Computing at Rowan High School…

Technology is all around us and children are growing up in a world where it becomes an integral part of their lives from a very young age. The UK government has highlighted a shortage in Computer Scientists to support the growth of the Computing industry. With this in mind, the mission statement of the Computing department at Rowan High School is to effectively prepare students for the rapidly changing digital world when they leave school.

At Rowan High School our Computing curriculum focuses on teaching students how use hardware and software to effectively plan, design, implement and test their own computer games, programs, websites, videos, presentations, audio clips and animations. Our curriculum enables students to develop their understanding and skills surrounding these areas in an engaging and challenging learning environment.

If you have any further questions please direct them to Mr Simpson at school who will be happy to help.

Intent

  • To help students find their place in the digital world of the 21st Century
  • To ensure students remain safe and ‘savvy’ in online environments, particularly in the face of technologies and practices that develop at breakneck speeds
  • To nurture a lifelong enthusiasm for and appreciation of technology in all aspects of students’ lives
  • To help students explore the range of opportunities and possibilities that technology presents for their futures
  • To deliver Computing lessons in line with the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 National Curriculum for Computing as appropriate to the individual and personalised needs of each and every child
  • To promote enjoyment of learning through practical skills and team work
  • To develop computational thinking through real life scenarios
  • To develop independence in work, thought and action through the teaching of key skills and real life problem solving activities
  • To promote confident engagement and competence with software packages that are used within the world of work
  • To develop the ability to decompose programming problems with logical thinking skills
  • To develop cross curricular skills to enable students to effectively present their work on the computer
  • To develop organisational skills when storing files on a computer

Implementation

At Rowan High School we consider the way that the curriculum is developed and adopted by the school and the way that it is taught and assessed in order to best support pupils to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge as skills. It is with this in mind that the curriculum is shaped and implemented.

In Computing this is implemented through the delivery of a high quality of education which places developing the computing concepts at the forefront of planning. Each scheme of work is prefaced by its own intent, implementation and impact rationale, underpinned by a deep understanding of the computational concepts. In the schemes of work, assessment is a meaningful vehicle for learning, with regular ‘consolidation’ points in order to ensure students have the opportunity for mastery of their skills and understanding in the subject. Various quality assurance activities are undertaken to rigorously ensure that the implementation of the computing curriculum has maximum impact.

The computing curriculum has been developed in such a way that students build upon skills and knowledge already acquired and as such, topics are revisited regularly throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

At Rowan High School we follow the curriculum guidelines for Computing and all students in years 7 and 8 group attend three sessions of Computing each week. Year 9, 10 and 11 students attend 4 sessions each week, with Key Stage 4 students having one extra revision session in addition to these.

Impact

We measure the impact of our Computing understanding by ensuring that all of our students understand: how to use a range of platforms effectively; the huge value, potential disadvantages and consequences of using the Internet: and how to keep themselves safe online. Rowan High students will be digitally literate and able to join the rest of the world on its digital platform. They will be equipped, not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and for their own benefit, but more importantly – safely. As children become more confident in their abilities in Computing, they will become more independent and key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation become second nature. They will also become proficient users of technology who are able to work both independently and collaboratively. In this way, we prepare them fully for transition to secondary school.

National assessments and examinations in Key Stage 4 will quantify exactly what students have achieved and this data will be representative of a curriculum that was enriched and well-balanced and structured. Students will leave Rowan High with relevant qualifications and accreditations via the Computing curriculum that will enable them to pursue careers of interest to them.

At Rowan High School the impact is measured as to whether students are ready for the next steps in their academic or employment career and whether they have the skills necessary to access these next steps whether it be college, employment or supported living. Students at Rowan High School have ambition to move on to appropriate, high-quality destinations and our Computing curriculum is reflective of this and endeavours to build on vital skills from an early age through a progressive curriculum. 

Curriculum Overview at Key Stage 3 and 4

Year 7:

In year 7 students begin the year looking at how to stay safe online and what to do if faced with a concern online such as cyberbullying. We then move onto the visual programming language called “Scratch”. This is a free to use online software which students can also access for free at home if they wish to extend their study. Further to this, students will develop their video editing skills by recording their own video. The year will finish with a web design unit of work whereby students plan, design, implement and test their own website.

Year 8:

In year 8, students enhance their programming skills by learning how to program in a text based language called “Python”. The integrated development environment for this programming language is also free to download at home. Students will then move on to look at animation software by planning, designing and implementing their own animation. Students will also begin to look at sound editing software by creating their own audio clips and editing sound. We will also explore stop frame animation in Year 8. When planning a project each half term, students in Year 8 will begin to write “Client Brief Analysis” documents, as well as learning how to effectively plan a product through the use of storyboards, spider diagrams and visualisation diagrams. This is a skills which is built upon every half term throughout KS3 and KS4 and is assessed through external accreditation routes.

Year 9:

In year 9, students will continue to develop their text based programming skills in the Python programming language by solving problems independently using the skills they learnt in Year 8. They will also further develop their web design and video editing skills in preparation for the OCR Cambridge Nationals in iMedia or Functional Skills qualification they will begin to study next year. Students will finish the year by learning about how computers work.

Year 10 and 11:

In Key Stage 4 students follow their most suitable pathway for accreditation options in Computing. The pathway is decided upon through rigorous assessment during Key Stage 3, along with in depth discussions with both students and parents.

Functional Skills in ICT – Entry Level

Students on this pathway develop basic ICT skills by working towards gaining a certificate in Entry Level 1, 2 or 3. Students develop skills in system security, health and safety, searching online, document creation and file organisation using a range of basic software features.

Functional Skills in ICT – Level 1 or 2

Students on this pathway develop more advanced ICT skills which would be used within industry. There is a large focus on advanced software features, and being able to decompose a real world problem and provide an ICT solution to that problem. Skills covered include spreadsheet data analysis, databases, using advanced email and online search features along with desktop publishing and file handling.

OCR Cambridge Nationals in iMedia

This pathway is a GCSE equivalent pathway and requires students to sit a written examination based around project planning including assessing students understanding of file types, legislation, storyboards, visualisation diagrams, scripts, and spider diagrams. Students are required to give critical analysis of given planning methods.

Students also complete a range of practical projects whereby they analyse, plan, implement and test and review a given multimedia product including image editing, interactive multimedia and digital games.

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