Support and Options Avalable For Computer Science and I-Media.
Information and Communication Technology is used throughout the School. It is important to both the curricular and extra-curricular activities of all students.
The Computing department at Birkdale High School is both dynamic and proactive. The computing facilities embrace new technology and are developing year by year.
The department has 6 well-equipped computer rooms with multi-media projection facilities and interactive whiteboards for class and group activities along with many machines around the academy, which can be used for private research and study. Students have access to scanners, digital cameras and quality colour and black and white lasers, which together enable them to print off professional looking course work.
The department follows the aims of the Computing National Strategy to raise standards by strengthening teaching and learning for all 11 to 14 year olds. The school provides a minimum of 60 minutes per week of discrete teaching throughout the key stage to ensure the delivery of the yearly teaching objectives for Computing.
Starting from September 2014 Year 7 students will be taught the new Computing Science curriculum. Year 8 and 9 students will focus on a course in both Digital Literacy and Computer Science. Topics covered in each year are below.
Computing offers students the opportunity to identify and solve real problems by designing a variety of systems relating to their personal interests.
This course encourages the creation and implementation of Computing in a variety of settings, with controlled assessments following different themes over both years of the course. The boys are given opportunities to develop competence, capability and analytical skills, becoming more independent and discerning users of Computing who can make informed decisions about its use.
The two examinations at the end of the course will enhance and assess the boys understanding of how Computing is used in both a home/school context and its application in a business or industrial environment.
Computing will also develop the skills the boys need to use across a variety of subjects, such as their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.
In Year 10 students will complete the first controlled assessment on Multimedia and start the second, Solving Problems with Computing.
In Year 11 students will complete the second and prepare for the examinations.
Specification from the examination board.
The department offers GCSE Computing Science from the OCR examination board.
The course enables students to:
40% - Computer systems and programming – Written Examination Paper (A451)
30% - Practical investigation – Controlled assessment (A452)
30% - Programming project - Controlled assessment (A453)
In Year 10 students will cover both the Computing Science Unit A451 and Unit A452 Practical Investigation.
This will include topics such as:
In Year 11 students will continue to cover the Computing Science Unit A451 and complete the Unit A453 Programming task.
Students will sit the examination based on Unit A451 at the end of Year 11.
Specification from the examination board.
Digital Media is a key part of many areas of our everyday lives and vital to the UK economy. Production of digital media products is a requirement of almost every business so there is huge demand for a skilled and digitally literate workforce. It lets learners gain knowledge in a number of key areas in the media field, from pre-production skills to digital animation, and offers a hands-on approach to learning. This qualification will help students develop specific and transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts. The qualification’s hands-on approach has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.
Three quarters of the qualification is tested by coursework that’s set and marked by your child’s teacher (RO82 Creating Digital graphics, RO86 Creating a digital animation, RO87 Creating interactive multimedia products). This will be done throughout the two or three year course. So if your child likes project work, enjoys research and doing practical things they may find a Cambridge National a better option than a GCSE.
One of the units that students must take – on RO81 Pre-production skills – involves a written exam that lasts one hour and 15 minutes and is set and marked by the examination board.