Head of Department: Mr J. McQueeney | email@example.com
Pupils at Scissett Middle School study Computing for one hour per fortnight throughout Year 6, and one hour per week in Year 7 and 8.
In Computing lessons the pupil : computer ratio is always 1:1. Other ICT devices in school for pupils to use include Kindle e-readers, digital cameras, digital video cameras and electronic keyboards in music.
Click here to see how British Moral Values are taught in Computing.
In Year 6 Computing, pupils will study four modules:
- Basic Skills
- Project Mars
- Games and Variables
Students will learn how to log onto the school network and discuss the importance of secure passwords. 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, and on using technology responsibly and safely.
Students will work through a set of learning exercises in Excel covering cell references, basic formulae ( +, -, /, *) and the SUM and AVERAGE functions.
Pupils will look how computers are programmed, how they count in binary and how they control robots. They will use the program FLOWOL to create sequences of instructions related to road safety – e.g. traffic lights. They will look at the Martian Rovers and discuss how instructions can be sent to the Rovers from Earth. They will program a virtual robot to move around obstacles. They will look at the importance of creating accurate sequences of commands, and control a Turtle on the computer to draw specific shapes.
Games and Variables
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.
In Year 7 Computing, pupils will study six modules:
- Bitmap Graphics and Vector Graphics
- Graphics Programming
- Spreadsheets and Cryptography
- Animation and Control
- Data Programming
- Integrated Project – “Super Powered”
Bitmap and Vector Graphics
Pupils will work on a series of image 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. Pupils will look at company logos and at what features make a good logo. They will produce logos for specific companies or organisations and evaluate their own work.
Pupils learn about the parts that make up a modern pc. They will revisit the use of 4-bit binary numbers, and extend this to converting 8-bit binary numbers between denary and binary and vice versa. 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.
Spreadsheets and Cryptography
Pupils will work through a set of revision exercises in Excel covering basic formulae - +, -, /, *, SUM and AVERAGE. They will investigate the use of brackets in formulae, linking this to BIDMAS in Mathematics 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 learn about the work of Alan Turing and build spreadsheets to break coded messages.
Animation and Control
Pupils will use FLOWOL to create sequences of instructions using selection and repetition. They will design a toy for a young child that has hidden functions. Pupils will produce some animations using Scratch and engage in a series of problem-solving exercises using Scratch. They will then go on to create their own game in Scratch.
Pupils will revise the RGB colour model and iteration in the form of FOR…NEXT loops. They will use these with selection using IF…THEN…ELSE statements to decode a set of binary numbers into a computer image. Finally, they will use the RGB colour model to alter the colours of the image produced from binary numbers. Pupils will then program a sprite in BASIC using binary numbers, use iterations to move it across the screen and RGB codes to alter the colours.
Integrated Project - 'Super Powered'
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 spreadsheet 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.
In Year 8 Computing, pupils will study eight modules:
- Data Handling
- Posters and Presentation
- The Maths Machine
- How Computers Work
- Sequencing, Programming and Control
- Graphics and Gaming
- Arrays and Macros
Pupils will use spreadsheets to enter data, analyse results and produce bar charts and scatter graphs. They will produce data to look at surface area:volume ratio for simple shapes, and link this to cooling systems in computers, and in biology.
Posters and Presentation
Pupils will revisit some of the skills from Year 6 & 7 to produce a prototype poster for a school Halloween party. 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. Finally, they will evaluate their own work and if necessary make further improvements. Some pupils will extend this by producing a poster from another event, this time gathering their own resources.
The Maths Machine
Pupils will revise some of the programming skills from Year 7 by creating a flow diagram for a lighthouse program, using subroutines to improve the efficiency of the programs. They will revisit the use of IF…THEN…ELSE selection and write a short program using a series of IF…THEN…ELSE decisions. Each of these skills are then put together in a project to create a “Maths Machine” – a calculator that will carry out basic functions, but will also calculate areas of shapes, square roots etc.
How Computers Work
Pupils will revise binary and denary conversion, and look at how hexadecimal numbers are used in RGB colour codes. They will revise AND, OR and NOT gates and then look at NAND, NOR and XOR gates. They will then complete exercises using truth tables for the gates or sequences of gates. Pupils will also learn about computer memory, storage and transfer speeds, and units such as Kb, KB, mb, MB, MiB etc.
Sequencing, Programming and Control
In FLOWOL pupils will 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 revise the work they have previously done using spreadsheets – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, SUM and AVERAGE. They will look at the use of brackets to control the order of mathematical operations and link this to BIDMAS in Mathematics. They will then go on to use 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.
Graphics and Gaming
Pupils will revisit the programming skills from Y7 and earlier in Y8 to create a “Guessing Game” in BASIC. They will revise the parts of a pc and logic gates.
Pupils will look at how databases are used and discuss how their own details are collected and stored on various databases around the world. Using Microsoft Access, 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.
Arrays and Macros
Pupils will create arrays to store months of the year in English and French. They will extend the work done in Y7 decoding binary sequences into images, but this time using arrays to store the data sequences. They will discuss how the breaking down of images, text or sound is used in the entertainment industry and in NASA for sending messages such as those used on space probes. Pupils will create and edit macros in Excel, using RGB colour codes to format in specific colours.
Careers in this subject
- Computer programmer
- Computer games design
- Computer games programmer
- System/network analyst
- Cyber security/ethical hacking
- Robotics and artificial intelligence
- Social media manager
- Web design/programming
- Graphic design
- Data analyst
- It risk analyst
- Digital marketing