In KS3 ICT and Computing students are taught several units which incorporate e-Safety, which includes digital literacy – Using ICT applications and managing files/folders and storage of digital artefacts. Computational thinking is also introduced to students in the form of algorithm development and programming. The units we teach are explained further in the attached PDF.
How you can help your child with ICT and Computing?
Knowledge of office packages is essential (word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets) allow your child to help you with work you may do on the computer, this will also re-enforce file management – The ability to save work correctly and sensibly. Regularly visiting the following websites will also really support your child with the programming elements, database and spreadsheet units – not just for KS3 but for KS4 and 5 also (please see attached PDF(s) below for more information on specific units for all key stages).
http://www.teach-ict.net/software/excel_2007/excel_2007.htm - This is a great resource for learning how to apply formula and functions in spreadsheets.
http://www.teach-ict.net/software/access_2007/access_2007.htm - A great resource for learning about databases and how to re-enforce the skills taught in class if unsure of them.
NB: The above refer to Office 2007 however in school we use Office 2013 but there are only slight differences between the two.
https://www.codecademy.com/ - A great source for programming set in lessons and different languages, so for any student interested in Computer Science at GCSE the Python course is a fantastic starting point, not to mention the web development ones for KS3 ICT and Computing.
http://smallbasic.com/ - A good resource for downloading the programming language (Windows only - does not work on any other platform) and practising coding in this language ready for being taught it.
https://scratch.mit.edu/help/videos/ - Some fantastic video tutorials were you can learn the basics needed ready for using it at school.
NB: The above programming languages can all be downloaded for free and are 100% safe from the following websites, just ensure you download the correct one for the platform you are using at home:
https://scratch.mit.edu/scratch_1.4/ - For scratch 1.4 (currently version used in school)
http://smallbasic.com/ - For Small basic (Windows only)
https://www.python.org/download/releases/3.4.0/ - For Python (current version used in school)
What is computer science? Computer science is the study of computers in both theory and practice. Students need to think in abstract and concrete terms to get computers to do what they want. Students will complete 2 pieces of controlled assessment and complete an exam at the end of the course.* Computer science builds upon the skills taught at KS3 with regards algorithms and programming skills as well as developing the more abstract concepts such as binary and Boolean logic. Students who have an interest in maths, physics, electronics and programming tend to really enjoy this course.
Why should students pick computer science? Computer science helps develop logic and problem solving abilities as well as giving them a better understanding of the technological evolving world that we live in.
*Curriculum changes which came into force 2016 mean that for the academic year 2017/2018 academic year that only 1 piece of controlled assessment will be completed and 2 exams at the end of the course. This means that if a current year takes the course in year 9 they will study the old specification whereas if they took it in year 10 they would study the new specification.
How you can help your child with computer science?
Download Python to home PC's and encourages your children to write programs using the editor. Students can also sign up to code academy and work their way through the tutorials on there for Python programming, this gives them the theory behind what they are doing and gets them used to the Syntax used for the language. Ensure pupils read the OCR specification and relevant chapters in their textbooks to help them with this particular unit. Encourage your children to complete extension tasks as well as basic questions in their textbooks and revision guides. Flash card activities would also be a good revision aide to help them with. Please see links above for where to download software.
This is a vocational course meaning that the approach is very different to a standard GCSE – there is a focus on “doing” rather than simply sitting an examination. Therefore this unit consists of 3 pieces of coursework (these are explained in further detail on the attached PDF below) and 1 examination. The scenarios for each piece of coursework require students to use ICT to create solutions for the problems presented, just like they would in a real-life situation. This way they gain a better understanding of how ICT affects business decisions and the day to day impact of ICT.
Why should students pick ICT? Similar to computer science ICT gives students a real feel for how ICT is integrated into everyday life, within a business context as well as on a personal level. It can help develop the necessary skills to make them more informed citizens within the digital world we live.
How you can help your child with Information Communications Technology?
Using the links above to help develop skills within the use of spreadsheets and databases as well as sharing examples of how ICT has become integrated into your own working life and looking at professional documents from business letters to professional presentations.
Pearson BTEC Level 3, National Extended, Certificate in Information Technology (equivalent to 1 A level) is a ‘must have’ for every post-sixteen student as it develops the knowledge and skills students need to be competent and informed ICT users. The course offers students the chance to develop their knowledge and skills of ICT applications, and apply them within a real world context. This will provide students with an excellent ICT based knowledge which will be invaluable in both the workplace and Higher Education. Please see the PDF at the bottom for further information and links to the course website.
How you can help your child with BTEC Information Communications Technology?
Information on exam results 2015 can be found by clicking here:
and downloading the document entitled ‘Exam Performance Data 2015’
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Head of ICT Department: Mr K Wright- firstname.lastname@example.org