The King's School in Macclesfield

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      ICT and Computing

      About the Department

      The Computing Department consists of 3 full-time and 1 part-time specialist teachers. Each member of the department is an experienced teacher with a proven track-record of outstanding academic results. Students are taught both ICT (looking at the use of computers and software) and Computer Science (a technical focus on how the computer works and software is build) concepts. 

      The overall aims of the Computing Department are: 

      • to ensure that pupils fulfil their potential in Computing
      • to enthuse our pupils about Computing and to promote enjoyment of the subject  
      • to enable pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and to develop self-confidence in their approach to work 
      • to help our pupils appreciate the social, technological and economic implications of Computing 
      • to enable our pupils to develop safe practical skills 
      • to enable our pupils to develop investigative skills 
      • to provide courses that fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and where possible look beyond this 
      • to provide a variety of teaching and learning experiences 

      Examination Results

      GCSE  
      A*/A = 45%             A*-C = 100%

      A Level        
      A = 22%                   A*-B = 67%               A*-D = 100%              

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      Key Stage 3 

      In Year 7 students develop their confidence in using a wide range of applications and programming environments. Topics include: Scratch (beginner to advanced), Prezi, HTML web development (introduction), Logo programming and office applications. 

      In Year 8 students build upon their experience through projects involving: Gamemaker, Python programming, spreadsheets, HTML web development (intermediate), video creation and editing and BBC Microbit programming. 

      In Year 9 students are encouraged to broaden their understanding further and begin to lay the foundations to support them should they continue to study the subject to GCSE level. Topics include: App Inventor, Database Management Systems, Python programming (intermediate), Java programming and a research project looking at the social, moral, legal and ethical aspects of computer usage. 

      Key Stage 4 

      King’s introduced GCSE Computer Science for the first time in 2014 and we are now teaching our fourth cohort. We follow the AQA awarding body specification and students are taught 6 periods per fortnight. The GCSE has a strong focus on programming and logical problem solving. The course explores topics including networking standards and protocols, computer hardware down to the level of logic circuits, data representation including binary and hexadecimal, and cyber security including cryptography and ciphers. 

      Sixth Form 

      Computer Science is a popular choice at A Level and is assessed through written examination, practical programming examination and non-exam assessment (coursework). It is not essential for students to have taken GCSE Compute Science in order to enrol on this course although it is advantageous. Students will undertake summer work prior to starting in Y12 in order to explore the principals of computer programming. The course is linear with all examination taking place in Y13; as such regular examination practice and familiarisation with past papers and mark schemes is an essential part of the process of readying students. Students will have an opportunity the opportunity to work with Visual Basic, Python and Java programming languages. 

      Enrichment Opportunities

      • British Informatics Olympiad (Cambridge University)
      • National Cipher Challenge (University of Southampton)
      • Alan Turing Cryptography Competition (Manchester University)
      • App Programming
      • Raspberry Pi Programming
      • National Coding Competitions

      Careers

      Many of our A Level students go onto higher education courses to study degrees in computing or ICT related areas. More than half of the Computing students have received First Class Honours Degrees and go on to study for their Masters Degree. A number of student have programs or software products that are commercially available.

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