Curriculum Statement - Computing

‘In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.’ – Mark Zuckerberg

Powerful Knowledge in Computing

Powerful Knowledge in Computing is based on a robust understanding of declarative and procedural knowledge of Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology. Computational thinking and problem solving are the foundation of Computer Science. This provides students with the knowledge to understand and interpret all areas of the Computing curriculum. Through Digital Literacy students learn of the opportunities and risks of using technology, with the aim for students to become reflective, responsible and effective digital citizens. Information Technology provides students with knowledge of software and systems that enables them to confidently operate in a digital world.

Curriculum Features

The curriculum is designed to ensure students studying GCSE Computer Science have a grounding in the fundamental concepts covered at KS4, whilst providing opportunities for all students to develop digital skills and knowledge; ready for when they leave Laurus Ryecroft.

Students will develop their understanding of how to use technology safely, responsibly and securely. Building on this fundamental knowledge, students will understand how computers work looking at different elements over the three years, improving their Computing, Information Technology and Digital Literacy skills. Throughout KS3, students will get to look at the ever-changing digital world around them and see how systems work for the benefit of companies, individuals and themselves.

Co-Curriculum Enrichment

Students are given every chance to further delve into the world of Computing. Using links with well-known companies, we are able to provide the best opportunities for our students, growing their curiosity and enthusiasm. Examples of these include:

  • Tameside Hack where students get to compete against other 11–18-year-olds at solving coding challenges.
  • Cyber Girls First Events allowing KS3 girls looking for opportunities in Cyber Security companies such as GHCQ, J.P. Morgan and Microsoft.
  • BAE Systems Digital Intelligence Workshop where pupils get to try and stop a cyber-criminal through coding, network forensics etc.
  • Lego Mindstorms and Kodu games development electives to challenge pupil’s problem-solving abilities.

Year 7 students begin the year by learning about Computational Thinking and how to use flowcharts to solve problems in a manageable way. Once completed, students will study E-Safety to remind them all about how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely. The next unit allows student to apply their computational thinking to creating graphics using python turtle in EduBlocks. Following on from this, students will develop their knowledge and skills of hardware and software in Understanding Computers. Finishing the year, students will develop their digital literacy skills for using spreadsheets.

Year 8 students begin the year by expanding their understanding of E-Safety from Year 7 by looking into Cybercrime and how to protect against malware and forms of attack. Expanding on this, students will then begin to investigate how networks are used to share data and how to create different topologies and networks models such as Client Server, peer to peer, etc. Students will then investigate text-based languages with an introduction to Python, building on their EduBlocks knowledge from last year. They will then move on to develop their digital literacy skills for using spreadsheets before finishing the year with an exploration of ethical issues surrounding technology, looking into what the future of technology looks like using the literature Ready Player One.

Year 9 students will start the year further developing their understanding of Computational Thinking, including logic circuits. Building on these skills, students will look at data structures and recap on other programming skills in a high-level programming language. Moving on from this unit, students will investigate how computers represent images, sound, letters and numbers using Binary. Once complete, students will develop digital literacy skills in database management and understand how companies use databases to manage large volumes of data. They will end the year by learning about Ethics and Artificial Intelligence, and how we should use it respectfully and considerately.