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Computer Technology

Computer Technology is the study of principles and practices that underpin an understanding and modelling of computation, and of those principles'  application in the development of computer systems. At Aston, we believe that it is important that all students have an opportunity to explore the fundamental skills and concepts that underpin computer technology as a discipline. The curriculum is carefully planned with specific attention paid to the sequencing of topics studied.

The intention of the curriculum is to not only to develop digitally-literate citizens but to empower our students with computational skills so they are more proficient in conceptualising and understanding computer-based technology and so are better equipped to function in modern society.


Staff:

  • Mrs K Lally, Subject leader for Computer Science
  • Mr H Tamber, Subject leader for ICT
  • Mr R Billings, Senior ICT Technician
  • Mr H Hussain, ICT Technician

Trips and visits:

  • Year 9 trip to Bletchley Park
  • Year 10 visit to the National Museum of Computing
  • Year 11 visit to Engine management centre, JLR, Wolverhampton (every other year)
  • Year 11 and Year 12 visit to Oxford Computing event
  • Year 12 and 13: various masterclasses run by Birmingham and Aston universities

Year 7

Summary of curriculum: Three modules are taught, based on one lesson every two weeks,  with an emphasis on developing the student's proficiency with Office 365.
Main topics:

Module 1: word processing

Module 2: spreadsheets

Module 3: presenting

Assessment throughout the year: Self- and peer-assessments take place throughout the modules.
How parents can support their son’s learning:

Encouraging your son to:

  • Practice IT skills in short bursts of 10 – 15 minutes at least twice a week between lessons.
  • Explore the features of Office 365 software and Microsoft Teams.
Able and inspired opportunities:

Developing programming skills through:

Useful websites:

Touch typing:  https://www.typingclub.com/

Office 365 MS Word: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/word2016/

Office 365 MS Excel: https://www.techonthenet.com/excel/index.php

Office 365 Presentations: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/powerpoint2016/

 

Year 8

Summary of curriculum: Three modules are taught, based on one lesson every two weeks, with an emphasis on developing the student's proficiency in Office 365.
Main topics:

Module 1: word processing

Module 2: spreadsheets

Module 3: presenting

Assessment throughout the year: Self- and peer-assessments take place throughout the modules
How parents can support their son’s learning:

Encouraging your son to:

  • Practice IT skills in short bursts of 10-15 minutes at least twice a week between lessons.
  • Explore the features of Office 365 software and Microsoft Teams.
Able and inspired opportunities:

Developing programming skills through:

Useful websites:

Touch yyping: https://www.typingclub.com/

Office 365 MS Word: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/word2016/

Office 365 MS Excel: https://www.techonthenet.com/excel/index.php

Office 365 Presentations: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/powerpoint2016/

 

Year 9

Summary of curriculum: In Year 9, students learn three units: data representation, networks and communications and and introduction to Python Programming.
Main topics:

9.1 Data representation

  • Topic 1: binary and units of storage
  • Topic 2: binary conversions
  • Topic 3: binary addition and overflow
  • Topic 4: hexadecimal conversions
  • Topic 5: binary shift and check digits
  • Topic 6: images
  • Topic 7: sound
  • Topic 8: compression

9.2 Networks and Communications

  • Topic 1: internet and WWW
  • Topic 2: switching
  • Topic 3: connectivity
  • Topic 4: client server networks
  • Topic 5: cloud computing

9.3 Programming with Python

  • Topic 1: introduction to Python Programming
  • Topic 2: variables, constants, operators, data types
  • Topic 3: comments, input and output
  • Topic 4: formatting output
  • Topic 5: selection technique
Assessment throughout the year:

Half-termly, and common assessment tasks which will take place once per half term.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

By encouraging and ensuring that your son:

  • Completes all the homework regularly.
  • Reviews notes and work completed regularly.
  • Carries out independent research on the topics covered and due to be covered during lessons.
Able and inspired opportunities:
Useful websites:

 

Year 10

Summary of curriculum:

The course follows the OCR GCSE Computer Science specification which gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works, engages learners,  get them thinking about real world applications, being an excellent preparation for higher study and employment in computer science.

