Computing

Head of Department: Mr J. McQueeney | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Pupils at Scissett Middle School study Computing for one hour per week throughout Years 6, 7 and 8. Pupils also have many opportunities to use computers in other subjects, where they are taught new skills and also are able to practise the skills that they have learned in their Computing lessons.

The school has invested heavily in computer technology and has two dedicated computer suites - one which is permanently used for teaching Computing lessons, and another which is bookable for all subjects to use. 

In Computing lessons the pupil : computer ratio is always 1:1. There are also computers available in other areas of school such as the Learning Resource Centre and Shared Area.

Other ICT devices in school for pupils to use include Kindle e-readers in the Learning Resource Centre, digital cameras, digital video cameras and electronic keyboards in music.

YEAR 6

In Year 6 Computing, pupils will study seven modules – “Basic Skills”, “Perfect Presentations”, “Internet & e-Safety”, “Project Mars”, “Spreadsheets”, “Programming & Control” and “Sound & Vision”.

Basic Skills

Students will learn how to log onto the school network and discuss the importance of secure passwords. They will complete an ICT baseline test. They will then use a range of programs as an introduction to ICT in the school, with an emphasis on saving, retrieving and printing work correctly. Finally, they will end this module with a revision of skills in Microsoft Word, focusing on spelling, punctuation and formatting of text.

Perfect Presentations

Pupils will look at example presentations in Powerpoint and evaluate the effectiveness of each one – pointing out good points and weaknesses. They will plan, develop & implement a presentation called “About Me” to be shown to the rest of the class.At each stage pupils will improve the presentation both in terms of spellings, punctuation, grammar etc and also in terms of fonts, sizes, colours.

Internet & e-Safety

Students will discuss online safety and how to act responsibly online. They will look at the ways in which people communicate online, the type of information that people post online and decide which is safe, which is dangerous and which information depends. The will also look at ways of dealing with online safety issues.

Finally, students will be introduced to the school’s VLE and online forums.

Project Mars

Pupils will look how computers are programmed, how they count in binary and how they control robots.

They will look at the Martian Rovers and discuss how instructions can be sent to the Rovers from Earth.

They will work in groups to program a robot to move around obstacles.

They will look at the importance of creating accurate sequences of commands, working in small groups to control a robot and individually to control a Turtle on the computer.

Finally, they will revisit some of the skills from the Basic Skills unit to design an improved Martian Rover robot.

Spreadsheets

Students will work through a set of learning exercises in Excel covering basic formulae - +, -, /, *, SUM and AVERAGE.

Programming & Control

Pupils will create some simple programs in Scratch.  They will go on to control a turtle in LOGO and then apply this in Scratch.  They will also learn some simple commands in BASIC.

Sound & Vision

Pupils will look at uses of sound and video. They will learn how to put together sequences of images, video and sounds for a specific objective such as storytelling and advertising.

At the end of the module, pupils will create their own film trailer.

YEAR 7

In Year 7 Computing, pupils will study six modules – “Bitmap Graphics”, “Vector Graphics & DTP”, “Graphics Programming”, “Spreadsheets and Cryptography”, “Animation & Control” and “Integrated Project – Super Powered.”

Bitmap Graphics

Pupils will work on a number of image creation and manipulation tasks. They will gather, input and process both real life and computer created images. The students will also cover topics of self image and how the media may use images in magazines and advertisements.

They will create a portfolio of work in PowerPoint, and will create a film poster for a specific target audience.

Vector Graphics

Pupils will look at the idea of having a “corporate image” for work, where colour schemes, fonts, sizes etc are kept the same throughout a document or product.

They will look at company logos and at what features make a good logo. They will produce logos for specific companies or organisations and evaluate other students’ work.

They will use one of their logos to produce a leaflet incorporating their own corporate image.

Graphics Programming

Pupils will use Scratch and MSW LOGO to create sequences of commands for the computer.

