Computer Science

The study of Computer Science is fast paced due to continual technological advances. Our department, made up of subject specialists, are at the forefront of the teaching of Computing Science. We are a lead school within the Network of Excellence in Computer Science Teaching, and we believe in offering an experience in the most up to date technologies and software platforms. There are two strands students can follow: academic or vocational.

At Ernest Bevin Academy, it is our intention to develop students’ Digital literacy, Information Technology (IT) and Communication skills as well provide a strong foundation in Computing theory and problem-solving skills. Our curriculum provides a platform on which to develop the skills our students need to live and work in a society where reliance on digital technologies is ever increasing. In doing so, they will be able to critically evaluate digital information and be safe online as well as use information management and communication tools confidently and proficiently. 

Secondly, we aim to develop student’s ability to work with Information Technologies to create, analyse, implement and evaluate systems. We intend to provide our students with the knowledge and understanding of the computing concepts that underpins IT. It is our intention that students of Ernest Bevin Academy will have the confidence to take advantage of today’s Information and Computing age that will inevitably benefit their lives.

We offer a balanced and broad curriculum that focuses both on skills and knowledge acquisition through carefully selected units of work. The main skill that is developed is computational thinking and programming, which is revisited yearly to develop and embed these skills. We adopt a structured approach of PRIMM (Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make) where feasible.

Knowledge topics are not revisited but rather built upon. The SOW is designed to identify links to prior topics which can be recapped. Students are encouraged to think of the bigger picture and make links including cross curricular links.

For students to take advantage of the Information and Computing age we ensure that they are exposed to all facets of skills and knowledge this requires.

We are a paperless department at Key Stage 3, hence pupils need to work with IT to collaborate and communicate via Teams and email and complete work using IT applications.

All work is accessed via Teams

Year 7

In Year 7, students will study:

  • E-safety, File Management, Email and Teams
  • Spreadsheets
  • Computer Systems
  • Binary Numbers & Binary logic
  • Programming Skills using Scratch

E-safety, File Management, Email and Teams:

Students will learn how to carefully and responsibly engage with Technology. This will include learning how to avoid online scams, evaluate the credibility of online sources, create and safeguard passwords and identify online bullying.

Introduction to Spreadsheet Modelling:

Students will learn how to make good financial decisions by analysing spending, researching and comparing costs of running a mobile phone and planning for major purchases. Students will develop a spreadsheet to collect, organise, graph and analyse data to aid problem solving and decision making. They will learn how to curate information from digital sources and apply basic and advanced formulas to spreadsheets.

Computer Systems: 

Students will be able to define a computer system, identify the various components that make up a computer and understand their function. They will gain an understanding of how the devices work together (the CPU, RAM, Hard Drive, IO Devices) and what factors affect the performance.

Binary Logic:

Following on from Computer Systems, students will also be introduced to the concept of Binary Logic. They will learn what logic gates are and how they are used in a CPU. This unit also conveys essential knowledge relating to binary representations. The activities gradually introduce learners to binary digits and how they can be used to represent text and numbers.

Scratch Game Design:

Students will learn basic coding concepts by making different types of games using the Scratch platform. Programming concepts covered are event driven programming, Iteration, Selection, Variables, Random numbers, Boolean expressions. Game styles include racing, platform and launching style games.

 

Year 8

In Year 8, students will study:

  • Networks and the Internet
  • HTML and CSS
  • Working with Images and Image Data Representation
  • Working with Sound and Data Representation
  • App Development
  • Programming Skills using Python

Networks and the Internet

Students will define a network and address the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols. Following on from the Computer Systems unit, they will learn the types of hardware required to set up a Network, as well as wired and wireless data transmission. Students will develop an understanding of the terms ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’, and of the key services and protocols used. Practical exercises are included throughout to help strengthen understanding

HTML and CSS

Following on from the Networks and Internet unit of work students will explore how content is crated for the WWW. They will be introduced to HTML and learn how to create webpages for the world wide web. Students will extend their learning by using CSS such as Text – Images – Divisions – Layout to enhance their webpages.

Working with Images and Image Data Representation

In this unit, students will focus on creating digital images and discover the binary digits that lie beneath. They will revisit binary representation of numbers and characters to aid their understanding.

Students will create digital images out of individual elements, mixing elementary colours to produce new ones. Students will use relevant software to manipulate images and get an idea of how the underlying principles of digital representations are applied in real settings.

