ICT and Computer Science
Welcome to the Kingsmead School ICT and Computer Science Learning Team.
Information Communication Technology is present in every aspect of our lives. Here at Kingsmead we believe that the ability to participate effectively in this digital global economy and online society is of the utmost importance. Additionally, there is a growing demand for programmers and computer scientists in the British workforce and students are needing to prepare themselves for the possibility of working in highly regarded IT careers in the future. When they apply for their first job or college place, ICT or Computer Science will be a key qualification that will set them out as a desirable candidate.
With this in mind we aim to utilise a range of up-to-date tools and software packages that allow the students to experience what it will be like working in the IT sector in the future. We place a strong emphasis on using a range of tools from Microsoft’s Office 365 alongside our other online learning environments such as Firefly. We use a series of design and media tools including the Serif suite and we have a range of different computer science and programming software available to teach computer science in a variety of ways.
We have 3 dedicated computer suites in the school, including the refurbished e-learning centre (ELC), each equipped with 32 desktop computers running Microsoft Windows. There are also a number of other computer clusters in a variety of areas around the school which allow students to be exposed to using ICT in many of their subject areas. “BYOD” (bring your own device) and use of mobile technologies such as tablets is also encouraged and actively utilised where appropriate, using the school’s extensive WiFi network, giving students broad access to an up-to-date range of tools for learning.
Students receive 2 hours of ICT lessons per fortnight in key stage 3 (years 7 and 8). We spend time exploring topics across the ICT and Computer Science curriculums such as:
- Online safety and digital life, including moral, ethical and legal decision making
- How computers, networks and the internet works
- Computational thinking, algorithms, flow charting and representing data using binary
- Visual and textual programming from Scratch through to Python
- Digital and interactive media production
- Research into future technologies and impact on society
In key stage 4 we offer two optional routes. The first is an applied ICT and Media qualification where students have the opportunity to explore a range of different media production methods and a chance to learn about the theories behind the ever-developing digital society that we live in. The qualification, which is largely coursework based but with examined modules, looks deeper into the pre-production of media (how it is planned) and the different forms of media that are used in the digital world. This includes video, graphics, sound and websites. The use of day-to-day and specialist software and online services is a core part of the learning.
The other route is to study computer science. This is a rigorous and academic GCSE qualification that aims to study the inner workings of computer systems and their impact on society. It also studies computational thinking, algorithm design and textual programming. The latter of these results in a study where a computer program has to be designed, created and evaluated to solve a set problem. There are 2 written exams for computer science which focus on the theoretical side of the course.
Additional to the curriculum offering, the ICT and Computer Science team offer several extra-curricular opportunities for students to engage in, including clubs using our Lego Robotics kits, programming projects and competitions, and a digital leadership programme where some of our students utilise and promote the use of media across the school or assist with the training and delivery of ICT to staff and students.