ICT Department

ICT Department at Fitzharrys

ICT staff: Mr S Gosling (Head of Department and Deputy Headteacher), Mr L McCook, Mr T J Gray

ICT and computing have never been more important: ICT dominates every aspect of the world in which young people are growing up and it is through computing that we create the electronic and online products that we all use. We don’t just aim to teach students the skills they need to use IT in their everyday and working lives. We also aim to give them the skills to solve problems and write simple programs so that they can be creators as well as users of IT. Lastly we aim to help them understand the impact of IT and the moral and ethical issues in using IT.

The computing department is well-equipped, providing students with access to modern equipment and software. The department has a suite of two ICT rooms, each equipped with 32 modern workstations and a data-projector. We give students access to a wide range of general and subject specific software. Moving beyond the traditional diet of word-processing, spreadsheets and databases, the department offers students the chance to develop web-design skills, to undertake computer programming projects, to learn how computers work and to understand some of the issues surrounding IT, all in a series of “real-world” projects. Most of the scheme of work is presented electronically, and increasingly on the school’s learning platform. Students are often set and have to submit work on-line using our Moodle learning platform.

The department aims to turn out students who are confident in their ability to select the right tool for the job, skilled in analysing the needs of their users and the purpose of their work and independent enough to tackle challenging problems. Most important we want our students to be able to create their own solutions to problems.

ICT Key Stage 3

Year 7

Our curriculum builds on students’ achievements at primary school, introducing new skills and new contexts. Students study six units in the year.

Unit 1: Safe on-line – students learn about our network and how to stay safe on-line
Unit 2: My virtual pet – students create a virtual pet using the Scratch block programming language
Unit 3: Under the hood – students learn some of the basics of computer hardware and networks, and learn how the binary number system works.
Unit 4: Kode it! – students use a 3D games programming environment to create and program 3D games.
Unit 5: The camera never lies – students explore some of the moral and ethical issues involved in using IT, particular its power to present reality differently.
Unit 6: Game on – designing a computer game in Scratch

ICT Key Stage 3

Year 8

The year 8 curriculum develops students’ skills further, and introduces more programming

Unit 1: Step up to programming – students learn the key programming structures in a text-based programming language, creating a series of maths programs.
Unit 2: The imitation game – students learn who Alan Turing was and attempt to code a realistic chat bot using a text based programming language.
Unit 3: Crack the code – students learn about encryption techniques and create a simple program to turn text into code.
Unit 4: Getting graphical – students learn how images are represented in computers, and have their first introduction to event driven programming, designing a simple paint program.
Unit 5: I love my mobile – students learn about how data packets travel round a network. They write a simple website using HTML and CSS, appropriate for viewing on a mobile.
Unit 6: Mind your own business – a team challenge to create and market a company

ICT Key Stage 3

Year 9

The Year 9 curriculum introduces more complex skills and challenges students to learn some of the key theoretical concepts in computing.

Unit 1: You’ve been hacked – students learn about social engineering and cyber security. They create a program to generate a secure password.
Unit 2: Sort it out – students learn some of the key sorting algorithms and write  programs to implement some of them
Unit 3: Sounds good – students learn how sound is represented in computer systems and code a simple music player.
Unit 4: Sell it on-line – students learn how to write the front end of an e-commerce website, using HTML and Javascript to provide interactivity
Unit 5: Sell it on-line – students learn about databases and SQL, and create a database back-end to their e-commerce site
Unit 6: Getting app-lause – students create a simple mobile app

ICT Key Stage 4

Upper School

Exam board: AQA                     

Specification: GCSE computer science 4512 [this is the current link - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/gcse/computer-science-8520 ]

In Years 10 and 11 students have the chance to study a GCSE computer science course. Computational thinking is at the heart of many of today’s challenges, in all areas of business and industry. Students don’t need to have ambitions to be a programmer to get a huge amount from the course, which teaches them the skills to analyse and solve problems, to think logically and to test solutions systematically.

Students learn key knowledge about how computers work; how computers represent data in different forms; how computers deal with common problems like sorting and searching, and compressing data;  how networks work; how cyber-security can be maintained; and what the legal and moral framework for the user of IT is. Alongside this students learn the key concepts of computer programming using a text-based programming language – by the end of the course they should be able to produce their own small application to solve a real-world problem.

The following units are studied in Year 10:

Unit 1 – computer systems
Unit 2 – binary and hexadecimal number systems
Unit 3 – representing text, images and sound
Unit 4 – compression techniques and Boolean logic
Unit 5 – computer networks
Unit 6 – the process of software design

The following units are studied in Year 11:
Unit 1 – cyber security and social engineering
Unit 2 – controlled assessment task
Unit 3 – software categories
Unit 4 – ethical, legal and moral issues
Unit 5 – revision

In each year group about 30% of the time will be spent developing students’ knowledge of key program flow control methods; their ability to use the techniques of structured programming; their knowledge of data structures and their ability to use techniques to write robust code .Their skills in this area are tested in the controlled assessment in Year 11, and in both exam papers.