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Falinge Park High School

Opening Doors; Unlocking Potential

Computing

Ms S Smith – Head of Computing & Business Studies

“From phones to cars to medicine, technology touches every part of our lives. If you can create technology, you can change the world.”

– Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President, Google

Compelling Learning in Computing

Computing skills and understanding are more vital now than ever. Traditional industries, markets and workplaces have been totally transformed. New products, technologies and applications develop and become part of our lives with such breath-taking rapidity that the national curriculum shift from IT to “computing” is a welcome one.

We aim to design and deliver compelling learning experiences to enthuse and equip our young people with the crucial computing skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century and to inspire them with the incredible possibilities opened up by technology.

We understand they must know not just how to use computers, but how computer systems work, designed and programmed, understand the hardware and software, the Internet and the rapidly expanding world of digital communications effectively.

Computer science incorporates techniques and methods for solving problems and advancing knowledge,including a distinct way of thinking and working. It allows pupils to tackle problems, to break them down into solvable chunks and to devise algorithms to solve them. This aligns perfectly with our school vision for creativity.

Through specialist teaching, use of relevant and emerging tools/services and resources (including MOOCs), guided discovery and collaborative learning approaches, pupils will develop computational thinking skills enabling them to become resilient problem solvers; ones who are creative and able to apply their skills and understanding effectively and responsibly within their personal and shared learning networks and digital communities.

Curriculum

For pupils who choose Computing or CiDA, Year 9 core IT becomes their ‘foundation’ year for these qualifications seeking to extend their knowledge, understanding and technical proficiency in the areas most relevant to their chosen course of study before they progress onto the qualification proper in Year 10/11.

As qualifications are in a period of reform, rather than itemise the specific units and assessment weightings we believe it is more useful to provide the following overview. Therefore, regardless of qualification, pupils will aim to develop the ability to:

knowledge and understanding of existing/future hardware, networks and software/services
knowledge and understanding of the existing/future use and positive/negative impact of ICT in relation to their own and other’s identity and privacy, communications, leisure, work, commerce, education and health
knowledge and understanding of the legislation relating to computers/computer use
ability to analyse real-life problems to identify how ICT is or could be used and identifying solutions and success criteria
researching; selecting and using appropriate resources, keeping records, and showing awareness of copyright and relevant legal matters
design; publication and system design showing accurate software selection and the ability to incorporate feedback
implementation; producing solutions and presenting ideas to explain development work
self and peer evaluation

Enrichment

In order to “unlock” the potential of our pupils we offer daily, lunch-time ‘drop-in’ sessions for using computers/the internet. These are for pupils in all years for homework/personal study.

In addition, we run clubs, annual competitions, events and trips throughout the year.  Pupils have participated in coding activities with MoSI, getting “hands-on” with Raspberry Pi, had opportunities to create and submit games concepts for the BAFTA Young Games Designer competition, programmed drones and undertaken STEM challenges, developed animations, seen and found out more about emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality at EON, Manchester, and most recently worked  with experts and mentors from IBM and Manchester University at their ThinkIT event.

Next year, we look forward to receiving our BBC Microbits for Year 7 pupils.

We are always looking to recruit pupil champions (experts) to help out in lessons, to run or support extra-curricular clubs/sessions, and to help/advise others about using the computers and staying safe.

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