ICT

Computing, Business and Media

Computing, Business and Media

How many teaching periods do pupils get a week?

KS3 pupils undertake 2 periods of dedicated ICT/Computing periods each week.

GCSE ICT/CiDA pupils undertake 3 periods a week.

GCSE Computer Science pupils undertake 3 periods a week.

GCSE Business Studies pupils undertake 3 periods a week.

BTEC Media pupils undertake 3 periods a week.

Departmental Aims 
  • To deliver outstanding standards in teaching and learning throughout the curriculum.
  • To develop pupils understanding of the impact that ICT has on society.
  • To prepare pupils to embrace changes in technological advancements in ICT and Computing.
  • Allow pupils creativity to flourish and give them high quality skills to compete in creative and technological industries.
  • To develop pupils capabilities of computational thinking.
  • Create strong cross-curricular links to allow pupils to use their ICT skills as a means to progress in all other subjects.
  • Give pupils skills to become safer more responsible users of digital devices.
  • To develop a culture of life-long learning. 
 

At Little Lever School, we are proud of our KS3 Computing curriculum. All members of the department have worked hard over the last few years to meet the challenging demands brought about by the national changes to ICT programme of study. All staff in the department are committed to meeting these challenges head on. We are ever changing the content of the curriculum to ensure that our pupils are being taught up to date knowledge, skills and understanding. Enabling them to harness the educational wealth from digital devices to help them to learn and progress in all subjects. We feel confident that our computing curriculum at KS3 will enable pupils to become confident and safer users of digital devices.

Pupils don’t require access to digital devices at home to succeed in Computing at Little Lever School. However, if they do have access to a PC or laptop we would encourage pupils to practice skills they have learnt in lesson at home. One easy way pupils can do this is to complete homework from other subjects using a PC. All our pupils have their own school email account that they can use this to email completed homework to their teachers or themselves (in the absence of a pen drive to bring their homework back into school).

 

Year 7

E-safety: pupils begin Little Lever School undertaking an in depth topic surrounding safe and responsible use of digital devices. Issues such as cyber bullying are discussed with emphasis on the effect that cyberbullying has on the victim. With a view that pupils will become more conscious of the knock on effects and be more proactive about helping themselves and each other if they were to fall victim. Online threats from paedophiles, misuse of social networking and security measures to keep digital devices safe from hackers and viruses are just some of the other topics covered in this important unit. A critical review of some of the ways pupils can keep themselves safe is also undertaken.

Control and Monitoring: this topic introduces pupils to computational thinking, algorithms and the building blocks of programming languages.  Pupils will build on these skills year on year to allow them to ultimately learn textual programming languages and understand how computers control and monitor a vast swath of information around us. From how simple digital devices use sensors to complex computer models.

Programming using Microbits: pupils will be introduced to the exciting world of programming with a Microbit. A Microbit is an ARM-based embedded system designed by the BBC for use in computer education in the UK. They can be programmed using a block editor or text editor and pupils will have the opportunity to use both.

Video production: pupils will learn a range of advanced features of video editing software and undertake a practice controlled assessment project to give them a flavour of the expectations set at KS4.

Databases: pupils will learn what databases are and how they are useful in organising and processing data. They will learn how to collect data and set up flat file and relational databases and search them to retrieve data using simple and advanced searching techniques including SQL. Pupils will learn about DBMS and the role of databases in the world of work.

 

Year 8

Communication and Networks: a technical theory unit introducing pupils to the reasons why computers are connected together in a network. They will understand the different types of networks and be aware of the network media needed to create a network. Pupils will learn about network data speeds and the role of and need for network protocols. They will know that data can be transmitted over networks using packets and the concept of and need for network addressing and host names.

Web Authoring (HTML): pupils will learn that websites can be created using code and will create a webpage entirely from HTML code. Both web design and web authoring skills are needed if pupils were to embark on a career in web development. Our pupils will be able to progress further onto post 16 courses and pathways in web development if this is a career they are interested in.

Data and Data Representation: a challenging unit introducing pupils to Computer Science theory. Pupils will learn that computers are excellent at calculations and use only a series of 1’s and 0’s (binary). Pupils will learn how to convert binary numbers into decimal numbers and vice versa. They will know how different types of data compression can be lossless and lossy and explain why file types like MP3 are a lossy type of compression for example. They will understand how bit patterns represent numbers, images, sounds, and the relationship between binary and file size. Pupils will also demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between binary and electrical circuits including Boolean logic amongst other key learning within this interesting topic.

