The Computing department is passionate about not only delivering a rich and immersive range of computer related topics, but also accelerating learning and assessment across the school. It is an exciting time for Computing at the moment with the government's desire to teach more programming based Computing to pupils. This development has been welcomed at Prestwich Arts College with pupils being taught Python, Small Basic, Scratch, Web Site creation and HTML.
- ICT GCSE OCR Cambridge Nationals level 1
- OCR GCSE Computer science (option pupils only)
Throughout year 7 pupils are taught and work through some of the basic office applications: Power point – pupils will produce 2 presentations; one aimed at a child audience and one for an adult audience. These presentations will include information on E-safety. Excel – pupils will produce a business spreadsheet that includes functions, formulas and graphs. This helps young people understand how people can plan and prepare when starting and running a business. In addition to this pupils will be given an introduction on programming, resulting in them making their own game in Scratch and moving towards making an Adventure game in Small Basic! Computer theory is introduced to the pupils by studying binary conversion and basic networking.
Year 8 in Computing is divided into 6 main sections: Web design – pupils will make their own web site using the latest software. Pupils will develop their understanding from year 7 and ensure that they are design their web site with a focus on target audience. Flash animation – Pupil are taught how to use some basic animation techniques to make their very own web based advertisement. As with web design, this is a large project that will involve some and planning, testing and evaluating. It also includes tuition in using Photoshop and Audition. The created advertisement can then be inserted into their web site that they have previously made, helping young people understand that different software and projects can be combined over time to achieve the highest possible results. Programming – the year group then re-visits programming by learning a SECOND code-based language (Python). Pupils also cover areas of computer theory such as binary addition, subtraction, network topology, data packet switching and hexadecimal, amongst other areas such as AND/OR/NOT logic gates. Access – pupils work on a database. They will add and edit data along with using queries to search a database. Pupils will also learn how to link their database to a word document to produce a mail merge, helping them understand how letters can be sent out in large companies. Finally, pupils use a program called ‘crocodile ICT’ which is designed to help pupils further understand algorithms through the form of flow charts.
Year 9 in Computing is divided into 4 main sections: Advanced textual programming – pupils will build upon their work in year’s 7 and 8 to create a more sophisticated solution to a problem presented to them in Python. They will be taught loops, string manipulation, arrays and sub-routines. Pupils will revisit Flash, Photoshop and Audition to create an animation that has true multimedia components. In another unit of work, the year group will be taught how images, text and sound can be represented in Binary. Pupils also cover advanced areas of computer theory such as character sets such as ASCII, negative numbers in binary, advanced binary subtraction, Von Neumann architecture amongst other areas.
All subjects have access to Computing rooms to develop their work. The Computing facilities are also available in Study Studio, which is held after school from Tuesday to Friday. Study Studio is free of charge and gives the pupils an opportunity to complete homework and further their studies.
Computing also offers a wide range of excellent in-house learning resources which can be accessed through the school website and intranet. These include video tutorials that teach the pupils a wide range of skills and concepts
Three things you can do to help your child in Computing
Encourage practical skills at home.
- Download and use online video tutorials for the following programming languages: Python, Small Basic and Scratch
- Use ICT skills to produce and present their work.
- Use the online resources to learn at home.