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Computing

Computer Science teaches students to think as much as it teaches them to code. As a subject and career, Computer Scientists are in demand! We live in a digital age; computer programs have all but infiltrated every aspect of our lives. A Computer Scientist is needed in nearly all areas of our daily lives and every industry uses computers, so naturally Computer Scientists can work in any environment.

Computer Science/ICT is our children’s present and their future. At Plympton Academy our ethos is based on the philosophy that students become independent users. We use an extensive collection of educational tools to support and enhance our children’s learning. Our purpose is to ensure that students not only become proficient users of ICT and programmers, but are able to transfer these skills over to other subject areas.

Across all age ranges our classes are encouraged to work as independently as possible. We have created a co-operative learning environment where, once practical demonstrations have been presented by the teacher, students work in teams to help each other in their tasks and solve their own problems should they encounter any.

Work is marked on a regular basis with feedback given electronically through online work books. At all times students know what their current level of achievement is, what they need to do to improve it and, most importantly, how to improve it. It is this empowerment of students that has resulted in student grades being consistently high.


In Year 7 and 8, students are taught as part of a carousel.

Topics studied this year are:

 *  E-Safety

 *  Using the internet as a source of information

 *  Introduction to Computer Science

 *  Planning a programming project

 *  Evidencing a learning journey

 *  Programming using Blockly

 *  Programming using the BBC micro:bit

 *  Introduction to Python

 *  Python Development


Year 9

In Year 9 we start to prepare our students for the requirements and working practices of the GCSE years. A number of tasks are set requiring the students to build up a comprehensive knowledge and skills bases for the course. All of these skills are directly transferable to their GCSE work in Year 10.

 *  Computer Systems

 *  Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

 *  Programming projects


Year 10 and 11

Description of the Course

We study a GCSE in Computer Science, offered by OCR.

Course content will cover 3 units:

 *  Computer Systems

 *  Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

 *  Programming projects

The GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical; encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in Computer Science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.


Assessment Procedure

 *  Computer Systems - exam (40% of total GCSE)

 *  Computational thinking, algorithms and programming - exam (40% of total GCSE)

 *  Programming projects NEA (20% of total GCSE)**

** note that OCR removed this unit in the 2018 qualification and split the assessment weighting between the two other subjects.


Progression

This course can provide the basis for related courses at AS level, Intermediate and Advanced levels in Computer Science or ICT.


Meet the staff

 *  Mrs Jeanne-Marie Madderson – Head of Department

 *  Mr Jason Quiterio – Computer Science Teacher

 *  Mrs Margaret Lucas– Computer Science Teacher


Career Options

As tomorrow’s Computer Science professionals, our students are likely to be working with technologies that don’t exist yet. It’s not just computer programming - they will have their choice of industries; banking and finance, health, insurance, defence, manufacturing, telecommunications, agriculture, environment and hospitality to name but a few. It is our aim to ensure that whatever pathway they choose after Post-16 is accessible to them with the qualifications we offer. Many of our students have gone on to successfully win places at universities around the country, studying a diverse range of subjects.

For those wanting to embark immediately on a career in Computer Science, the south west has a long history of technological innovation and, combined with a modern communications infrastructure, this makes the region the location of choice for world class ICT companies.


Software used in ICT that is free for you to use at home

In Computer Science we aim to use software that is free to use at home, as it is available on the internet. Below is a list of this software and the links to download it from anywhere.