Computer Science

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List of TLR Holders and their responsibilities:

Mrs Kavita Banga - Head of Department

Department aims:

Our students follow a learning journey that gives them access to an exciting mastery of computing concepts, embedded with diversity and ensuring inclusion. With this in mind, they learn real world topics linking to the National Curriculum in a mastery format, such as yearly escalated topics; esafety, computational thinking, digital tools, algorithms and programming. 

We are living in an acutely digital age, where modern technologies and data driven identities are part of our learners’ every day lives. Our vision is to ensure our children know that computing is an essential part of a well-rounded academic offering and prepares them to live and thrive in a world that is rapidly changing. With an understanding that computing acumen is achievable as well as fundamental in a wide range of career vocations. The overarching vision of the Computer Science Department is to transform users of technology into ethical creators of technology. Furthermore by giving students the tools needed such as the Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify and Make (PRIMM – Sue Sentance) model to build life long resilience skills, working with enthusiasm independently, as well as in a team to solve a variety of real world problems.  

Ethical Digital Literacy is our department’s priority, with our children developing an understanding of how to use computers safely and responsibly. With a strong sense of vocational opportunities for all learners.

Approaches to teaching and learning:

Throughout KS3 students have a strong understanding of their learning journey, with the teachers referring to the formative use of Mastery Maps. Each KS3 Mastery Map is carefully constructed with student engagement in mind. Students can recognise their current/past/future topics, they know the areas they can improve on as well as those they have strengths in. Students use their own Mastery Map to highlight their confidence in a sub topic, with the use of a traffic light system (RAG). Indicating to the teacher evidence of their progress. In this way, learners revisit topics where they have indicated amber/red until they master the topic. The teacher measures this against formative as well as summative assessment. Formative assessment may be the teacher’s agreement to the green highlight for a sub topic, as the learner shows strong discussion within a whiteboard activity, dialogic activities or produces several high level answers within pop quizzes. In addition to this, summative end of topic assessment is used by the teacher to triangulate this evidence, using their teacher judgement. To support this, department moderation is conducted on a regular basis, using a layered approached to moderation ensuring effective quality assurance. 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum featured below keeps with the ‘mastery/formative’ approach – whereby the topics are interleaved within different contexts using new experiences. See below where for example the interleaving strategy is used at the start of each term as esafety is revisited, but within different contexts, Year 7 esafety, Year 8 cybersecurity, and a student led security beach project ‘Cambridge Analytica’ in Year 9. Furthermore, programming in Year 8 as well as Year 9.

Why the department has adopted this curriculum plan: (Curriculum Intent):

In KS3 students follow a computing, IT and digital literacy programme taught over the key stage (Yr 7-9), one lesson a week.  The curriculum in KS3 is innovative, featuring a mix of digital resources and ensures there are opportunities for aspirational vocations.  The curriculum ensures that a breadth of topics are covered and meaningful assessment is given. The assessment for students is set in the form of primarily online progression tests or projects encouraging a global awareness of modern issues such as the digital divide, carbon footprint, ewaste as well as how this affects them locally.

Our curriculum follows National Curriculum Computing education guidance...

  • to equip students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world;
  • to explore the links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provide insights into both natural and artificial systems;
  • to teach the core principles of Computer Science; information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming;
  • to build on knowledge and understanding, to equip students to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content;
  • to ensure students become digitally literate, able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology, at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

How students will receive feedback to enhance their knowledge and skills:

  • The Computer Science teachers focus on formative feedback to gain an immediate responsive assessment of students’ conceptual mastery. Teachers use formative assessment every lesson to judge a student’s mastery and deepen their thinking. 
  • Assessment of ethical learning is embedded throughout the computing concepts, with teachers encouraging students to reflect upon ethical reasoning using dialogic practices, practical activities and personalised, differentiated Q&A. 
  • Summative assessment is moderated termly using the department ‘rainbow’ moderation policy, to ensure quality assurance. Whereby teachers review each other’s assessments with a different focus each term, discussed and decided by the team. Summative assessment includes an end of term deep mark – identifying each students strengths and areas for improvement as a result of the test. Each teacher will then set a task to develop weaker areas. 
  • Finally, summative assessment is also conducted for each student using a digital platform to feedback at least once per term during each concept within their learning journey. Teachers and students are able to identify the assessed area within the mastery map. 
  • In KS4 Progress tests and practice exam papers with their mark schemes.

Reading List:

Useful weblinks:

ICT Workout (ask for login details) BBC Bitesize - Computer Science Programming - Python Teach-ICT  (ask for login details)

Seneca Learning

Subject Documents Date  
Computer Science Business Curriculum Information 06th May 2022 Download
Learning Journey Computer Science 07th Apr 2022 Download