Today’s students accept computers as an essential and ever present part of their life. The move to provide computing as a subject for all students has been a recent development in the national curriculum.
At Tomlinscote School we aim to give all students a solid theoretical and practical understanding of computing technology and its role in almost every area of their life.
In addition to current developments, we encourage students to investigate the history of computing from Babbage, through Turing, Berners Lee, Steve Jobs and beyond. All students gain an understanding and experience of programming using a range of languages.
Key Stage 3
At KS3 many students arrive with limited knowledge or experience of Computing. Starting with the exploration of the devices and systems that dominate their world, students quickly gain a knowledge of how these devices work and what components make them up.
Students progress from using the visual programming language Swift to the use of industry-standard high-level language Python. Current events such as cyber threats, security, e-safety and the law regarding computer usage are studied throughout KS3 along with the Internet and WWW.”
Key Stage 4
Statement of Curriculum Intent
At KS4 students are offered the option of taking GCSE Computer Science or the Level 2 BTEC in Digital Information Technology. In both cases, students will have gained a solid foundation at KS3 from which they can progress.
Computer Science students will comprehend the importance of computing within the world of technology.
Like Mathematics, Computer Science underpins a huge range of subjects, and has concepts and ways of working that do not change quickly over time, including programming, algorithms and data structures.
A key skill that is developed is ‘computational thinking’ and this offers insightful ways to view how information operates in many natural and engineered systems. Another core skill in Computer Science is computer programming which while seeming esoteric, is the closest that a student can come to thinking about thinking. It develops logic, rigour and problem solving which had led to Computer Science becoming a staple within the world of technology and inspiration of future ideas.
- They will develop important problem-solving skills that can be applied to a wide array of subjects through algorithmic and computational thinking.
- They will be given opportunities to develop their own piece of software demonstrating a wide array of programming techniques, from the fundamental programming constructs to high level programming skills and integrated software techniques.
- They will gather a greater understanding of how a computer system is assembled and what constitutes a standalone machine, through the use of Von Neumann’s Architecture & Moore’s law, in comparison to a networked Server/Client machine, explaining the possibilities of future technologies such as: neural networks and cloud computing capabilities.
- They will calculate the structure of a digital artefact thought the use of digital imagery/sound files and explain the composition and construction of a file type; whilst also being able to demonstrate a use of compression techniques.
- They will be able to analyse real world scenarios and how technology has influenced the way in which data is used within the world of business. They will also explore the environmental impact computing has on the world.
The GCSE in Computer Science explores how computer systems work and how data is represented in these systems. Programming theory and techniques are studied and applied in controlled assessments and an end of course exam. All students gain experience of using Python programming language which is used throughout the GCSE course.
The BTEC in Digital Information Technology offers students the opportunity to learn about and use the tools and techniques found in business and society. Candidates gain practical experience through controlled assessments that involve collecting, managing, interpreting and presenting data and exploring user interface design by creating a touch screen graphical user interface. A range of theoretical subjects include Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Legal and Ethical considerations and Database Data Flow Diagrams.