In MSW LOGO this will involve drawing shapes on the screen, using loops to repeat sets of instructions, calculating angles to draw polygons, creating subroutines and calling subroutines from a program.

Pupils will then explore and create their own graphics programs using BASIC.

Pupils will look at the idea of having a “corporate image” for work, where colour schemes, fonts, sizes etc are kept the same throughout a document or product.

Spreadsheets & Cryptography

Pupils will work through a set of learning exercises in Excel covering basic formulae - +, -, /, *, SUM and AVERAGE.

They will investigate the use of brackets in formulae and will also look at the use of absolute cell references.

Pupils will then look at some real-life uses of spreadsheets such as predicting sales profits in a shop.

Pupils will then look at the work of Alan Turing and build spreadsheets to break coded messages.

Animation & Control

Pupils will produce some simple animations using Scratch.  They will then go on to create their own game in Scratch.

Integrated Project: “The Legion”

Pupils will work on a series of tasks using different programs to create a superhero character. They will design a costume, a team logo and team identity cards.

They will use a spreadsheets to break a coded message, and then use a database to identify a supervillain.

Finally, they will use the programming skills from a previous module to control a robot through a maze to the villain’s hideout.

YEAR 8

In Year 8 Computing, pupils will study eight modules – “Posters & Presentation”, “How Computers Work”, “Web Page Design”, “Sequencing, Programming & Control”, “Spreadsheets”, “Databases”, “Graphics & Games Programming” and “Video Editing & Photography”.

Posters & Presentation

Pupils will revisit some of the skills from Years 6 & 7 to produce a prototype poster for a school Halloween party.

They will then use a set of criteria to comment on other pupils’ work and suggest improvements.

They will then look at some more advanced graphics techniques to improve their poster and will finally produce a finished product that is suitable for a specific target audience, whilst producing a portfolio of evidence showing the resources that they have used and different stages of the design process.

Finally they will evaluate their own work and seek feedback from other pupils on their final poster.

Web Page Design

Pupils will look at some examples of good and poor websites and produce written evaluations of them.

They will then look at how to create a set of web pages and link them together using hyperlinks in a menu bar.

Pupils will plan and create their own small website for a specific target audience.

Finally they will evaluate their own work and seek feedback from other pupils on their finished website.

Sequencing, Programming & Control

In FLOWOL pupils will program a toy for a child such that each button has a purpose, but sequences of button presses have new effects on the toy in order to add interest and make the toy educational. They will also look at programming two sets of traffic lights to make them work in sequence at each side of a narrow bridge.

They will then complete an assessed project to create a system for a car park that controls IN and OUT barriers, counts cars in and out and utilises a “Full” sign that automatically stops cars from entering until another car leaves. Pupils will need to explain how their programs work, how they have changed them as they work through the problems and what further improvements could be made.

In BASIC, pupils program a “Maths Machine” calculator and create a guessing game.

Spreadsheets

Pupils will revise the work they have previously done using spreadsheets – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They will look at the use of brackets to control the order of mathematical operations.

They will then go on to look at SUM, AVERAGE, MAX and MIN functions and will then learn how to use IF statements and the COUNTIF function.

Pupils will practice these skills by working out profit and loss in a business scenario.

Pupils will learn how to lock and password protect a spreadsheet and will look at how different levels of security are needed for different applications.

Finally, they will use their knowledge of spreadsheets to create a general knowledge quiz that will automatically give the user their score.

Creating & Using Databases

Pupils will look at how databases are used and discuss how their own details are collected and stored on various databases around the world.

They will learn how to create a new database, create a user form for adding records, add, delete and edit records, import records from a CSV file, and use queries to search a database using multiple criteria.

Graphics & Games Programming

Pupils will use Scratch or BASIC to create their own computer game.

Video Editing & Photography

Pupils will return to the video editing skills that they did in Year 6, this time using their own pictures to create a short video of their time at Scissett Middle School.