An Overview of Computing
We believe that a high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world through computational thinking. Computing helps to develop and improve logical thinking and the need for precision in planning, designing and creating. It combines creativity with rigour which allows pupils to gain understanding then apply underlying principles to real-world systems, and also to create purposeful and usable artefacts. More broadly, it provides a methodology through which to understand both natural and artificial systems, and has substantial links with the teaching of mathematics, science, and design and technology.
At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. During Key Stage 3 students build on this core, to allow them to apply information technology to create products and solutions.
A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through the use of information and communication technology to allow them to approach a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Computing at KS 3
Students will cover the following broad areas during KS 3:
• Design, use and evaluate model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems.
• Develop understanding of algorithms and their use in solving problems.
• Use various different computer languages including HTML, Scratch, Logo and Small Basic to write modular programs.
• Develop understanding of how to test programs and explain how programs work.
• Gain understanding of the role and how to apply the use of simple Boolean logic in programming, data management and search engines.
• Gain understanding of the hardware and software components of various computer systems, how they interact, and how they affect cost and performance.
• Investigate how networks such as the internet work; and gain understanding of how computers can monitor and control physical systems.
• Investigate computer systems to gain understanding of how instructions are stored and executed.
• Investigate and gain understanding of how data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits and how this understanding can be applied to different types of digital information.
• Undertake creative projects that involve the use of Information and Communication Technology to solve problems.
• Improve digital literacy to enable the creation, reuse, revise and repurpose of digital information and content with attention to design, intellectual property and audience.
• Investigate how to stay safe in the digital age, develop awareness of the health and safety risks of using computer systems.
Computing at KS 4 – http://www.edexcel.com/Pages/Home.aspx
Overview of content: Unit 1 40% of final mark
In this unit students explore how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. They learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts (learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and wellbeing and on the move). They develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice.
Overview of assessment
This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 30 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel.
Overview of content: Unit 2 60% of final mark
This is a practical unit. Students broaden and enhance their ICT skills and capability. They work with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts. They learn to reflect critically on their own and others’ use of ICT and to adopt safe, secure and responsible practice.
Overview of assessment
The unit is internally assessed under controlled conditions.
Students must complete a controlled assessment task provided by Edexcel.
Students must complete the task within 40 hours.
Marking of the task is carried out by teachers and moderated by Edexcel against set assessment criteria.