Working with Sound and Data Representation

This unit follows on from creating digital images and its data representation to creating digital sounds and its data representation. As in the previous unit, students will create digital sounds and discover the binary digits that lie beneath.

Students will create digital sounds using relevant software to manipulate them and get an idea of how the underlying principles of digital representations are applied in real settings

App Development

In a world where there’s an app for every possible need, this unit aims to take the students from designer to project manager to developer in order to create their own mobile app. Students will have an opportunity to have an opportunity to build on the programming concepts they used in previous units before undertaking their project. They will decompose the project into smaller, more manageable parts; program to develop their app; and finish off by evaluating the success of the project against the needs of the user.

Programming Skills using Python

From Scratch programming to Python. In this unit students are introduced to text-based programming with Python. Students will start with simple programs involving input and output, and gradually move to arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration. Pupils should know what these constructs mean.

Assessment

 

Year 9

In Year 9, students will study:

  • Cyber Security and Encryption
  • Databases and SQL
  • Computation Thinking and Algorithms
  • Python Programming

Cybersecurity and Encryption

Having studied Networks, in this unit students will learn about techniques used by cybercriminals to steal data, disrupt systems, and infiltrate networks. They will consider the value of their data and look at social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals to try steal personal data. Students will learn about more common cybercrimes such as hacking, DDoS attacks, and malware, as well as looking at methods to protect themselves and networks against these attacks. They will also study encryption and how it is used to protect our data

Databases and SQL

In this unit students return to the concept of data and data management. They will learn how to design and build a database, setting up a data base correctly, elicit/import data and use logical and mathematical operators to search for data in a database. They will also create form to make entering new data easier as well as reports to display the results of their searches. More advanced skills look at using SQL, the programming language used to create, access and manage databases. Students will also evaluate the success of their project against the needs of the user.

Computational Thinking and Algorithms

In this unit, students will learn what an algorithm is and the standard sort and search algorithms. They will learn about the key factors of computation thinking.

Python Programming

In this unit students are introduced to string manipulation, lists and arrays in Python. Students will recap prior concepts of input and output, arithmetic operations, randomness, selection, and iteration and will continue to develop these programming skills. The unit ends with a series of programming challenges which will require students to apply their computational thinking skills and will provide important preparation for the GCSE Computer Science.

Key Stage 4 GCSE Computer Science

This course is relevant to the modern, changing world of computing. It is designed to boost computing skills essential for the 21st century. These skills include coding, mathematical, analytical, logical and evaluative computational thinking skills.

GCSE Computer Science provides access to A-level Computer Science, as well as other STEM subjects that require problem solving and analytical skills. 

Specific job industries that you can work in include data analyst, software architect, network manager, games designer, web development, cyber security and robotics.

What you will study:

Component 01: Computer systems – central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software, ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – computational thinking – algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

Practical programming – design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language.

Assessment 

Component 1: consists of short and medium answer questions and one 8-mark extended response question.

Component 2: Section A – short and medium answer questions and one 8-mark extended response question; Section B – assesses students’ practical programming skills and their ability to design, write, test and refine programs.

 

Key Stage 4 BTEC Level 1 or 2 Tech Award (equivalent to 1 GCSE)

On this course, students develop key-skills for working in the information technology sector such as project planning, virtual ways of working, designing and creating user-interfaces, presenting and interpreting data for decision making. Students learn effective ways of working, planning techniques, iterative design processes, teamwork, cyber-security, as well as legal and ethical codes of conduct.

This course provides a pathway to BTEC Nationals in Information Technology. It is ideal for learners who want a career in IT and want to get a broad taste of digital skills. It is a stepping stone to careers like IT Project Management, Technical Support and Cyber Security.

What you will study:

Component 1 – Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques. Explore user interface design and development principles. Investigate how to use project planning techniques to manage digital projects. Discover how to develop and review a digital user interface.

Component 2 – Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data. Explore how data impacts on individuals and organisations. Develop a dashboard using data manipulation tools. Draw conclusions and make recommendations on data intelligence.

Component 3 – Effective Digital Working Practices. Explore how modern information technology is evolving. Consider legal and ethical issues in data and information sharing. Understand what cyber security is and how to safeguard against it.

Assessment

Component 1: internally assessed assignment. 30%

Component 2: internally assessed assignment. 30%

Component 3: external assessment exam (1.5 hours). 40% of the course.

 

Additional Resources

Secondary School National Offer Day 1st March 2024

If you would like to book a tour please contact:  admissions@ernestbevinacademy.org.uk