This year (2014/2015) we have made a big decision to move across to a new more Computing oriented curriculum, with different content from the old ICT curriculum and therefore different level descriptors and ways of working.
Previously the only Computing we did in this curriculum was to study Scratch. This has been removed entirely and the curriculum expanded into a more exciting and challenging scheme of learning. We will now be focusing on -
Xmas Term First Half – Introduction to the School Computer Systems
In this series of lessons we will concentrate on introducing the student to the college making sure they can:
- log into their own user area and the can organise their own H: Drive;
- log into and can use their own college email;
- log into and can use their own Edmodo account;
- understand e-safety, both at school and at home;
- hot off the press: we intend to give each student a very basic HTML web page, which they can change via Notepad. They will use this web page to order the work they complete in computing so that it can all be logically accessed by both students and staff;
- there will be a short online assessment at the end of the Autumn half term focusing on thee-safety.
Xmas Term Second Half – Programming in HTML
Using only humble notepad, students will start with an empty file and, by Xmas, will be able to create a professional looking website, posted on our (soon to be) school Intra-Net.
They will cover:
- writing and manipulating text on a web page (bold, italic, underline, size, colour, etc.)
- changing the background colour of a page
- Knowing what HTML means!
- adding an image to a page
- adding a hyperlink to another local web page
- adding a hyperlink to a remote web page
- create tables, rows and columns to understand the structure of a web page
- design and build a web page/site to allow them to access their school work quickly and efficiently
Spring Term First Half – Algorithmic Thinking
- After returning from the Xmas break, students will be taught to think in an algorithmic way. Using an example of a coffee machine or a sandwich maker, what algorithm (set of instructions) would the use to ensure a robot could follow them and produce the required drink/sandwich? li>
- The final algorithm, in the form of pseudo code or a flow chart will be assessed and levelled.
Spring Term Second Half – Hardware
- In the run up to Easter, students will experience a brand new (so new we haven’t done it before) module – Hardware. Students will be given a brief guide of the inside of a tower computer by one of our IT support staff and will then work in pairs to take apart a tower, photograph and name the parts…and then re-assemble it, possibly swapping components with other groups, or adding extra bits. Sometimes the computer still works. li>
- at the end of half term the annotated computer part image will be assessed and levelled.
Summer Term First Half – Relational Databases
In the first half of the summer term, students will use a relational database (MS Access) to answer questions. Students will be shown how to collect data into sensible groups (tables); how to connect the tables(links); how to create records and how to access the data using SQL (Structured Query Language). There will be an assessment at the end of this module, via Edmodo, where students will answer a set of multiple choice questions and awarded a level which contributes to their overall level for the end of the year:
Summer Term Second Half – Small Basic Programming
Small Basic (free from the internet – click here to download) is a programming language in its own right and has the Turtle function that we can utilise. It teaches the students how to think in logical and structured way and also how to interact with the user.
Here is an example -click here for the link
The students will be taught the basics of Small Basic and how to write programs as a class, using different variables, for loops, while loops, if statements, input and output. We expect them to quickly move on from these teacher led lessons and begin producing their own programs. We strongly encourage students to download Small Basic onto their computer at home and practice programming as this will prepare them for the more rigorous programming course which will start in Year 8.
There is an End of Year assessment via Edmodo, which will determine their final Computing Level for the end of Year 7. Additionally, there will be a Small Basic Assignment where students will be set a problem that they must find a solution to using the Small Basic programming language. Students will be given marks for:
- the range of programming techniques displayed;
- writing bug-free code;
- writing code which exactly fulfils the specification;
- writing code which works;
- producing efficient, code with sensible use of Loops and Logic;
- correctly commented code;