KS3 Curriculum Overview: Computing

Year 7

Autumn Term 1

Impact of Technology; Scratch Programming Part 1

Ethos links

Character – developing RRK, researching, finding & using evidence, planning & organisation, risk-taking, resilience, perseverance & learning from mistakes, critical thinking
STEM – problem solving, programming, making links & applying knowledge

Knowledge & Skills
Impact of Technology (Project Based Learning)

This unit has been designed to ensure that learners 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, learners 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.

Scratch Programming Part 1

The first part of the unit looks at the main programming concepts which are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Autumn Term 2

Computer The basics

Ethos links

MK – links to Bletchley Park
Character – critical thinking
STEM – problem solving, conversion of numbers, making links & applying knowledge

Knowledge & Skills
Computer The basics

This unit is an introduction to what a computer is, looking at the history of computers and what components make up a computer system and how they work. These components are CPU, memory & secondary storage. We will also look at the different storage units within computing and how to convert binary to denary and vice versa.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Spring Term 1

Spreadsheets; Networks

Ethos links

Character – researching
STEM – problem solving, making links & applying knowledge, understanding how networks work, modelling of data, using formulae within a model

Knowledge & Skills
Spreadsheets

This unit is focused on using spreadsheets efficiently and effectively to perform a range of activities. Students will focus on relative and absolute cell referencing, basic functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, COUNT and IF, understanding how to use conditional formatting and how to create graphs and charts.

Networks

This unit begins by defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols. The types of hardware required are explained, as is wired and wireless data transmission. Learners will develop an understanding of the term’s ‘internet’ and ‘World Wide Web,’ and of the key services and protocols used. Practical exercises are included throughout to help strengthen understanding.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Spring Term 2

Algorithms and Drawing & Manipulating Shapes

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, programming, collecting, using & distilling data, making links & applying knowledge

Knowledge & Skills
Algorithms and Drawing & Manipulating Shapes

This unit introduces students to computational thinking. Students will understand that computational thinking is not ‘thinking like a computer’ but thinking about and understanding problems (and the world) in terms of the processes going on, the data available, and the steps (presented in a standard notation) that need to be followed to achieve a goal. Learners will then look at how to write algorithms to be able to draw different shapes. Learners will then take this knowledge and draw shapes within Scratch and python

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Summer Term 1

Using Media

Ethos links

Sustainability – gaining support for a cause
Character – developing RRK, researching, independent skills, creating, imagining, and innovating, analysis and evaluation

Knowledge & Skills
Using Media

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

Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Summer Term 2

Scratch Programming Part 2; Scratch Game Development

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, programming, creating, imagining, and innovating
Character – critical thinking

Knowledge & Skills
Scratch Programming Part 2

Learners will then build on their understanding of the control structures’ sequence, selection, and iteration (the big three), and develop their problem-solving skills. Learners will learn how to create their own subroutines, develop their understanding of decomposition, learn how to create, and use lists, and build upon their problem-solving skills by working through a larger project at the end of the unit.

Scratch Game Development

In this unit pupils will be introduced to the Scratch programming environment and begin by reverse-engineering some existing games. They will then progress to planning and developing their own games, learning to incorporate variables, procedures (using the Broadcast function), lists and operators. They should be able to create a fully working game with lives, scoring and some randomisation of objects. Finally, they will learn to test and debug their programs.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Year 8

Autumn Term 1

Small Basic; Data Representation

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, programming, making links & applying knowledge, adding binary numbers, converting between different number bases
Character – risk-taking, resilience, perseverance & learning from mistakes, critical thinking, reasoning & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Small Basic

This is the first textual based programming language that students will learn at Watling Academy. In this unit students will learn the main programming concepts and the syntax to create programs using sequencing, variables, selection, count-controlled and condition controlled iteration.

Data Representation

This unit progresses on from the data representation content looked at in Year 7. Students will recap binary conversions and unit conversions. Students will then look at how to add 2 8-bit binary numbers together and will be able to explain what a binary overflow error is. Students will also look at programming a binary convertor in Small Basic.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Autumn Term 2

Flowol

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, making links & applying knowledge
Character – risk taking, resilience & learning from mistakes, critical thinking, reasoning, and making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Flowol

This unit introduces Flowol software and the flowchart method of creating a control program. It is a hands-on approach that puts the learner through a series of exercises. Each exercise uses a control program to explore different elements of control, starting with simple ideas and progressing to more complex examples.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Spring Term 1

Advanced Spreadsheets; Ethics of Computing

Ethos links

Sustainability – creating a quiz for a given scenario
STEM – making links & applying knowledge, making links & applying knowledge, analyse problems
Character – planning and organisation, resilience, researching, communication, listening

Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Spreadsheets

The unit progresses on from the spreadsheet unit taught in Year 7. Students will know and understand how to use validation to create drop-down lists, run simple queries and use macros to automate processes and how to record, edit and assign macros.

