“Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the way we learn.” Steve Jobs
Computing and ICT is advancing and becoming more complex, from the devices that we use, to the way we communicate with others. It is vital that students are kept up to date with these changes, feel inspired to use them and motivated by what the future can hold in terms of technology and careers. We take time in lessons to encourage our students to be ambitious in their life goals by highlighting employment and further learning opportunities available to them within the science and technology sectors.
Our curriculum is designed to encourage students to have a thirst for knowledge. The variety of topics allow students to explore the Microsoft Office package, programming languages including Python, animation software and image manipulation software. We dedicate time within lower school lessons to encourage computational thinking and cover all aspects of the theory of a computer, providing our students with a deeper, thorough understanding. Relentless ambitious, dedication and resilience are key skills in computing and underpin our vision of an outstanding learner at Newfield School. For example, when programming a solution to a problem in code, errors are almost certainly inevitable, but inspired students will thrive on the fact they are required to take apart their solution, identify the anomalies and devise an alternative way to complete the task.
Computing and ICT play significant roles across a broad and balanced curriculum. It is essential for students to have a well-developed and established skills set when using hardware and software successfully, due to the extent in which computers and technology are used in everyday life and in the evolving work place. The majority of current careers all have varying degrees of computer involvement, from a mechanic using a spreadsheet to manage his income, to a solicitor who is writing letters to clients, to an app developer who is writing code for a top new product – making computer literacy the language of the here, now and future.
Key Stage 3
Students receive one hour of Computing a week with one topic running for the duration of half a term.
In Year seven students discuss how to be safe online, the potential risks to using the internet and cyber security. They discover through creating flowcharts and pseudocode the level of detail needed when giving a computer instructions and how a computer operates. Across one term students will complete a professional documents unit whereby students will learn how to construct online documents, file management, software selection and image manipulation.
Year eight builds upon the skill set from Year seven but involves a deeper look into image manipulation and animation. Year eight students will also study two programming languages, Python and HTML.
Year 9 is split into two halves, one focusing on Computer Science and the second on Creative iMedia. The computer science part will reintroduce students to the programming language, Python. We cover concepts such as arrays, functions and loops. The other half will allow students to complete practice units of work from the R082 unit where students will use an expired brief and use Photoshop create a solution.
During Year ten and eleven pupils receive three lessons a week. We offer two courses at GCSE level, GCSE Computing and GCSE Creative iMedia.
During Year ten and eleven we cover the theory aspects of the course as well as programming, this includes Networks, the CPU, Data representations and we discuss the ethical, legal and environmental implications of technology in our world.
Students will sit the OCR Computer Science exams at the end of Year eleven.
The course includes four units, R081: Pre production skills, R082: Creating Digital Graphics, R087: Creating a Multimedia product, R092: Developing digital games.
Throughout Year ten and eleven students complete the units using the brief released by the exam board. Students will sit the OCR Creative iMedia R081 exam unit in the January of Year ten.
Year 7 and 8 students take part in the annual BEBRAS coding competition during lesson time. This competition allows students one hour to compete a range of problem solving tasks using computational thinking. Students are awarded with a certificate which can be added into their Newfield Diploma.
A group of students across all year groups applied to be Computing ambassadors. These students assist in the running of our lunch time clubs and run programming sessions with our feeder primaries.
We currently offer two lunch time clubs, an animation club and a coding club. Both of these are linked to an organisation called iDEA which set up by the Duke of York. iDEA provides students with online tasks in which they are awarded with badges. These badges are added into students Newfield Diploma and are acknowledged by colleges and employers. A badge is liked to the Matrix Cyber Security challenge Competition run by the Yorkshire and Humber Crime Unit which al students take part in.
Upper school students are encouraged to attend sessions after school which provide additional time to practice key programming and theoretical concepts required by their course.