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Computer Science

Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

A high-quality computing education equips learners to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. 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 learners are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, learners are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that learners 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

unit overview - autumn term 1

Subject: Impact of technology – Collaborating online respectfully

Skills

Online relationships

  • I can explain strategies for assessing the degree of trust I place in people or organisations online. (Y7)
  • I can give examples of how to make positive contributions to online debates and discussions. (Y8)

Online bullying

  • I can describe how bullying may change as we grow older and recognise when it is taking place online. (Y7)
  • I can identify and demonstrate actions to support others who are experiencing difficulties online. (Y7)

Privacy and security

  • I can create and use strong and secure passwords. (Y5)
  • I can explain how my internet use is often monitored (e.g., by my school or internet service provider). (Y7)

Knowledge

  • Create a memorable and secure password for an account on the school network
  • Remember the rules of the computing lab
  • Find personal documents and common applications
  • Recognise a respectful email
  • Construct an effective email and send it to the correct recipients
  • Describe how to communicate with peers online
  • Plan effective presentations for a given audience
  • Describe cyberbullying
  • Explain the effects of cyberbullying
  • Plan effective presentations for a given audience
  • Describe cyberbullying
  • Explain the effects of cyberbullying
  • Check who you are talking to online

Rationale

This unit has been designed to ensure that students are given sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the school network. It also allows the teacher to discuss appropriate use of the school network, and to update and remind learners of important online safety issues.

Whilst completing this unit, students will also learn how to use presentation software effectively. In terms of online safety, this unit focuses on respecting others online, spotting strangers, and the effects of cyberbullying.

unit overview - autumn 2 

Subject: Modelling data – Spreadsheets

Skills

Use cell references

Use the autofill tool

Format data

Create formulas for add, subtract, divide, and multiply

Create functions for SUM, COUNTA, AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, and COUNTIF

Sort and filter data

Create graphs

Use conditional formatting

Knowledge

Design, use, and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems

Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users

Rationale

This Y7 unit takes students from having little knowledge of spreadsheets to being able to confidently model data with them. It uses engaging activities to progress students from using basic formulas to writing their own COUNTIF statements. It also gives students a set of skills to use in Computing lessons and across the curriculum.

This unit progresses students’ knowledge and understanding of modelling data using a spreadsheet. Due to the transitional nature of Y7, it assumes that students have little to no experience of using spreadsheets.

unit overview - spring term 1

Subject: Programming essentials in Scratch – part I

Skills

Program a piece of music in Scratch with several instruments

Program a chat-bot that:

  • responds to user input with appropriate responses
  • outputs responses depending on conditions

Program a quiz with a score

Program ‘Ten Green Bottles’ using iteration

Attempt to beat the teacher using techniques & terms learned in the unit

Knowledge

This unit develops the following techniques:

  • Sequencing
  • Variables
  • Selection
  • Operators
  • Count-controlled iteration

Scratch is used throughout the unit, so it is important to be comfortable with the language.

Rationale

An excellent pathway into text-based programming is creating games using Scratch software.  Although it features coloured blocks to drag and drop, it much reduces the possibility of the syntax errors which deter the progress of so many young people when they learn programming.  Moreover, it highlights what is important – ready access to the programming constructs; sequence, selection and iteration. 

In this unit, students learn programming techniques in Scratch and create games featuring animation, event handling and character interactions.  By considering and improving their designs, they come to create increasingly complex gameplay and game code.  By responding to constructive comments about their games, they engage in iterative development. By annotating their games and justifying their code design decisions, they become more mindful of the decisions that programmers make.

unit overview - spring term 2 

Subject: Networks from semaphores to the Internet

Skills

Explain how data is transmitted between computers across networks

Compare wired to wireless connections and list examples of specific technologies currently used to implement such connections

Discuss familiar examples where bandwidth is important

Explain how data travels between computers across the internet

Explain the difference between the internet, its services, and the World Wide Web

Explain the term ‘connectivity’

Knowledge

Define what a computer network is and Define ‘protocol’

Provide examples of non-networking protocols

List examples of the hardware necessary for connecting devices to networks

Define ‘bandwidth’, using the appropriate units for measuring the rate at which data is transmitted

Define what the internet is, using keywords such as ‘protocols’, ‘packets’, and ‘addressing’

Describe how services are provided over the internet, and list some of these services and the context in which they are used

Describe how internet-connected devices can affect you

Describe World Wide Web components and how they work together: Browsers, Servers, Pages, URLs, HTTP, HTTPS

Rationale

This sequence of lessons explores the contribution of networks to our digitized, connected world, and examines the methods of data transfer that make all our online activity possible.

