Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world. The curriculum for computing has been developed to equip our students with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. They will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, and they will develop their ideas using technology to create a range of digital content.
Pupils experience Computing in two ways:
a) across the curriculum, using it as a tool in different subject lessons
b) Computer Science lessons
The use of computers across the curriculum is coordinated by individual Heads of Departments. Computers are used as an integral part of teaching throughout the school and their use is under constant review.
Home access to the school computer system is achieved through ‘remote access’. Pupils have access to their school files and email at all times. Most of the school site is covered by wireless provision, and the use of laptops and other mobile devices is encouraged as appropriate.
Computer Science lessons
In Year 7 and 8 the aim is for pupils to understand the importance of being responsible when using social networks and other online tools and know how to use it safely and understand the possible dangers that they can face online and know how to deal with them, as well developing their computational thinking. Computational thinking is core to the programme of study. It is the process of recognising aspects of computation in the world that surrounds us, and applying tools and techniques from computing to understand and reason about both natural and artificial systems and processes. Computational thinking provides a powerful framework for studying computing, with wide application beyond computing itself. It allows pupils to tackle problems, to break them down into solvable chunks and to devise algorithms to solve them. In summary, computational thinking involves: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, pattern generalisation and algorithm design.
In Year 9, students learn about the hardware and software components that make up computer systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. They will also continue to further develop their programming skills using Python, a text- based programming language, to solve a variety of computational problems. This will be achieved primarily in a ‘hands-on’ fashion through a mixture of practical work and project work.