Computing and Information Technology is taught as a discrete subject at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 by specialist teachers in well-equipped networked computer suites with broadband internet access.
Key Stage 3
Computing and Information Technology are complementary subjects and we expose the girls to the twin disciplines throughout their study during Key Stage 3. Computing allows them to be an effective author of computational tools (i.e. software), while the IT element teaches how to be a thoughtful user of those tools. Currently, at KS3 girls study Computing and IT as a discrete subject and have one lesson every week. The onus is on the girls developing their skills to enable them to become increasingly independent users of computers and IT with the final aim of allowing them to judge when and how it might be used to help their work in other subjects.
As stated by the “Computing at School” Group the subject at this level is best described as:
• “Computer Science is a discipline that seeks to understand and explore the world around us, both natural and artificial, in computational terms. Computer Science is particularly, but by no means exclusively, concerned with the study, design, and implementation of computer systems, and understanding the principles underlying these designs.
• Information Technology deals with the purposeful application of computer systems to solve real-world problems, including issues such as the identification of business needs, the specification and installation of hardware and software, and the evaluation of usability. It is the productive, creative and explorative use of technology.”
The department is actively involved with the “Computing at Schools” group and is involved with discussions on the development of the subject with a number of different organisations.
Currently the curriculum offered at Key Stage 3 combines a mixture of the two disciplines of Computer Science and Information Technology.
In year 7 the girls are developing their skills in a wide range of areas, including the development of web-sites, programming, modeling and data handling as may be seen below:
• Topic 1 – E-Safety
• Topic 2 – 2D Game Design using “Gamemaker”
• Topic 3 – Spreadsheet Modelling
• Topic 4 – Desk Top Publishing (using Adobe In-Design)
• Topic 5 – Developing Websites using IT Tools
• Topic 6 – Control Technology
• Topic 7 – Simple Programming using Lego NXT Robots
In year 8 the girls are working on developing the skills they have acquired in year 7. This involves a number of discrete small projects that will allow the girls to further enhance their knowledge of the subject:
• Topic 8 – Developing a Theme Park Ride
• Topic 9 – Developing a 3D Game using “Mission Maker”
• Topic 10 – Programming using Alice and Scratch
• Topic 11 – Programming with Greenfoot
• Topic 12 – Developing Animations
• Topic 13 – Spreadsheet Modelling and Data Handling
• Topic 14 – Computer Programming through Web-Pages
Key Stage 4
All of the girls’ follow the WJEC short course ICT. This allows them a unique opportunity in the curriculum to identify and solve real problems by designing information and communication systems in a wide range of contexts relating to a scenario presented to them by the examination board.
The girls’ are given opportunities to acquire competence, capability and critical skills through the creation, implementation, use and evaluation of a range of information and communication systems.
The course involves both controlled assessment and a final written examination - the controlled assessment component consists of a portfolio of work (60%) which the girls complete in response to a task set by the examination board.