The GCSE qualification consists of three components:

  • Unit 1: computer Systems (written paper 1, 50%) 
  • Unit 2: computational thinking, algorithms and programming (written paper 2, 50%) 
  • Unit 3: programming project

Link to Computer Science specification:

Main topics:

Unit 1: computer Systems

  • Topic 1: systems Architecture
  • Topic 2: memory
  • Topic 3: storage

Unit 2: computational thinking,  algorithms and programming

  • Topic 1: algorithms,
  • Topic 2: data representation.
  • Topic 3: programming techniques (up to arrays)

Unit 3: programming project

  • Topic 1: datatypes, Operators, IO
  • Topic 2: debugging, string, functions, numbers
  • Topic 3: selection
  • Topic 4: iterations, indexing and slicing
Assessment throughout the year:
  • Classwork and homework
  • One assessment per half term
  • One common task assessment per term
How parents can support their son’s learning:

By encouraging and ensuring that your son:

  • Completes all the homework regularly.
  • Reviews notes and work completed regularly.
  • Carries out independent research on the topics covered or due to be covered during lessons.
Able and inspired opportunities:
Useful websites:

 

Year 11

Summary of curriculum:

The course continues to follow the OCR GCSE Computer Science specification which gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works, engages learners,  get them thinking about real world applications, being an excellent preparation for higher study and employment in computer science.

The GCSE qualification consists of three components:

  • Unit 1: computer Systems (written paper 1, 50%) 
  • Unit 2: computational thinking, algorithms and programming (written paper 2, 50%) 
  • Unit 3: programming project.

Link to Computer Science Specification:

Main topics:  
Assessment throughout the year:

Internal Assessment

  • Classwork and homework
  • One assessment per half term
  • One common task assessment per term

External Assessment

  • Paper 1: computer systems, written paper: June, 1hr 30 min, 80 marks
  • Paper 2: computational thinking, algorithms and programming, written paper: June, 1hr 30 min, 80 marks
Programming project: exam board submission in May
How parents can support their son’s learning:

By encouraging and ensuring that your son:

  • Completes all the homework regularly.
  • Reviews notes and work completed regularly.
  • Carries out independent research on the topics covered and due to be covered during lessons.
Able and inspired opportunities:
Useful websites:

 

Year 12

Summary of curriculum:

The A Level course follows the new OCR linear Computer Science specification which encourages students to develop a range of skills and knowledge of computing as a basis for progression to further learning and/or employment in computing-related fields.

The A Level course consists of three components:

  • computer systems (written paper 1, 40%)          
  • algorithms and programming (written paper 2, 40%)
  • programming project (non-exam assessment, 20%)

The specification can be found at:

Main topics:

Component 1: computer systems

  • the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Data types
  • Software and software development
  • Legal and moral issues

Component 2: algorithms and programming

  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms

Component 3: programming

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Basics of C++ Programming
  • Using CBuilder 2010
  • Data types and variables
  • Operators
  • Programming constructs
  • Data handling using arrays
  • String manipulation and two-dimensional arrays
  • Structures and classes
  • Functions
  • Pointers
  • Windows programming
  • Database programming
  • Using Rave reports
Assessment throughout the year:
  • Classwork and homework
  • One assessment per half term
  • One common assessment task per term
How parents can support their son’s learning:

By encouraging and ensuring that your son:

  • Completes all the homework regularly.
  • Reviews notes and work completed regularly.
  • Carries out independent research on the topics covered and due to be covered during lessons.
Able and inspired opportunities:
Useful websites:

 

Year 13

Summary of curriculum:

The A Level course follows the new OCR linear Computer Science specification which encourages students to develop a range of skills and knowledge of computing as a basis for progression to further learning and/or employment in computing-related fields.

The A Level course consists of three components:

  • computer systems (written paper 1, 40%)          
  • algorithms and programming (written paper 2, 40%)
  • programming project (non-exam assessment, 20%)

Link to Computing Specification:

Main topics:

Component 1: computer systems

  • Ethical and other issues
  • Boolean algebra
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Exchanging data

Component 2: algorithms and programming

  • Problem solving and programming
  • Elements of computational thinking

Programming project

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development and iterative testing
  • Testing and evaluation
Assessment throughout the year:

Internal Assessment

  • Classwork and homework
  • One half term assessment per half term
  • One Common Task assessment per term

External Assessment

  • Component 1: computer systems, written paper: June, 2 hr 30 mins, 120 marks
  • Component 2: algorithms and programming, written paper: June, 2 hr 30 mins, 120 marks
  • Component 3 -  Programming project, exam board submission: May, 70 marks
How parents can support their son’s learning:

By encouraging and ensuring that your son:

  • Completes all the homework regularly.
  • Reviews notes and work completed regularly.
  • Carries out independent research on the topics covered/due to be covered during lessons.
Able and inspired opportunities:
Useful websites: