Computer Science & ICT Department

As technology underpins today’s modern lifestyle it is essential that all students gain digital skills, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. Cloughwood Academy provides a broad and balanced Computer Science and ICT curriculum which aims to equip pupils with a range of skills and knowledge in three main areas; digital literacy, digital creativity and computing. Pupils also learn about digital citizenship; understanding how to use the internet safely and responsibly, online dangers and how to deal with them and positive and negative effects on ICT in their lives.

Cloughwood Academy has a fully equipped Computer Science and ICT suite, where each workstation is installed with a range of software to support digital creativity, programming and functional ICT skills. In addition to desktop computers, pupils also use small programmable computers such as BBC Micro:Bits which support programming skills, and a range of other digital devices.  

The department ensures that pupils appreciate the relevance of technology in our society and that they see it as an essential tool for learning, communication, fact finding and for controlling and understanding their environment. As pupils progress through the Academy they have the ability to gain qualifications in Computer Science, ICT and Digital Applications.

 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum covers the following areas:

 

DIGITAL LITERACY

Pupils learn:

  • What the cloud is and how to utilise cloud services
  • How to be proficient in using a range of digital online/offline applications
  • How to transfer skills from one application to another
  • How to use search engines effectively
  • How to identify accurate information in the digital world
  • To use blogs, social networks and other online digital tools

DIGITAL CREATIVITY

Pupils learn:

  • The importance of evaluating existing digital content
  • To consider audience and purpose when designing and creating digital products
  • How to effectively combine text and images to produce effective digital products
  • To learn how to effectively edit, repurpose and combine digital elements.
  • The importance of self and peer evaluation
  • To be effective when working independently as well as when collaborating with team

 

COMPUTING

Pupils learn:

  • How to create interactive games by using a visual programming languages (including Scratch and Kodu)
  • Text-based programming languages (including HTML and Python) and related computational terminology
  • About the hardware components inside a computer
  • What an operating system is and why it is used
  • The history of Computer Science, as well as key figures in history
  • What an algorithm is and why they are used
  • A basic understanding how search engines work
  • Local area networks and wide area networks
  • A basic understanding of how the internet works

 

Key Stage 4:

Pupils begin the Edexcel Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) GCSE, a creative qualification for students with a passion for digital applications. It aims to empower students to play an active role in the digital sector rather than being simply consumers of digital content. It is tailor made to meet the needs of today’s creative industries, the qualification covers imaging, creative multimedia, website development and computer game production.

The qualification has been selected to meet the needs and interests of pupils. The project-based nature of this qualification allows students to progress at their own speed and showcase their capabilities. It is a real-life, outcome-driven qualification which inspires and challenges students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in real-world contexts.

Assessment

25% external examination. This takes form of a practical computer-based website development task.

75% coursework to be completed in school.