Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to not only build up digital literacy skills which have traditionally been taught in schools, but also create an understanding of how computer systems work and how they contribute to our daily lives. Students are encouraged to explore for themselves, recognise and approach the subject as the scientific one that it is.
At the core of our subject, alongside learning about the principles of operation of computer systems, we aim to promote students as programmers, with our philosophy being that we are not teaching a programming language per se, but rather teaching the transferable skills which can be applied to fields and logical problems outside of software development.
The Year 7 curriculum is about building an understanding of what the subject involves and how it should be approached. At The Campion School, Computer Science becomes more than just learning how to operate a computer, use common productivity software and write some trivial programs.
Students will begin to use the correct terminology for Computer Systems and will develop an understanding of them in terms of a model for input, process and output. They will be able to recognise peripheral and internal components of a typical computer system and describe the roles of these components.
They will develop an understanding of how the internet works, and early on will be taught online safety, a topic which is also delivered through the pastoral curriculum at school. They will gain experience using software which will help them in their studies; most notably how to use a word processor.
Finally, they will make their first steps into programming using the visual language ‘Scratch’. We build upon the experience that they may have gained in primary school where they may have produced some simple animations and games by introducing the core skills which are prevalent throughout programming in all key stages. If your son has had no experience of using Scratch before then this will not be a problem as they can learn to construct impressive programs very quickly.
In Year 8 students will develop the understanding of the fundamentals that they first built up in Year 8. They will look into the history of the field of Computer Science, and will take their first step into low level hardware by learning how data is stored on a computer using the binary number system. By the end of the first term, students will be able to represent numbers and perform simple calculations in binary.
Students will also study web development and learn to write web pages using HTML. This unit will also enhance their understanding of the World Wide Web and also client-server systems.
As well as further lessons in digital literacy, the programming language Small Basic is taught. This is a powerful language with easy to learn syntax and a user friendly development environment.
Computing is popular with students who often look to develop their programming skills outside of lessons. This is encouraged and there are a range of activities that students can engage in, from being able to develop their skills at lunch time to entering national competitions for both programming and developing Computer Systems. The school also has a suite of Raspberry Pi Computers which allow them to work on projects and get to grips with low level computing if they so wish.