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ICT & Computing

The ability to use computers effectively is a vital life skill in modern society. We interpret Computing to include the use of equipment which allows users to communicate, or manipulate information (in the broadest sense of the word), electronically.

In addition to using common applications, our students also apply their computational thinking skills to design and program games and simulations.

We employ a wide variety of new and traditional learning and teaching styles, from interactive learning environments to track and assess our students, to peer and self-teaching to facilitate the development of independent, capable users, with skills essential for the 21st Century.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students are given a strong foundation in some of the main Computing concepts they will need to use throughout their time at Saint Aidan's. This includes learning how to research safely and find reliable information, creating a model to convert from Binary to Denary and understanding basic networks. They are also given the opportunity to develop computational thinking skills which they then apply to creating either a Fitbit or rewards and sanctions counter using a micro:bit.

Year 8 allows students to build on and improve their skills and understanding. This includes creating a simple online safety expert system in Scratch; exploring physical computing with hands on hardware, including understanding logic and how the CPU works; designing and programming a Magic 8 Ball simulation using Python and converting between Denary, Binary and Hexadecimal.

In Year 9 we place even greater emphasis on students learning and developing solutions independently. Students are provided with brief recaps then given all the resources they need to solve problems and complete tasks in a practical, real world context. These tasks cover a range of competences including text based programming with Python; making a video to explore the impact of technology on online safety, privacy and identity; creating a band logo and other associated promotional materials, or code a database to hold fan details; finally they explore further the operation of the CPU and code using a low level language.

Key Stage 4

Students are given the opportunity to study Computer Science at GCSE. This is 2 written exams, focusing on problem solving and programming totalling 100%, as well as an ungraded controlled assessment programming task.

Students may also opt for the iMedia qualification which looks at the use of applications to plan, design implement and make a variety of products, including DVD covers, games and websites. This is 75% controlled assessment and 25% written exam.

All Year 11 students study Personal Development as part of their core curriculum. This allows students to develop breadth and depth, working in teams, problem solving, communicating and completing real risk taking, and reward based activities.

Assessment

Key Stage 3 consists of a portfolio of practical and continually assessed work. This is all marked online, where written feedback and grading information is available to students and parents.

At Key Stage 4 students are assessed according to the requirements of the exam board.

Open Access and Enrichment

Computer rooms are open before school, at lunchtimes and after school. In addition we also have a Coding Club on offer after school, where students can work together to solve problems using a variety of languages and hardware.

Faculty Staff

Mr N Ireland Director of Technology and Computing

Mr P Tyson Teacher of Computing, Head of Year