The department strives for all students to enjoy their Computing experience at Marshland. We want everyone to develop their digital literacy and Computing skills whilst having fun and gaining transferable skills that are relevant to students’ own lives and experiences. Computing is a dynamic and ever-changing subject that opens up many different future paths and will stay with students and affect future decisions. We have excellent resources and would like all students and staff to utilise them to enhance their everyday lives.
We are an enthusiastic and dedicated department that works hard to ensure pupils enjoy learning all the different aspects of Computing. We are forward thinking, supportive and committed to sharing ideas and resources.
The Computing Curriculum
The curriculum equips our students to use computational thinking and creativity and to understand the computer laws that protect us. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.
The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principle of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 pupils begin with an introduction to the network and Frog Virtual Learning Platform. They learn about Health and Safety involved with computing with a particular emphasis on E-Safety. Pupils also learn about spreadsheets to develop their knowledge of formulas and if statements. The topic on Vector Drawing supports pupils understanding of how images are created using mathematical principles. Pupils are also taught how to develop computer programs using the ‘BBC Microbit’ and ‘Scratch’ to create computer games. Pupils first introduction to programming using text happens at the end of year 7 where they use ‘Python’ and learn the basics ready for further use in other years.
In Year 8 pupils learn to program a website using HTML code. They further develop their web skills using Serif to create a website about the History of Computing. Pupils further improve their spreadsheet skills and create interactive products using computing processes. They further develop their ‘Python’ programming to refine the way that they sequence instructions to solve a problem. Pupils will learn about cryptography and encryption in addition to using their creative and programming skills to create interactive games in ‘Flash’.
Key Stage 4
We offer vocational and academic IT and Computing courses:
- Edexcel CiDA, which is a vocational Level 2 qualification (equivalent to 1 GCSE). Students studying this course need to complete two units. Unit 1 – Developing Web Products and Unit 3 – Artwork and Imaging. Unit 1 is assessed through a 2 ½ hour computer based examination marked by Edexcel and is worth 25%. Unit 3 is assessed internally and externally moderated and is worth 75%.
- Edexcel GCSE Computer Science, which is a single tiered academic qualification. Unit 1 is Computer Science Theory (made up of two exam papers worth 80%) and Unit 2 which is a controlled assessed practical which will include problem solving an IT system using ‘Python’, a high level programming language (the practical is worth 20%).
The department has three dedicated ICT suites for use within the department (Burall and Gates). Each suite is equipped with interactive whiteboards, 31 modern computers all with network access, broadband internet, numerous software applications that are all used within industry and the right to use colour and black and white printers.