Computing


“Inspiring Confident and Creative Users of 21st Century Digital Technology”

Overview

The Computing department at Heartlands Academy offers a wide range of courses across the whole age range. We aim to make all students computer literate and to do this we provide a curriculum which is challenging, progressive and relevant. Our high-quality computing education equips our students with computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. By continually building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that our students become digitally literate at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.


Key Staff

Mr Ahsan
Computing Co-ordinator

Mr Miah
ICT Co-ordinator

Miss Nawaz
ECDL Co-ordinator

Mr Akbar


Facilities

Computing is taught in three specialist state of the art ICT suites equipped with the latest modern hardware and software to allow the delivery of engaging lessons through student innovation and expression ensuring that students are proficient in the applications used by business and industry. The department draws on numerous resources to deliver the subject:

  • Computer Hardware and Software
  • Online Learning Environment
  • Interactive Resources
  • Text Books

All students receive electronic copies of the resources for each project they work on. Parents are encouraged to get actively involved by reading the resources and learning how to use new technologies with their children.


Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Students in Key Stage 3 will be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. They will become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

Year 7 focuses on ensuring students are confident using most common applications. Students also look at what E-Safety is and how it affects them personally. They also look at the history of the development of computers and start learning the basics of programming using Kodu and Python.

Year 7 Topics:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Presenting Information using Animation and Graphics
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Database Software
  • HTML
  • Web Awareness & E-Safety
  • Programming in Kodu
  • Understanding Computers
  • Introduction to Programming in Python

In Year 8 students begin to develop efficient and effective solutions to more complex problems. They begin to learn how to design algorithms using flow charts and pseudo code. Students also look at the techniques used to build websites and understand how computer networks operate.

Year 8 Topics:

  • Algorithm Design
  • Intermediate Programming in Python
  • Digital Multimedia - Imaging, Video & Audio
  • Building Websites in Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
  • Networks & Communication

In Year 9 students further develop and enhance their skills to prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. They look at how computers work in terms of the hardware and the logic inside them. Students gain an underpinning of different number systems. They develop their programming further learning a range of algorithms to solve real world problems.

Year 9 Topics:

  • Advanced Spreadsheets
  • Advanced Databases
  • Hardware, Software and Logic
  • Denary, Binary & Hexadecimal Number Systems
  • Graphics Editing
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Advanced Programming in Python

How Parents can Support

Parents are encouraged to work and support their children at home with their KS3 Computing curriculum. They should engage in discussions with their children on the projects that they are working on as well as any homework they are asked to complete. Parents can use all electronic resources provided for the students as well as a plethora of online websites and tools.

Useful Websites:

  • BBC Bitesize - KS3 Computer Science
  • Teach-ICT.com - KS3 Computing
  • Codecademy - Learn to code interactively, for free
  • Code Avengers - Learn to build websites, apps and games in a fun and effective way
  • CodeCombat - Learn how to code by playing a game
  • Khan Academy - Math, science, computer programming, history, art, economics, and even more free online classes

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At Key Stage 4 students either complete the AQA GCSE Computer Science/OCR GCSE Computer Science course or the BCS ECDL Level 2 course.


AQA GCSE Computer Science

The GCSE Computer Science specification has been created to get students working with real-world programming and provides a good understanding of the fundamental principles of computing as well as developing their computational thinking skills. This provides an academically challenging specification for students of all ability levels. Students can choose from a range of programming languages for non-exam assessment providing them with flexibility and greater scope to achieve the highest grades. The GCSE Computer Science course has built-in progression to further studies and is recognised as developing the skills that employer’s value.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

Subject Content:

  1. Fundamentals of Algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of Data Representation
  4. Computer Systems
  5. Fundamentals of Computer Networks
  6. Fundamentals of Cyber Security
  7. Ethical, Legal and Environmental Impacts of Digital Technology on Wider Society, Including Issues of Privacy
  8. Aspects of Software Development
  9. Non-Exam Assessment

Parents can visit the AQA website to find further information on the GCSE Computer Science course as well as viewing the full specification.


BCS Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills

The BCS Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills qualification covers core IT applications commonly used in many organisations around the world. Completing this qualification will improve students’ understanding of these IT applications and teach them how to use the software efficiently. It will also teach students how to use a computer confidently and effectively, and encourages problem-solving, creativity and communication.

The BCS ECDL Level 2 course consists of four mandatory examination based units. The units are as follows:

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Improving Productivity using IT

Parents can visit the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, website to find further information on the ECDL Level 2 course as well as viewing the full specification.


Key Stage 5 Curriculum

We offer an A Level in Computer Science as well as the BCS ECDL Advanced Level 3 course.


AQA AS / A Level Computer Science

The AS and A Level Computer Science course delivered at Heartlands Academy Sixth Form gives a general grounding in computing, including an understanding of computer systems, the principles of programming, and the solving of problems. The course will above all else be relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. It will:

  • Focus on programming, building on the GCSE Computing course with the emphasis on the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.
  • Have an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.
  • Put computational thinking at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.
  • Allow student to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner.
  • Give students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS, CAS and top universities.

AS Level Subject Content:

  1. Fundamentals of Programming
  2. Fundamentals of Data Structures
  3. Fundamentals of Algorithms
  4. Theory of Computation
  5. Fundamentals of Data Representation
  6. Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  7. Fundamentals of Computer Organisation and Architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of Computing
  9. Fundamentals of Communication and Networking

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

A Level Subject Content:

  1. Fundamentals of Programming
  2. Fundamentals of Data Structures
  3. Fundamentals of Algorithms
  4. Theory of Computation
  5. Fundamentals of Data Representation
  6. Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  7. Fundamentals of Computer Organisation and Architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of Computing
  9. Fundamentals of Communication and Networking
  10. Fundamentals of Databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of Functional Programming
  13. Systematic Approach to Problem Solving
  14. Non-exam Assessment - the Computing Practical Project

Parents can visit the AQA website to find further information on the AS and A Level Computer Science course as well as viewing the full specification.


BCS Level 3 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Advanced)

The BCS Level 3 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Advanced) qualification enables students to recognise the application of a range of IT user skills and knowledge in the workplace, meeting employer workforce demands. ECDL Advanced is a fixed combination qualification, which builds on existing knowledge of key software applications including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. The achievement can be used as credit transfer towards a flexible Level 3 ITQ diploma. The BCS ECDL Advanced Level 3 consists of five mandatory examination based units. The units are as follows:

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Database Software
  • Improving Productivity using IT

Parents can visit the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, website to find further information on the ECDL Advanced Level 3 course as well as viewing the full specification.


Computing
Computing
Computing