Students will learn what networks are, and some rules that exist that enable a computer in China to send a message to one in London within seconds.  They will also come to understand the role played by the various machines that data passes along the way, whether by cable or wireless methods.  Students will come to appreciate the differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web, and some common services that the Internet provides for all.

By studying this unit, students will come to understand how networks have made possible all that we take for granted on the Internet, from study and socialising to banking and shopping.

unit overview - summer term 1

Subject: Programming essentials in Scratch – part II

Skills

Use sub-routines to program a series of dance moves to compete in a dance battle.

Use condition-controlled iteration to program a flying cat.

Use condition-controlled and count-controlled iteration to program dancing shapes.

Use a list to program an inventory to use in a game.

Begin a short programming project that incorporates all the programming skills covered in Unit 1 and 2 - apply appropriate constructs to solve a problem.

Decompose a larger problem into smaller subproblems.

Knowledge

This unit develops the following techniques:

  • Sequencing
  • Variables (including tracing within a sequence)
  • Selection (conditions that evaluate as True or False and control the flow of a sequence)
  • Iteration (a group of instructions that are repeatedly executed):
    • Count-controlled iteration
    • Condition-controlled iteration
  • Sub-routines (a group of instructions that run when called by the main program)
  • Lists ( a collection of related elements referred to by a single name)

Scratch is used throughout the unit, so it is important to be comfortable with the language.

Rationale

‘Programming essential in Scratch II’ develops on the foundations built in ‘Programming essential in Scratch I’, which students must complete before starting this unit.

This unit begins right ‘Programming I’ left off. Students build on their understanding of sequence, selection, and iteration (the big three), and further develop their problem-solving skills.

Students will learn how to create their own sub-routines, build upon their understanding of decomposition, learn how to create and use lists, and develop their problem-solving skills by working through a larger project as the unit progresses.

unit overview - summer term 2

Subject: Using media – Gaining support for a cause

Skills

Managing online information

  • I can use a range of features to quality assure the content I access online. (11–14)
  • I can explain how to use search effectively and use examples from my own practice to illustrate this. (11–14)

Copyright and ownership

  • I know that commercial online content can be viewed, accessed or downloaded illegally. (11–14)
  • I can accurately define the concept of plagiarism. (11–14)
  • I can use this definition to evaluate my own use of online sources. (11–14)
  • I understand the concept of software and content licensing. (11–14)
  • I understand Creative Commons Licensing protocols. (11–14)
  • I can identify the potential consequences of illegal access or downloading and how it may impact me and my immediate peers. (11–14)

Knowledge

  • Select the most appropriate software to use to complete a task
  • Identify the key features of a word processor
  • Apply the key features of a word processor to format a document
  • Evaluate formatting techniques to understand why we format documents
  • Select appropriate images for a given context
  • Apply appropriate formatting techniques
  • Demonstrate an understanding of licensing issues involving online content by applying appropriate Creative Commons licences
  • Demonstrate the ability to credit the original source of an image
  • Critique digital content for credibility
  • Apply techniques in order to identify whether or not a source is credible
  • Apply referencing techniques and understand the concept of plagiarism
  • Evaluate online sources for use in own work
  • Construct a blog using appropriate software
  • Organise the content of the blog based on credible sources
  • Apply referencing techniques that credit authors appropriately
  • Design the layout of the content to make it suitable for the audience
  • Construct a blog using appropriate software
  • Organise the content of blog based on credible sources
  • Apply referencing techniques that credit authors appropriately
  • Design the layout of the content to make it suitable for the audience

Rationale

During this unit, students develop their understanding of information technology and digital literacy skills. They will use the skills learnt across the unit to create a blog post about a real-world cause that they would like to gain support for.

Students will develop software formatting skills and explore concerns surrounding the use of other people’s work, including licensing and legal issues.

knowledge organisers

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the un