ICT

Science & Computing Faculty

Computing

 

Subject Intent: 

The use of IT in everyday life is becoming increasingly prevalent and skills in IT are more widely regarded and valued by employers. There are two main branches of computing taught in schools, ICT and Computer Science, whilst both deal with computer systems, they each bring their own unique perspective to the modern world.

Course Overview:

The Exam board and unit list for:

GCSE

A-Level

At KS3 we provide students with a mix of both Computer Science elements and IT elements. This is to ensure that they have a reasonable understanding of the various options available to them at KS4, as well as providing those who do not wish to opt for a computing subject, the adequate skills which they can apply to other subjects, as well as their future employment prospects.

 

At KS4 students choose the branch of computing that most appeals to them. The study of IT is practical in nature and lends itself to developing the skills necessary to function in the workplace, whereas computer science allows students to explore paths that are focussed on developing the ever evolving digital world around them. The program of study, in relation to IT allows students to explore their creative side and to apply this to a range of projects that includes image manipulation, web development, as well as sound and video editing. These are skills that are required to work in the digital creative arts and media environments, and will allow students to progress their studies through to high levels in areas such as media, journalism, photography, film studies, cinematography, and TV broadcasting. By contrast, computer science has a heavier focus on the theory of computing, developing a keen ability to solve problems, and apply this to a programmatic solution. Students undertaking the Computer Science route typically pursue further and higher education with a view to becoming games developers, network specialists, database administrators, programmers, or cyber security specialists. At St Thomas More, we aim to provide students with the broadest range of topics in computer science so that it gives them more options when it comes to further studies as well as moving on into apprenticeships.

 

At KS5 we focus on the computer science elements which reinforces the learning from KS4 and develops the understanding to a point where the student can consider gaining employment in a relevant area, or going on to further studies. Students are required to apply advanced problem solving skills to more complicated programming problems, and again, the course content is very broad giving students the most flexibility when looking to choose the next step.

Course  Detail:

OCR GCSE Computer Science J277

The course is taught across two main components. Component one is the theory behind how computer systems function and interact. Students learn about the CPU, Memory, Storage, Networks, Security, and a range of legal and ethical considerations. Component two has a theoretical foundation but this is heavily reinforced through a practical approach. The main focus here is developing problem solving skills and getting students to apply them to programming problems. A requirement of all exam boards is that students have at least 20 hours of practical programming experience as this will be assessed in their component two exam. Each component has a weighting of 50% toward the final GCSE grade, and each component is assessed with an 80 mark, 90 minute, examination.

 

OCR Cambridge National Award in Creative iMedia

The course has four units, each of which contributing 25% towards the final qualification. Students will receive either a level 1 or level 2, pass, merit, or distinction grade. There is also a level 2 distinction* which is the highest grade possible for the course. Pre-Production documents, is a theoretical unit that is assessed with a 60 mark, 75 minute exam. It looks at all of the necessary documents and procedures needed to help develop creative projects and is the foundation of all the other units. Creating digital graphics, Creating Multi-page websites, and Creating Interactive Multimedia Products, are the other units that contribute towards the final qualification. Each of these units is coursework based and requires students to investigate the topic, design a product, develop a product, and evaluate their work. Each unit carries 60 marks toward their final grade.

 

OCR A-Level Computer Science H446

This course is very similar in structure and content to the J277 GCSE course and students who have previously completed the J277 GCSE will transition seamlessly to this course. The expectation at A-Level is that students investigate the topics in considerably more detail, and work will build upon prior knowledge from GCSE. There are three components: Computer systems, Algorithms and Programming, and a Programming Project. Each of the computer systems, and Algorithms, components are assessed through 140 mark, 150 minute examinations and each component carries 40% of the final grade. The Programming project is out of 70 marks and carries the final 20% of the final grade.

Enrichment Opportunities

 

Useful links