The computing curriculum has undergone many changes over the last few years. There is now a greater focus on creating applications and programs through the understanding of algorithms, the learning of code and the study of hardware and processing. At St. Mary’s we have taken the old ICT programme of study and, following the advice of the Dfe, created a relevant and exciting series of modules that are taught at key stage 3.
The following topics are taught in the current programme of study for KS3.
Programming first steps using Scratch
How Computers work
Computer control using Flowol
Programming first steps using Python
The dangers of cyberbullying
Game creation using GameMaker
Programming next steps using Python
Cybercrime and hacking
Website creation using HTML
3D design in Sketchup
Advanced programming using Python
Video creation and editing
Tomorrow’s Technology (extended project)
Pupils who are interested in continuing their computer studies may choose Computer Science as a GCSE at key stage 4. We are currently using the new OCR J276 GCSE Computer Science that is accompanied by Cambridge University Press’s GCSE Computer Science for OCR student textual and online resources.
From years 7 to 9 the pupils receive 1 hour of lessons per week and the GCSE classes in years 10 and 11 have 5 hours over a two week timetable.
St. Mary’s provide computers over an extensive network including four dedicated computing suites plus class sets of departmental laptops. Our in-house technicians constantly monitor and maintain the hardwired and wireless network and our filtering software allows our pupils to access safe and appropriate content.
We have two full time computing teachers and two technicians.