final grade. We currently offer Unit 13 Website Development as our optional unit however other units include Digital Animation, Spreadsheet Development and Digital Video. The compulsory units are Unit 1 The Online World and Unit 3 A Digital Portfolio. Unit 3 builds on existing skills developed during unit 13. Unit 1 is the examination unit and this is taken online.

Typical Lesson Activities:

Within Computing and ICT most lessons are practical based either involving research around a specific topic and creating a set result or writing a programme and testing to see how it works.