Computing / ICT
Computing and Computer Science Curriculum Intentions and Implementation.
Computer Science is a subject in high demand within in a globally competitive world. It has become an ever-growing part of human life, affecting many aspects of a person’s day. Computer systems have been embedded into everyday devices, smart phones, washing machines, heating systems and vehicles, as our world continues to embrace “The Internet of Things”. Computer scientists have an impact on how our society advances by developing and maintaining these systems: whether it be for our home, work, learning or entertainment environments. Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that offers excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers.
The Computer Science department at Exmouth Community College aims to develop the mind-set of a computer scientist through equipping students with the skills to participate in a rapidly changing world. The curriculum incorporates challenging and engaging topics, giving students the opportunity to develop their capability, creativity and subject knowledge. It also capitalises upon, and feeds into, learning within other subject disciplines including mathematics, science and design and technology. It is these opportunities that enable students to develop and hone skills that can be applied in day-to-day life.
Steve Jobs said, “Everyone should learn how to code, it teaches you to think.” Computational thinking is an essential skill for everyone to have and helps in all subject areas and careers.
Albert Einstein said that, “computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.”
The Computing curriculum has been designed to ensure learners have necessary knowledge to stay safe online and use computers safely in life. Our aim is that students not only understand how to use technology effectively, safely and responsibly, but also understand how technology is developed and constantly redeveloped into new and exciting tools. The curriculum also provides a focus on developing resilient learners who are able to learn from mistakes and develop problem-solving skills. This along with principles of computational thinking will help cultivate a lifelong effect of learning and develop themselves further to prepare for the future problems of tomorrow. They will develop an understanding for all the technology that surrounds them by not just understanding how computer systems work, but how to put this knowledge to use through programming and problem solving. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content whilst developing programming skills. Students will also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs. This also ensures that students become digitally literate (able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information technology) at a level suitable for the future workplace and as dynamic contributors in a digital world. We endeavour to make the curriculum as motivational and interesting as possible with a high level of challenge by offering breadth and depth of experiences for the students. Our aim is to ensure that students develop and achieve ICT capability that is directly transferable, not only to other subjects, but also to the future learning pathways and beyond, developing a wide range of digital skills that will prepare learners for the future.
The key stage 3 curriculum provides a variety of challenges and new experiences in computing, digital literacy and digital media. Over time, students learn to and develop proficiency in programming in three languages, starting with block-based languages before progressing to High-Level Languages. The development of programming skills is also built into physical Computing tasks using Micro:Bits for example coding LED lights to effectively apply the knowledge learnt in earlier Scratch programming units. The foundation of learning from keys stage 3 can lead many students on to studying either Computer Science or Information Technology at key stage 4 and then onto keys stage 5, providing a curriculum that prepares students for the ever evolving industries of computer science and information technology.
We aim to empower students to develop a love for the subject, gain an understanding that there are no limits to their own development in programming and IT and have a knowledge far deeper than the device that they currently operate.
A variety of enriching learning opportunities is open to all students to supplement educational experiences, to engage learners, and cultivate and extend a lifelong effect of learning. All students in year 8 will take part in challenging opportunities by completing The Bebras challenge and achieve badges for their iDEA award in year 9.