Computing plays a vital role in our society and particularly in the education of the students here at Sir Harry Smith Community College. Our aim is to give our students the broadest possible understanding and experience of computing in all its contexts.
We aim to equip our students for their lives ahead and ensure that they have the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that will enable them to be successful once they leave Sir Harry Smith Community College.
We believe it is essential to prepare our students to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Therefore, we follow the new computing programme of study which means our pupils are taught how computer and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, how to apply computational thinking and how to develop ideas using technology. All Computing and IT teachers are members of professional bodies such as Computing at School and the Chartered Institute of IT (BCS). The programme of study is broken down into three areas:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Digital Literacy
Years 7 - 9
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to introduce computing to those students who have little experience, as well as stretch and challenge those students who already have a firm grounding in the subject.
Each year starts with a look at E-Safety, ensuring that students have a full understanding of how to be safe online, ways to report concerns, and seeking to explore the dangers and corresponding protection required to stay safe in a digital world.
Students develop a range of knowledge and skills within this key stage. Over the course of the three years students will cover such topics as:
Computer Science: Algorithms and Pseudocode, Programming, Data Representation, Computer Architecture, Ethics of Computing.
Information Technology: Computer Graphics, Web Design, Spreadsheets & Databases.
Digital Literacy: Presentations, Business Documents, Research Skills, Esafety.
Years 10 - 11
Students can choose to follow a course in GCSE Computer Science or GCSE ICT. Both courses comprise of two major strands; theory and controlled assessment. The first is designed to give students an understanding of the fundamentals of the subject, the second designed to give students the practical skills necessary to move forward on either an academic or vocational path. The differences between the two strands are:
GCSE Computer Science: Takes an in depth look at how computers operate, the internal working, and how we produce new software through programming.
GCSE ICT: Takes the skills of using current software to produce appropriate business related documents.
Students can elect to study Computing at AS and A2 levels. The courses aim to teach students the advanced elements of how hardware and software are integrated, how to program a computing and build real world solutions. The courses also develop problem solving abilities using algorithmic approaches.
The AS is made up of: Computing Principals, Algorithms and Problem Solving.
The A-Level covers these topics in more depth with the addition of a practical projects looking at:
Analysis of the problem, Design of the Solution, Developing the Solution, Testing & Evaluation.
The department has 6 computer rooms and a number of sets of student laptops. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard, and the college has digital flip cameras, Raspberry PIs and tablet computers which can be used within lessons. Every student has their own individual digital identity, with access to a myriad of software, plentiful data storage and email for use at college and at home. The college also has remote connection facilities for students, to allow them to access their documents and some of our software from home.