Ethics of Computing

In this unit students will understand the role of algorithms in decision making and understand the importance of respecting copyright.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Spring Term 2

HTML & Website Development; Animations

Ethos links

STEM – creating, imagining, and innovating
Character – research, planning & organisation, analysis, and evaluation

Knowledge & Skills
HTML & Website Development

Students will learn the basics of HTML and CSS, and how to create a responsive design which adapts to any size of screen for viewing on, say, a mobile phone or a PC. They will learn how to create text styles and add content, including text and graphics, in a specified position on a page, as well as navigation links to other pages on their website and to external websites. The basics of good design are covered, and, with the help of worksheets, pupils will develop their own templates in a text editor such as Notepad.

Animations

In this unit pupils will learn basic graphic drawing and animation techniques such as frame-by-frame animation and tweening, working with layers and adding simple interactivity and ActionScript. They will undertake a creative project to plan, create and evaluate a short animation of their own, as well as studying professionally made animations.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Summer Term 1

Video

Ethos links

STEM – creating, imagining, and innovating
Character – communication, listening, research, analysis, and evaluation

Knowledge & Skills
Video

In this unit pupils will undertake a creative project to analyse, plan, shoot and edit a short advertisement for TV, a short movie on a topic such as Cyber Crime or a short film trailer. The clip should ideally be limited to 30-60 seconds to fit within the timescales allowed. Pupils will first analyse existing TV advertisements, movie clips or film trailers, then storyboard their ideas in small groups and shoot each scene. They will then edit the clips gathered in filming into a short movie or advert.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Summer Term 2

Mobile Phone Development; GameMaker

Ethos links

Sustainability – creating a mobile phone application for a given scenario
STEM – problem solving, programming, making links & applying knowledge
Character – risk-taking, resilience, perseverance & learning from mistakes, critical thinking, reasoning & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Mobile Phone Development

this unit aims to take the learners from designer to project manager to developer to create their own mobile app. Using App Lab from code.org, learners will familiarise themselves with the coding environment and have an opportunity to build on the programming concepts they used in previous units before undertaking their project. Learners will work in pairs to consider the needs of the user; decompose the project into smaller, more manageable parts; use the pair programming approach to develop their app together; and finish off by evaluating the success of the project against the needs of the user.

GameMaker

In this unit pupils will be introduced to the GameMaker Game Editor/programming environment and begin by reverse-engineering an existing game.
They will then progress to planning and developing their own games, learning to incorporate variables, events, and actions, and making use of object-orientated programming techniques. Finally, they will learn to test and debug their programs

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Year 9

Autumn Term 1

Python Programming

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, programming, making links & applying knowledge
Character – risk-taking, resilience, perseverance & learning from mistakes, critical thinking, reasoning & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Python Programming

This is the second textual based programming languages being taught to students in Computing. In this unit students will learn the main programming concepts and the syntax to create programs using sequencing, variables, selection, count-controlled and condition controlled iteration.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Autumn Term 2

Data Representation

Ethos links

STEM – making links & applying knowledge, conversions of numbers
Character – resilience, perseverance & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Data Representation

This unit progresses on from the data representation unit that students were taught in Year 8. We will once again recap content taught in Year 7 and 8 and we will then start to look at how to represent numbers in Hexadecimal and how our computers use binary to represent characters.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Spring Term 1

AI

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, making links & applying knowledge
Character – critical thinking, thinking, reasoning & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
AI

The unit first looks at what AI is and the history and developments behind it. It then moves onto machine learning, which is used in more modern AI applications today. Ethics of AI are covered with students being able to consider a number of different areas of ethical concern. Students then apply theory to knowledge with three projects. First an image detection program is considered that can identify shapes. A chatbot is then adapted to serve customers in an online shop. Finally, a program that can create a rating on a text review is considered. These same techniques could be used to identify fake reviews on a website.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Spring Term 2

Computational Thinking & Logic

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, making links & applying knowledge
Character – critical thinking

Knowledge & Skills
Computational Thinking & Logic

This unit introduces students to the world of computational thinking and logic. With the help of many unplugged activities, students get to understand the power of problem solving and the different methods that Computer Scientists use to tackle problems. All activities that can be carried out by computer have a paper alternative.

Assessment
  • Written Assessment

Summer Term 1

Advanced Python Programming

Ethos links

STEM – problem solving, programming, making links & applying knowledge
Character – risk-taking, resilience, perseverance & learning from mistakes, critical thinking, reasoning & making judgements

Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Python Programming

This unit progresses on from the python programming unit at the beginning of Year 9. Students will look at advanced programming techniques such as lists, functions and reading and writing to files. Towards the end of the Unit students will tackle a programming a programming task which will utilise all their programming skills.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment

Summer Term 2

Sound

Ethos links

Sustainability – creating a radio advert for a given scenario
Character – planning and organisation, analysis & evaluation, communication, researching, creating, imagining & innovating, risk-taking

Knowledge & Skills
Sound

In this unit pupils will learn how sound is digitized and stored on computers. They will learn basic sound editing techniques and how to add sound effects and mix tracks. Ways of creating different sound effects (the job of a “foley artist”) are described. Pupils will undertake a creative project to analyse, plan, record and edit a short sound file. This could take the form of a radio advertisement or short podcast.

Assessment
  • Practical Assessment
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