Mr P Anderson: Subject Lead for ICT & Computing

Alcester Academy Headteacher

Key Stage 3

Curriculum Intent

In year 7 pupils learn how to use ICT for presentation, research, modelling, and multimedia and coding activities. They learn to use several different ICT and computing applications to solve larger and more complex problems. This is achieved through two formal lessons each week. The knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils gain is also applied to other areas of the curriculum where ICT is used extensively. In year 8 pupils continue to develop their creative and problem solving skills, and gain relevant experience to help prepare them prepare for their option choices process. This is achieved through a single lesson of ICT each week during year 8. Throughout year 7 and 8 pupils complete a range of interactive homework tasks each week independently using Google Classroom, and other creative problem solving online activities.

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

At the start of year 7 all pupils complete the online safety alliance e-safety course, outlining relevant aspects of e-safety content. Pupils then complete their first Scratch based mini-projects, where they are introduced to several computing concepts such as loops, variables, and Boolean operators. Pupils also complete projects on binary numbers, and research important stages/key people in the development of modern computer systems. Pupils then gain experience of stop frame animation techniques, and website design where they complete projects based on realistic situations or client briefs. Pupils complete a second more advanced set of Scratch based mini-projects, which encourage them to consolidate their learning, and consolidate programming constructs. To complete year 7 pupils are  introduced to Python coding language, to understand the principles of textual programming, and are then introduced to industry standard game design engine software (Fusion 2.5) which they will use to create an interactive game.

During year 8 pupils continue to develop their creative & game skills by designing and creating a bespoke game design using Fusion 2.5 software, and continue to develop their Python coding skills through completion of several Python coding based mini-projects. They then gain experience of a second textual coding language, Html where they experience how to create and design websites through html & css code. Pupils finish key stage 3 by completing a video editing project, where they develop their research & analysis skills, and learn how to create a promotional video for a specific client brief.

All projects are continually throughout the year, and pupils receive regular written feedback. Each pupil has their own assessment profile where results are displayed, together with written comments and feedback from staff explaining how they can improve. Pupils also complete their own learning log throughout each year, outlining what is delivered in projects, and how they have responded to teacher feedback.

Curriculum Impact

The aim of the key stage 3 curriculum content is to enable pupils to develop both their creative and problem solving skills through the use of ICT & coding. It encourages all ability ranges to experience and enjoy the project content, whilst preparing them for option choices in year 8.

Key Stage 4

During KS4 two pathways are available in ICT & computing; OCR Cambridge National in Creative iMedia (levels 1&2) graded Pass level 1 up to Distinction Star level 2, and OCR GCSE Computer Science, graded 9-1.

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

The OCR Creative iMedia course is assessed through project work based tasks initially during year 9, and then pupils complete the three controlled coursework based assignments during year 10 and year 11. Units R082 (Digital Graphics), R085 (Multi-page website design), and R092 (Digital Game Creation) are assessed using the course specification criteria. Pupils also complete the mandatory R081 Pre-production documents external exam in January of year 11, and have one opportunity to retake this if necessary during the summer exam period. Each unit in Creative iMedia constitutes 25% of the final assessment result.

The OCR GCSE in computer science is assessed through both project work and individual unit assessments during year 9. During year 10 pupils then learn a range of different theory content required for Unit 1, & Unit 2 including topics such as systems architecture, memory, storage, and network topologies, in combination with continued Python challenges & projects. The mandatory 20 hour coursework based project is completed at the start of year 11, and then pupils prepare for the two external exams during the summer exam window, both of which constitute 50% towards the final assessment result.

Curriculum Impact

Courses delivered in key stage in recent years (EdExcel level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications) and OCR GCSE computing have been extremely successful. During 2018 pupils achieved 100% A*-C grades in CiDA, with 41% achieving A*-A grades. In 2019 pupils achieved 100% A*-C, 40% A*-A, and 27% A* grades. As a result of the curriculum offered in Key Stage 4 a number of students elect to further their studies in both computer science, and game design courses at Key Stage 5.

Long Term Plans & Assessment Plan

ICT & Computing LTP Year 7
ICT & Computing LTP Year 8

Computer Science LTP Year 9
Computer Science LTP Year 10
Computer Science LTP Year 11

iMedia LTP Year 9
iMedia LTP Year 10
iMedia LTP Year 11

ICT & Computing Assessment Plan