ICT, Computer Science & Business Studies
Curriculum Leader - Computing and Business Studies
Developments in the Technological and Business world has changed the way that we work over the past century and, to be able to excel in the modern world, it is more important than ever that we are digitally fluent. In the Computing and Business Studies faculty at Park, our goal is to make sure that our students are readily prepared to compete and succeed in this increasingly digital world. Students will sample a broad range of skills and draw upon the knowledge of other disciplines across the curriculum, such as Maths, Science and Design & Technology.
At KS3, our focus is on upskilling students through a variety of project centred work, gaining useful communication and teamwork skills too. By acquiring skills in ICT, Computer Science and Business Studies, students will develop an awareness of the evolving business and technological world and the many career prospects available. Our KS4 curriculum is designed to build upon the skills developed at KS3, and we offer courses in Computer Science, Vocational ICT, and Business Studies.
Key Stage 3 Computing & ICT
A high-quality computing education equips pupils 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 pupils 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, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils 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.
The National Curriculum for Computer Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Key Stage 3 Overview
At Key Stage 3 the department offers students the opportunity to work with a variety of software, aiming to develop knowledge and understanding. Students are exposed to industry standard software and begin to learn and develop their technical skills with coding and digital media. Students are encouraged to work in ways that will prepare them for the rigour of GCSE Computer Science and the creativity of BTEC ICT.
You will have the chance to study ICT as part of Park’s Curriculum Enrichment. You will gain a greater depth of understanding in using Microsoft Excel and Graphics Editing packages. These two programs are used at GCSE level within the coursework elements of Vocational ICT. The skills you learn will also help you in life after you leave school.
Each unit is assessed through a variety of independent study and summative assignments together at the end of each unit of work. The results of these assessments are reported home to parent via the termly student tracker.
- Encourage your child to consider how Technology has changed their lives.
- Encourage your child to work independently to solve problems.
- Encourage your child to evaluate their work, focusing on key strengths and way to improve.
- Encourage your child to participate in decision making around the home.
- Encourage your child to try to solve problems, could be as simple as helping to fix the washing machine!
- Encourage your child to use IT wherever possible.
- Encourage your child to plan their time effectively by setting mini deadlines that are achievable.
- Encourage your child to learn key terms that will be set at the start of every lesson.
Key Stage 4 Computer Science
Course overview: OCR’s GCSE (9–1) specification in Computer Science builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computing elements of Key Stage 3. It encourages learners to be inspired, and challenged through completing a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. The specification will help learners to gain an insight into related sectors. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
This is an engaging, contemporary course with an emphasis on giving an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on “behind the scenes”. Students will write their own code and “create” programmes rather than just “consuming” software written by others.
In addition to HTML, taught at KS3, students study the Python Programming Language. Python is a very popular programming language today and is widely used in various business sectors, such as programming, web development, machine learning, and data science. While these are the only languages taught in-depth, students are encouraged to explore as many programming languages as possible within their studies.
Below is an estimated guide to the structure of the course:
Year 9 Computer Science
In Year 9, students will study components of Unit 2, including algorithms and boolean logic as well as developing their programming skills.
Year 10 Computer Science
In Year 10, students will study components of Unit 1, including systems architecture, networks and ethics, as well as further developing their programming skills.
Year 11 Computer Science
In Year 11, students will recap and further develop areas of study within both Unit 1 and 2, focussing on exam skills and preparing them for GCSE. They will complete a mock project to demonstrate they have met the programming requirement for the course.
Assessment in Computer Science
Following every unit of work students develop their exam skills, as guided by their teacher, followed by a topic assessment. There are two whole-school assessment weeks, in which students will sit one of the two examined components of the course (progressing to both components in Year 11).
In addition to this, each week students will be set a Microsoft Teams quiz to complete, further developing their understanding of the key terms of the course.
Useful Resource Links
- GCSE (9-1) Computer Science J277 Specification (ocr.org.uk)
- Learn HTML HTML Tutorials (w3schools.com)
- Learn Python Python Tutorials (w3schools.com)
- Oak National Academy - Computing - Key Stage 4 Computing Lessons
- GCSE topics — Isaac Computer Science
- GCSE Computer Science - OCR - BBC Bitesize
- 6-a-day Questions CSUK:ReviseCS (computerscienceuk.com)
Key Stage 4 Level 1/2 Vocational Award in ICT
The Vocational Award in ICT has been designed to support learners in schools who want to learn about this sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study. It is a foundation for further study. This further study would provide learners with the opportunity to develop a range of specialist and general skills that would support their progression to employment.
Key Stage 4 Business and Enterprise
The Business and Enterprise course at Park High School aims to inspire all students to learn knowledge and practical enterprise skills to prepare them for a career in business. We endeavour to develop significant personal and vocational business skills that can be transferred to further study or employment.
Our vocational curriculum for Business and Enterprise incorporates both practical (synoptic) and exam based elements to engage a range of students.
Students are inspired by inspirational business people/entrepreneurs as well as learning all elements required to start and develop a successful business.
To support learning the examination element is available at different points within the year. Study time enables students to access the full curriculum throughout the entire course which allows students to be confident in their subject knowledge.
We endeavour to create a supportive, inspirational and motivational, yet challenging environment that allows students to participate in business projects, to gain first-hand experience of a real business environment. This enriches and challenges the entire range of pupils who choose this subject and allows them to pursue an element(s) within a business environment. Encouraging practical engagements ensures students gain a sense of both achievement and enjoyment, whilst gaining vital skills that can be transferred to employment or further study.
To promote independence and to ensure pupils have high aspirations, students are engaged in monitoring their own learning through a traffic light systems which is mapped against target grades, this enables students to recognise their own progress. Independence is promoted through the building of a portfolio to help embed knowledge into long term memory and to link the areas of the curriculum together.