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ICT & Computing

Vision of Computing Department at CVMS

The vision of the department continues to develop in line with that of the government’s. The department now offers both an ICT and Computer Science qualification at GCSE.

● Pupils are prepared for a world in which Computing is seen as a natural part.
● Every child leaves able to use computing efficiently and effectively at an appropriate level.
● Pupils are aware of the dangers associated with the development of computing and their E-Safety.
● Pupils understand what is meant by programming and have a basic knowledge of coding and algorithms.
● Curricular and extra-curricular activities that enhance learning and enjoyment of the discipline.
● Pupils are aware of the possibilities created by the developments within computing.
● Pupils have an understanding of careers and opportunities in Computing and ICT related jobs.

Curriculum Content - KS3

The current first years are undertaking the new two year KS3, the department have devised a Computing curriculum based on the programme of study by the DfE. This includes a number of practical programming units using both visual and textual based and theoretical units investigating Hardware and Software and Data representation. All pupils also participate in an e-Safety unit accredited by the British Computer Society.

The School’s Computing (ICT) curriculum has always been dynamic and the department’s staff have always tried to provide a rich curriculum, we therefore do not foresee a complete redevelopment of the curriculum, rather some amending and fine tuning. The department has refined and redeveloped its unique tracking and assessment systems so that they encourage greater pupil reflection and provide pupils with a clearer understanding of pupil’s performance in a unit and across the key stage.

Curriculum Content- KS4

Level 1/2 IT Technical Award (AQA)

The new Level 1/2 IT Technical Award is a non-EBacc subject and is ideally suited to learners with a preference for practical, rather than theoretical learning. This qualification is for learners aged 14–16 years who prefer to study IT in a context that allows them to learn and be assessed in ways that are practical and relevant to the IT sector.

The IT Technical Award is a vocational, GCSE equivalent qualification designed to develop learners’ knowledge and understanding through the application of knowledge in a work-related context. Learners taking this qualification will study the fundamental aspects required in the three IT occupational areas covered by this specification: Creative, Data Management and Technical.

They will also study the specific theory and skills required in their chosen occupational area in greater depth, resulting in the creation and evaluation of an IT system. Learning will take place through a mixture of real life case studies, practical tasks and a study of theoretical concepts, enabling learners to develop their IT knowledge, understanding and skills.

Learning will be engaging and take place in a vocational context, allowing the learner to create products or artefacts that demonstrate their ability to put theory into practice. The occupational areas have been chosen from industry research showing current shortages of skilled people within the creative, data management and technical areas. Learners will gain a range of practical skills in IT. They will choose to develop skills in two of the three occupational areas. They'll then explore one of these occupational areas and focus on the system life cycle to design, create, test and evaluate a solution to an IT problem.

Assessments:

Unit 1: Practical skills in IT

  • Internally assessed practical work
  • 36 GLH (guided learning hours) approximately
  • 60 marks
  • ​30% of Technical Award

Unit 2: Creating IT systems

  • Internally assessed practical work
  • 36 GLH approximately
  • 60 marks
  • 30% of Technical Award

Unit 3: Fundamentals of IT

  • Externally assessed theory exam
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 48 GLH approximately
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of Technical Award

ICT GCSE (AQA)

GCSE Information and Communication Technology helps students develop their knowledge of current and emerging technologies, a range of ICT tools and techniques and society's use of ICT. This specification requires students to develop their ability to work collaboratively. There are two 25 hour controlled assessments worth 60% of the final mark (The Assignment: Applying ICT and Practical Problem Solving in ICT). The final 40% is examined in June of the final year. Controlled Assessment to be completed one each year.

Computer Science GCSE (AQA)

This qualification gives pupils an understanding of key computing concepts and the fundamentals of programming.  The program of study consists of one controlled assessment tasks worth 20% and two examinations worth 40% each. The controlled assessment will consist of pupils working independently, demonstrating their ability to code a solution to a given problem.

In essence, studying this specification will free the candidate from dependency on other people creating applications for them to use. They will have developed the skills and understanding which underpin the creation of their own applications.


Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving
 

What's assessed

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Paper 2: Written assessment

What's assessed

Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3–7 above

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment

What's assessed

The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content above.

How it's assessed

  • Report: totalling 20 hours of work
  • ​80 marks
  • ​20% of GCSE

Tasks

The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.

(The AQA Computer Science GCSE and the AQA ICT GCSE (see opposite) differ significantly in content, study, outcomes and post-16 opportunities. For further information on which course is more suitable for you please speak to a member of the Computer Science and ICT Department.)

Curriculum Content - KS5

This A-level can help lead to a wide range of degrees at university including: computer science, software engineering, mathematics, engineering, information systems, computer security, game development and other sciences.

It is an exciting time to be a computer scientist! We are living in the midst of a revolution powered by computers. This revolution has invaded all aspects of society. It is a communication revolution, a transportation revolution, a medical revolution, an entertainment revolution. Consider the things one would need to give up to live a day without computers:

  • Social networking: email, IM, Facebook, texting, cell phone, landline phone
  • Transportation: GPS, car, planes, trains
  • Medical systems: electronic health records, nearly all medical tests
  • Commerce: ecommerce, ATMs, credit cards, debit cards

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is pleased to offer Computer Science as a brand new A-Level course beginning September 2016. The course will follow the AQA specification, which is a new and up-to-date syllabus that focuses on the skills students need to progress to higher education or thrive in the workplace.

Specification at a glance:

AS-Level

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of communication and networking

PAPER 1

PAPER 2

What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science.

What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions through extended writing.

Assessed

On-screen exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

50% of AS

Assessed

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

50% of AS

Questions

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document.

Questions

A series of short-answer and extended-answer questions.

A-Level

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Fundamentals of algorithms
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture

PAPER 1

PAPER 2

NON-EXAM ASSESSMENT

What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge.

 

What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions through extended writing.

 

What's assessed

The non-exam assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem.

Assessed

On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A-level

Assessed

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A-level

Assessed

75 marks

20% of A-level

Questions

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document

Questions

Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.

 

 

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