Mr James Rice – Head of ICT and Computing – BSc Computing, PGCE ICT, MEd Professional studies.
Pupils at the Crypt currently follow the ‘Entry level Computer Science’ offered by OCR.
The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through discrete lessons taught previously in years 7 and 8. The content has been designed to allow for a solid basis of understanding to be developed and engage learners and get them thinking about real world application of Computer Science.
This course is designed to provide learners with a broad understanding of the world of Computer Science and encourage them to develop computational thinking, algorithm and programming skills. This is where pupil’s will start to learn with the Python programming language. It will prepare learners for GCSE by covering some similar content to the GCSE (9–1) Computer Science and provides a firm foundation from which learners may make informed decisions about progressing onto a GCSE (9–1) Computer Science
At GCSE pupils at the crypt follow the GCSE 9-1 Computer Science qualification offered by OCR.
The course will allow pupils to develop skills such as;
- Valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace
- A deep understanding of problem solving and experience in creating logical and efficient solutions to problems
- The ability to write down solutions to problems for other people to understand
- a good grounding in mainstream computing theory and understanding
There are two exam papers at the end of the syllabus, one focusing on computer systems and one with a focus on computational thinking, algorithms and programming. Each paper lasts 1.5 hours and is worth 80% of the total GCSE. Students will also complete a programming project in the final year of the course that will take a total of 20 hours to complete, and is worth 20% of the final GCSE award.
At A-level the Crypt offers the ‘Computer Science’ qualification offered by AQA.
“At its heart lies the notion of computational thinking: a mode of thought that goes well beyond software and hardware, and that provides a framework within which to reason about systems and problems.” (Computer Science a Curriculum for Schools)
This qualification is a natural progression from our GCSE qualification and for those that want to progress towards degree level or have a highly regarded qualification to complement their other A-levels.
The course is relevant to the modern world of computing and we use the Python programming language to solve and code solutions to real world problems. At AS the course involves two papers, one written and one on screen exam, which is programming solutions and answering theoretical questions in association with pre-release material from the awarding body. At A2 it is the same exam styles, one written (40%) and one on screen (40%), however there is a project that the student will need to complete from year 12 into year 13 based on a self-chosen real world problem to be solved. We encourage students to choose a programming language of their choice including C#, C++, Pygame or Unity as this gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work independently, a skill highly regarded by universities and apprenticeships.
The ICT department aims to develop students' personal qualities such as politeness, perseverance, initiative, empathy, self-confidence, independence and an ability to work effectively in a group.
The ICT department aims to enable all students to have equal access to ICT and experience success in their work.
The Learning Environment
The school is well equipped with one full time network manager and another part time.
There are 34 computers in room 15 and 16 both of which were recently upgraded with the ‘Windows 10’ operating system and a wide range of software to enhance learning.
As well as other computer rooms the library has 30 laptops, available for hire by individual pupils and six computers.
The sixth form is also well equipped with computers in the study rooms.
All of this is complemented with our recent decision to introduce an exciting IPad scheme where year 7 pupils can purchase an IPad through the school to use in lessons where instructed to make lessons even more engaging and fun.
Even though year 7 and 8 ICT is taught discretely in English and maths the department runs coding clubs and ‘Computer Teardown’ clubs where pupils can take apart computers and identify the hardware inside.