Key Stage 3
From September 2014, we have been teaching the new Computer Science learning area of the National Curriculum. We follow a two-year Key Stage 3 program with students receiving a lesson a week in both year 7 & 8. They have these Computer Science Lessons in dedicated computer suites. The new curriculum has 6 strands of equal weight and they are taught through a range of units with a given context:
Algorithms – putting instructions together to perform a task
Programming and development – learning to program using Scratch, HTML and Java.
Data and data representation – understanding how data is represented inside a computer using binary numbers
Hardware and processing – learning about what is under the hood of a modern computer
Communication and networking – making sense of how computers communicate with each other.
Information Technology – using and creating digital content and e-safety.
Key Stage 4
In year 9, students can choose a subject pathway where they have 4 lessons per fortnight in dedicated IT suites. Courses available are either:
GCSE Computer Science
BTEC First Certificate in Information and Creative Technology
GCSE Computer Science
The course is challenging and offers great reward for students with a curious disposition. Strood Academy follows the Edexcel exam board’s GCSE Computer Science specification using the Python programming language. In this specification, the students have to complete the following:
Exam (75% of the total grade) based on hardware, software, algorithms, networking, databases, data representation and calculations which is taken at the end of year 11
Programming project (25% of the total grade), also done as a controlled assessment covering several programming tasks that have to be completed using Python.
The BTEC First Certificate in Information and Creative Technology offers great rewards to the students. The students have to complete an online exam which makes up 25% of their overall grade. Students are also encouraged to complete additional units of work to achieve the best possible grade. Units completed are:
Unit 1 – Online Systems
Unit 3 – e-portfolio
Unit 4 – Animation
Unit 8 – Mobile App Development (new from 2015)
Unit 13 – Web Design
Key Stage 5
At Strood Academy we offer the BTEC in ICT as a vocational qualification that is designed to give key stage 5 students a work-focused alternative to A Levels.
They’ve been designed to give students the opportunities to demonstrate and develop the practical application of knowledge and understanding in the areas of work that appeal to them. The qualification enables students to develop their research skills and to work, both independently and with colleagues, to progress through these qualifications.
The assessment for the qualifications is task-based, so students won’t need to take exams to achieve highly in the BTEC qualifications. Units covered include:
Unit 1 – Communication and Employability skills in IT