Computing Curriculum

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Link to Curriculum Map 2019

Curriculum aim

The aim of Computing Care is provide a coherent introduction to study of the Creative Media and IT sectors.  By studying Computing, students will broaden their experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

The Computing courses require applied learning that brings together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills.  This is achieved through students performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours and transferable skills as students progress to a wide range of higher education courses and ultimately to employment in the IT and Creative Media sectors.  The mandatory and optional content of both Level 1/2 and Level 3 courses provides a balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for individual students to tailor content relevant to their own interests and progression choices.  As the IT and Creative Media sectors and employment is dynamic, content will remain current.

The staff’s commitment and enthusiasm for the subject ensures that high standards are set which fuel students’ aspirations through their own conduct, support of the Cowleian values and the expectations of all students.  Ultimately, students will enter the employment market and therefore the final role of the department and the available courses is to provide students with a real understanding of the employment options available to them both in the present and the future and the importance of developing employability skills.

Curriculum structure

Students are able to access the subject at Level 1/2 and Level 3. Students study BTEC Tech Award Creative Media as a core subject in Year 9-11, but may also opt for GCSE Computer Science in Year 9-11 and BTEC Creative Media Game Development or IT in Year 12-13.  In Years 9-11 students will develop a foundation understanding of key topics essential to the second and third year of the courses.   The formally assessed aspects will take place as the course proceeds.

  • Level 2 BTEC Tech Award Creative Media in Year 9-11 have 60% of their work internally assessed and 40% externally assessed.
  • Level 2 GCSE Computer Science is 100%externally assessed through 2 examinations.
  • Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Creative Media and IT Year 12-13 are 100% internally assessed

The BTEC assessment method allows students of all abilities to access the course.  At Level 2 students have the opportunity to achieve at four different levels: Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction* equivalent to grade 4-9. The Level 3 BTEC National course attracts UCAS points.

The GCSE assessment method allows students with good numerical skills the ability to access the course which is grades 1-9.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies/activities are used in order to provide pace and challenge within the subject to engage students to achieve their potential whilst enjoying the subject and their experiences.  There are clear teaching and assessment phases during the Level 1/2 and Level 3 BTEC courses.  Both courses provide students with the opportunity to develop high level literacy skills as research, analysis and evaluation tasks will be completed.  Students will cultivate report writing and planning skills alongside a strong level of computer literacy. Creativity will be encouraged through development of graphical editing and game development skills during project work.  Time management will also be essential as students will have regular deadlines to meet as well controlled timed assessments.  These transferable skills are ones which are highly valued both in higher education and in the workplace.  Students will also be encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest developments within Computing and share their knowledge in lesson.

Throughout both courses students will be expected to complete work outside of lesson, through designated homework tasks in order to meet stringent deadlines.  Using the remote log on system will allow this to take place.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Students are always welcome to use the specialist rooms and resources for independent study.

Local experts are used at Level 1/2 and Level 3along with speakers, trips, work experience and further support from local companies. Currently links have been established with Arcade Club, Bury.

Subject Expertise
The department comprises highly experienced, Computing specialists.

The members of the team have experience of teaching the subject across several different types of courses such as GCSE, Applied BTEC, BTEC First, BTEC National and A Level. We specialist hardware and software resources which allow students to access the latest technologies.

The department maintains links with the Computing department at Haydock High School across the established Soft Federation.

Destinations
Students are made aware of the progression routes available including working within IT and Creative Media sectors. As the department are also experienced or key members of the Sixth Form pastoral team, the subject, as a higher education choice, is regularly flagged up with students. Also staff regularly receive the latest information about new courses and work experience and employment opportunities which are passed on to students as potential progression routes.  Help will be offered to students with the inquiry/application process as required.