Computing - KS3
The development of Computing in students is one of progression and therefore in order to build on a student’s knowledge and understanding the skills that are taught need to be re-visited on a number of occasions throughout Key Stage 3, both within the discrete Computing curriculum and through cross curricular contexts.
All students acquire Computing capability through task based modules, which simultaneously deliver the necessary skills and knowledge. These tasks are designed to use word processing, databases, spreadsheets, DTP, graphics packages, web-design, animation and control software in a variety of ways. Modules vary in length. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the subject, the varying skill levels of students and the demand of other areas of the curriculum, these modules are extensively redeveloped each year.
Some modules involve students working in pairs their skills in working with others. Others involve a division of time so that students work individually to complete a series of written and practical tasks. Pupil’s works individually on the computers to develop skills of independent working, students spend their non-practical time working on appropriate written tasks related to the module. Homework is not given at Key stage 3 but may involve planning and researching from textbooks, CD-ROM’s or the Internet looking at the applications and effects of Information Communication Technology. For those students who do not have access to these resources at home are welcome to attend ICT club through the Extended Schools programme.
Students are introduced to a range of features of specific software throughout Key Stage 3 to equip them for independent use in Key stage 4, 6th form and life after school. It is expected that the majority of students will continue to develop their Computing knowledge and skills for many years to come. Students are given guidance and demonstrations of skills but it is expected that their interest and need to solve a task will promote independent learning. They gradually develop a sense of audience and become aware of the notion of an appropriate presentation for a particular audience.
As students become familiar with the layout and application of various software packages they are able to apply their understanding and knowledge to explore and utilise other software that they have not been formally introduced to. This will be encouraged throughout Key Stage 3, especially in Year 9 when students complete minor project tasks and are expected to independently select the necessary software appropriate for the task. It is necessary for students to develop this independent approach to learning, as it will be continued throughout Key stage 4 and A-level.