Our intent is to develop both digital creativity and computational skills and understanding so our students are best prepared as life-long learners for the ever evolving cyber economy of 21st century Britain. All students at Wymondham High take a GCSE in Computer Science or a vocational qualification in digital media at the end of year 11. Therefore the KS3 schemes of study must prepare students for both routes so they can make an informed choice at the end of Year 8.
At the start of core computing (Years 7 and 8 based on one hour a week) all students complete a module on Internet safety and get a good grounding on using the computer systems and cloud applications they will need across the curriculum to complete work and communicate effectively during their time at Wymondham High and beyond. The rest of year 7 and 8 is split into 6 modules of computing and 2 of IT/digital literacy. These units are logically ordered to spiral, interleave and build knowledge and understanding over the two years.
At KS3 students’ programming and computational thinking skills are developed in a wide range of programs starting off with programming virtual Microbits using blocks to learn about inputs, processing and outputs. Students then transition into programming using the Small Basic language to first control Turtle graphics and then code text programs. This is followed by two modules on Python, one in Year 7 and one in Year 8 the later increases the level of complexity to help prepare pupils for the rigours of GCSE computer science. Students also do a theory module in Year 8 which covers hardware and software, binary and data representation including text, images and sound. Students are also given a strong grounding in spreadsheets again a foundation module in Year 7 and more complex modelling in Year 8. Year 8 concludes with two projects in graphics and a creating an e-safety multimedia product, these units form a bridge to the IT course. At the end of core computing all students will have transferable skills in both computer programming and digital literacy.
We have a three-year focused curriculum in Years 9, 10 and 11 based on four hours a fortnight. Around a third of students choose to study Computer Science as a GCSE two thirds opt to study IT, which at present is the OCR vocational course in Creative iMedia. The Computer Science course develops key problem-solving skills, a wide knowledge and understanding of different hardware and software and the coding and software development skills that are so important in many sectors of the economy. Whilst the Creative iMedia course gives students a wide range of IT skills that are used in the modern world including graphics design, media production and web development.