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Curriculum: ICT and Computing Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8, students will work in groups to investigate the principles of internet safety, digital footprints and the importance of keeping private information private.

Following this, the curriculum focuses on computer hardware and software - the hardware needed to make a computer (processor, storage, input and output devices) and the software needed for humans to use computers. The principles of computationaal thinking, sequencing instructions and converting them first to algorithms and then programs - forms the major part of year 7. For algorithms we focus on flowcharts and use the Logicator program to investigate different real world simulations. Programming is handled with the BBC Microbits, using wither the Block Editor or the scripted Python\Javascript language for those who want to push their knowledge.

In Year 8, students utilise spreadsheets to develop models and how Information Technology is used to help manage and predict scenarios. Spreadsheets require a wide range of skills from the understanding of how formulae can be built using BIDMAS, to conditional formatting where their knowledge of programming will help them. Following on from this they revisit algorithms using some of the more complex models in Logicator before delving into programming using Python.  Pyhton has rapidly become the favoured programming language of education - it's syntax is quite simple but still allows students to explore all the features of programming. Finally students are taught about the use of binary in computing - how a computer converts the on\off switches it is made of into a numbering system that can translate to images, sound and everything else we do using computers. We end the year with a project researching new areas of computing - such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and cybernetics.

In Year 9, students will combine many of the areas covered in Years 7 and 8 to undertake a larger group project, using Construct2 to make a fully planned, tested and programmed game. The games are published on an internal website for analysis and reviewed and the project as a whole (including a costing spreadsheet, project diary, instructional documentation and advertising) are judged for a chance to win a prize.  In the second term of year 9 students are brough back to programming using Greenfoot, which exposes the fourth language KS3 students will use, Java. Java is a widespread language that can be found on nearly every processing device on the planet - ATMs, smartphones, timetable boards, washing machines, etc - and we again use a gaming envirnoment to do this. Greenfoot was developed by the Univeristy of Kent and is used worldwide from KS3 through to undergraduate level to teach programming and specifically object oriented programming. In the final term, year 9 students build their own webistes using HTML, CSS and a variety of digital media packages such as dreamweaver, photoshop and Fireworks.

Additional information on Key Stage 3 ICT and Computing can be obtained by contacting:

Mr A Griffiths - Head of Business, ICT and Computing

 

 

 

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Richard Lander School