Python Programming: this textual programming topic gives pupils a flavour of the type of programming languages used by professionals. Computational thinking is developed in this topic and pupils are encouraged to develop their problem solving skills to create programming solutions. Pupils enjoy the challenging nature of this topic and some will start to think about whether opting for Computer Science at KS4 is right for them. Python is the textual programming language used in the controlled assessment element of the GCSE Computer Science.

Animation: pupils love to animate and this unit prepares pupils for the KS4 course CIDA. They will learn to use an animation programme to design, create and evaluate an animation for a given purpose meeting a project brief.

Legislation: it is important that pupils understand that legislation exists in the use (and misuse) of digital devices. Pupils will be able to explain how legislation and ethics impacts on the pupils’ use of digital devices & information. They will learn to explain legislative constraints that apply to their use, stating how they would comply with them. Some pupils will be able to evaluate the impact of legislation on individuals, business & society.

Understanding how computers work and being able to use them creatively gives students the power to shape the world around them; our Computing teachers strive to provide learning experiences that engage, inspire and enable students to become active and responsible participants in today’s exciting and dynamic world. Teaching is supported by excellent facilities, including five ICT suites. There are four courses offered to pupils at KS4:

 Edexcel GCSE ICT

Certification in Digital Applications (CiDA)

Edexcel GCSE Computer Science

Edexcel GCSE Business Studies

BTEC Technical Award in Creative Media Production

 

GCSE ICT

This course is undertook by all year 11 students. The GCSE specification explores students’ ability to master and adapt technology to suit their own needs, helping them to understand the challenges and potential implications of their actions in this ever-changing digital environment. During GCSE ICT lessons, we will deliver the compulsory KS4 computing element of the national curriculum. The course is broken down into two main units:

 

Unit 1: Living in a Digital World (Theory 40%)

Unit 2: Using Digital Tools (Coursework 60%)

 

Unit 1

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. This unit is broken down into six main topic areas:

 

Topic 1: Personal digital devices - Students will learn about the developing range of personal digital devices that are available to individuals. They will explore their availability and range of use and impacts on society.

Topic 2: Connectivity - Students will understand the ways in which personal digital devices exchange data and communicate with each other and with the larger systems supporting online organisations. They will be aware of the increasing importance of ‘access everywhere’ developments.

Topic 3: Operating online - Topic 1 Personal Digital Devices explores the features and functions of digital devices and Topic 2 Connectivity investigates the use of networks. This topic moves away from the technology and focuses on how individuals operate safely online and protect themselves from risk.

Topic 4: Online goods and services - This topic explores a range of online services and investigates their impact on individuals, organisations and society.

Topic 5: Online communities - The development of online communities has implications for an individual’s learning, leisure and social interactions. Students will examine how the growth of social networking has potential risks as well as benefits.

Topic 6: Issues – Students will learn how to make sensible choices and develop safe, secure and responsible practice. They will become aware of and be able to assess the impact of emerging technologies and of the impact on individuals and communities of limited or no access to digital technologies (digital divide).

 

Overview of assessment

This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 30 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel.

 

Unit 2

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.

 

Topic 1: Research and information gathering;

Differentiate between data and information

Use secondary sources

Use primary sources

Use databases

 

Topic 2: Modelling;

Adapt and enhance spreadsheet models

Use models to explore ideas 

 

Topic 3: Digital publishing;

Design digital products which are fit for purpose and audience

Prepare and organise different types of digital content

Develop digital products which are fit for purpose and audience

 

Topic 4: Evaluating outcomes

Review outcomes

Work collaboratively

Self-review

 

Topic 5: Working efficiently and safely

Manage files

Manage themselves and their work

Quality assure what they produce

Know about and adhere to legislation and codes of practice

 

Overview of assessment

Students must complete a controlled assessment task provided by Edexcel. The unit is internally assessed under controlled conditions.

