Key Stage 3 Curriculum Outline
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum provides challenges and new experiences for pupils in Computing and Digital Literacy, regardless of their prior knowledge of using computers. Topics covered in Years 7 to 9 include; E-safety, web design, programming using Scratch and Python, hardware and number systems, programming using the BBC Microbit technology and Lego and flow diagrams using Flowol.
Although the Key Stage 3 curriculum has a strong practical element, the focus on theory has increased due to national changes to Key Stage 4. Pupils’ Literacy skills in ICT & Computing are developed with attention to accurate use of vocabulary and extended writing answers to problems. They are taught to think logically, sequentially and systematically to write programmes and codes for a variety of real-life scenarios. They also have to develop an ability to find errors in codes that are already written.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum Outline
There are 3 courses available for pupils to choose as an option in Key Stage 4. The GCSE ICT course that is currently offered is only available for pupils who will be in Year 11 up to and including 2018. Provisionally, this option will be replaced by the Edexcel Digital Applications Course.
The second course available as an option is GCSE Computer Science. This course is less practical based and is ideal for pupils who have demonstrated a secure understanding of programming and computational thinking during Key Stage 3. This exam-assessed course requires a strong ability to think systematically and to solve problems.
Finally, the ECDL qualification is offered to Year 11 pupils as an out-of-timetabled-hours option. This course has 4 examinations: one in Microsoft Word, one in Microsoft Excel, one in Microsoft Powerpoint and a final examination that assesses all 3 in combination with each other.
Future Opportunities and Pathways Post 16
For pupils who want to pursue a career in Programming or Game Design, the GCSE Computer Science course will be the most appropriate route. The Certificate in Digital Applications qualification and the ECDL qualification are both held in high regard by employers and will be suitable for most jobs that require an understanding of ICT.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
There are a wide range of enrichment opportunities available to pupils in ICT & Computing.
- Programmable-Lego club (First Lego League & Tomorrows Engineers)
- Race for the Line Rocket Cars Project
- Hull University Careers in Computing Visit
In addition, the teachers in ICT & Computing regularly support pupils in after-school practice of programming skills, including game design using Scratch and support Year 11 pupils with exam preparation.