Key Stage 3 Overview
In Years 7 and 8 students have one lesson of Computer Science per week and are taught in groups of similar ability. Lessons follow the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum and learning in Computer Science is split into four distinctive pathways:
Each year starts with an E-Safety unit of learning focussing on ensuring that students are able to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely. Students consider online privacy, their digital identity and digital footprints. There is a focus on recognising inappropriate content, conduct and contact online and a focus on how to report concerns online.
Computational Thinking and Programming
Throughout the two years students develop their computational thinking skills by learning about key programming concepts through Logo and Flowol. Students are initially introduced to block based programming languages (Scratch and Kodu) and develop their programming skills by learning python (a text based programming language). There is a focus around computational abstractions and algorithms and students will develop logical reasoning skills and an understanding of some for the key algorithms. Students will develop their evaluation skills by analysing the efficiency of algorithms and solutions to computational problems. Students will consider data types and how information is stored within different data structures.
The theory part of the Key Stage 3 Computer Science curriculum works hand in hand with computational thinking and programming. Students will look at variables and then consider memory, storage and how data is stored on a computer. One of the key units that students study is Computer Systems which gives an understanding of hardware, software and computer components that make up computer systems. They will be introduced to Boolean logic and data representation will be able to complete simple conversions between binary and decimal.
This part of the course not only prepares students for the Creative iMedia GCSE course but also supports students’ digital literacy skills in other subjects. They will complete a series of digitally creative projects including graphics to select, reuse and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience. Students will have to select appropriate software packages and manage mini project through the different stages of the product life cycle: analysis, design, creation, testing and evaluation.