 

Recommended Revision Guides

Revise Edexcel: Edexcel GCSE ICT Revision Guide by Nicky Hughes and David Waller

Edexcel GCSE ICT Student Book

Revise Edexcel: Edexcel GCSE ICT Revision Workbook

 

GCSE Computer Science

Students who opt to study Edexcel Computer Science at key stage 4 will develop their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and apply their computational thinking skills to analyse problems and design solutions across a range of contexts. Students gain practical experience of designing, writing and testing computer programs that accomplish specific goals. The course is broken down into two main units:

 

Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science

Unit 2: Practical Programming

 

Unit 1

Pupils will understand what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work. They will have the ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.  Pupils will understand binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases with the ability to use SQL to insert, amend and extract data stored in a structured database. They will understand the components of computer systems and be able to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret fragments of assembly code. They will develop their understanding of computer networks, the internet and the World Wide Web and be able to use HTML and CSS to construct web pages. They will demonstrate an awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.

 

Unit 2

This practical ‘making task’ enables students to demonstrate their computational techniques using the programming language Python. Students will decompose problems into sub-problems, create original algorithms or work with algorithms produced by others. They will design, write, test, and evaluate programs.

 

Recommended revision guide

Edexcel GCSE Computer Science by Steve Cushing

 

Business Studies

Pupils who opt for Edexcel GCSE Business Studies will embark on a course that will equip them with essential knowledge and skills for the world of work and progression onto further and higher education courses. The Business Studies department aims to develop a spirit of enquiry that gives students the capacity to make informed educated decisions. They will undertake a controlled assessment project focussing on a real local business giving them practical hands on experience of key business issues. Guest speakers from local businesses talk to our students and students are encouraged to question and analyse the information given to draw conclusions. The course is broken down into three units:

 

Unit 1: Introduction to Small Business (25% multiple choice question examination)

Unit 2: Investigating a Business (25% controlled assessment)

Unit 3: Building a Business (50% extended answer examination)

 

Unit 1

Spotting a business opportunity 

Showing enterprise

Putting a business idea into practice

Making the start-up effective

Understanding the economic context.

 

Unit 2

Same content as Unit 1. However, pupils in this unit will use their newfound knowledge as a focus for a small-scale research based project.

 

Unit 3

Marketing

Meeting customer needs

Effective financial management

Effective people management

The wider world affecting business.

 

Recommended Revision Material

Revise Edexcel GCSE Business Revision Guide: Units 1, 3 & 5 by Rob Jones

Revise Edexcel GCSE Business Revision Workbook: Units 1, 3 & 5

Edexcel GCSE Business Exam Skills Practice Workbook – Extend by Keith Hirst and Jonathan Shields

 

 

CiDA

The UK is a world leader in the creative digital industries, such as in the creation of visual effects for films and computer games. However, there is growing recognition that we need to build on and improve the UK’s capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area. This course has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing. Pupils will learn digital design skills to enable them to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way.

 

Unit - Developing web products

This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention grabbing web products using web-authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features. You will demonstrate your ability to design, build and test a web product in a practical computer-based examination. This is unit is externally assessed and amounts to 25% of the final grade.

 

Unit - Creative Multimedia

Digital tools can be used to communicate information using any combination of text, images, sound, video and interactive components such as buttons and hyperlinks. Products that use these different components at the same time, such as websites, presentations and games, are multimedia. This unit aims to give you the skills to use the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring software to design and create effective multimedia products for specified purposes and audiences. This unit is internally assessed coursework and amount to 75% of the final grade.

 

Media

The BTEC Technical Award in Creative Media Production is designed to inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the creative media industries, give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge, and develop skills, across the creative media sectors, e.g. moving image, website design and publishing.

 

It will give learners the potential opportunity, in due course, to enter employment within a wide range of junior job roles across the creative media sectors. Junior job roles include, for example, photographer, researcher, assistant editor and assistant web designer. This qualification has been developed to provide an engaging and stimulating introduction to the world of media.

 

Component 1

Students will gain an understanding of target audience and purpose of media products from across the moving image, interactive and publishing sectors. They will investigate how the stage of production, distribution and marketing have helped shape the products for their specific purpose and audience. Student will then analyse how products have been constructed to generate meaning for a specific audience.  This component is worth 30% of the final grade.

 

Component 2

In this component, students will experiment with production and postproduction skills to combine and refine content. Students will then undertake a project whereby they will plan and create a media product finalising in an evaluation of their work. This component is worth 30% of the final grade.

 

Component 3

This unit is assessed externally under examination conditions. Students will generate ideas to meet client brief, plan materials including designs and finally create a media product. We have decided to focus this unit on the interactive media sector. This component is worth 40% of the final grade.