Tarporley High School

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Tarporley High School
& Sixth Form College

Computer Science & ICT

What's in your hands I think and hope is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it that you can make it more. Alan J. Perlis

Vision

Delivering the needs and aspirations for tomorrow’s world of Computer Science and ICT, through an exciting and engaging curriculum focussed around independent problem solving.

What you can expect studying Computer Science and ICT at Tarporley High School and Sixth Form College

Computer Science lessons will give you a real understanding of how computer technology works and how Computers can be used as a tool for improvement. You will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from your other subjects and personal lives and we aim to build on this to give you an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which for many will be very absorbing. Why be a slave to just using a computer?  Why not develop your own computer systems for others to use or even shape the future for all of us? The possibilities with Computer Science are endless.

The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of multimedia based projects and computer programming. For many students, it’ll be a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum – what to expect

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is built around the principle of projects and problem solving. Students will get involved with a variety of software to explore and produce solutions to real world problems. Our units, involve topics on creating animations, sound editing, game making, video editing, programming, graphics and image manipulation and safety.

We have developed a curriculum that allows students to learn from experience and gain practical skills as well as gaining a clear understanding of the principles and fundamentals that underpin the technology.

Whilst working on the projects, a large focus is also given to students developing their independent thinking and problems solving skills.

How we assess at KS3

Students are assessed formally after each unit in Key Stage 3, using the preparation and design work, their final products and their ability to critically evaluate. During lessons Teachers will also be constantly informally assessing the student’s abilities to adapt and present ideas in the progress of their solutions.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Curriculum

At GCSE, there are two routes that can be taken:

GCSE Computer Science

We follow OCR’s GCSE in Computer Science. This course gives a real and in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Students will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from experience in school and their personal lives. However, this course will gives an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming. Students, will learn about algorithm design, hardware, software, data representation, internal components of a computer, security, networking and communications and practical experience of programming.

ECDL

ICT is delivered through the study of ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). Full title: BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills (QCF).  This is a qualification with emphasis on being an effective practitioner of using information technology as a tool for business and life.

ECDL is a course that will provide students will an understanding and knowledge of how to use ICT tools for a wide variety of purposes. Students will complete 4 externally assessed units; Word Processing, Spreadsheet Software, Presentation Software and Improving Productivity using IT.

ECDL will provide evidence of your digital literacy skills; skills that are increasingly key to success in our technology-dependent society.

How we assess at KS4

Computer Science

Students are assessed via two external examinations at the end of Year 11, worth 80% in total of the qualification. The remaining 20% is non-exam assessment programming project that is assessed by the centre and externally moderated by OCR.

ECDL

ECDL is assessed through four external on-screen exams that test the students practical skills in using applications. These assessments are spread throughout the two year course allowing students to see progression throughout the course.

The qualification is a level 2 qualification, graded at Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Students are encouraged to investigate and use Computer technology at home, identifying how it is used in the real world and gaining an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of technology I society.

Students have access to a many of the Computer Facilities during lunch time and afterschool to support their studies. Throughout the year students are encouraged to take part in National competitions, or to develop an area of interest that they may have. During our Wednesday Enrichment sessions there is also the opportunity to join one of our coding clubs.

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