Computing"Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the way we learn."
– Steve Jobs
Why study Computing?
Take a look at the world around you. How close to a computer are you? When was the last time you used one? When was the last time you were creative with one? Life without computers is almost unimaginable. There´s nothing that doesn´t involve computing in some way. In the Computing department we look to provide an exciting and innovative curriculum. We regularly review the Computing curriculum to ensure that all our students develop up to date knowledge and skills fit for the 21st century workplace.
The aims of the Computing Department
• To stimulate interest and enjoyment in the study of ICT and Computing.
• Ensure that all students have a broad and balanced ICT and Computing curriculum.
• To develop the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of ICT and Computing.
• Ensure that all students have a programme which progresses from Year 7 to Year 11 as well beyond to Year 12 and Year 13.
• Encourage students to develop an understanding of the wider applications and effects of ICT and Computing.
• Encourage students to solve problems through the use of information systems and associated principles and techniques.
• Provide students with a broad and balanced view of the range of applications and information systems and an understanding of their capabilities and limitations.
• To provide an opportunity for all students to achieve their potential through differentiated programmes of study.
• To provide experiences which are challenging, stimulating and where appropriate directly relevant to the present and future needs of the students.
• To provide learning activities which are varied in nature including: Practical tasks, Formal teaching, Interactive teaching, Project work and Group work
In KS3 students will have two lessons per fortnight and will cover a range of topics that will help to develop their ICT skills and introduce them to key computing concepts. Within KS3 lessons, students are introduced Computing through a clear framework of lessons that reflects the new Computing Programmes of Study. Some of these are: understanding computer basics, E–Safety, web design, data collection, modelling, computational Thinking, programming and algorithms. The units of work will develop students´ ability to use their Computing skills in a range of software and enhance their theoretical knowledge.
At SPH we currently offer two GCSE courses at Key Stage 4, catering to a wide range of student interests and learning preferences. Due to the changes in the Curriculum the ICT GCSE will only be available for one final intake starting in September 2016.
GCSE ICT (Edexcel)
Students have the option of studying GCSE ICT over years 10 and 11 as a way of developing practical skills in ICT applications alongside a thorough knowledge and understanding of ICT concepts. The course is composed of 60% controlled assessment tasks which are completed in class. These tasks require students to demonstrate ability in spreadsheets, web publishing, desktop publishing, graphic design and use of relational databases. The remaining 40% of assessment comes from an exam sat at the end of year 11 where students are tested on their understanding and application of key ICT concepts. This course would be a solid foundation for students considering further studies or a career in ICT, with the possibility of studying ICT or Computing at A-level/Level 3.
GCSE Computer Science (Edexcel)
Computer Science is a subject distinct from ICT in that the focus is on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding to create computer systems including software and applications in use on computers and mobile devices. This course teaches students to understand the fundamental concepts of computing and develop software applications to solve a range of problems. Students with a keen interest in solving abstract problems and logic will find this course highly engaging. The course is assessed through one controlled assessment tasks completed in Year 11 (contributing 25% of the marks) and a written exam (weight at 75% of the course) undertaken at the end of year 11. Topics covered include practical programming projects using the Python programming language, computer memory and data storage, networking, hardware and software components and logic. Students should consider GCSE computer Science if they wish to pursue further studies in computing or programming or a career in software or game development.
ICT supports a number of pathways and could form a basis for progression into further learning, including: university courses, or employment where they can take further training in such areas as programming, computer science, systems analysis, communications, multimedia, software systems, and project management or hardware applications.
Computer Science supports a number of further education and career pathways and is very well respected academically and will be a strong support to students intending to study medicine, law, engineering, computing, foreign languages, physical sciences or maths based courses at university. As computer Science pervades all aspects of study and contemporary research, this course supports a very wide range of career paths at university in addition to those listed above.