Computing / Digital Skills
Subject Lead: Mr Macdonald
The use of technology is a powerful educational tool and an ever growing necessity to navigating life in general. To cater for the increasing demand for digital life skills, students at West Kirby School and College experience an individual path throughout their journey from joining the school right through to transitioning to college or employment.
When students join our community they are asked to complete a number of baseline assessments across the curriculum. Some of these assessments are computer based which allows us to discover where the students are on the digital spectrum and therefore begin to plan their next steps and progression.
Right at the heart of each student’s digital spectrum is safety. Every learner is taught, and regularly updated, how to set up the computers and ipads, use them securely and stay safe online. Our mission is not to ban the use of technology or the Internet, but to educate each learner how to navigate this wonderful but potentially hazardous world safely, by making positive choices for themselves.
Everyday ICT skills
Covering daily office skills is useful both in education and the wider world and so students learn how to create, manipulate and share documents across Microsoft Office, the Google Suite and Apple, exposing them to the similarities and differences of various software. This allows our learners to gain confidence in their skills of producing work and utilising digital communication. This 'scaffolded approach' allows each student to transition to work or college with a qualification appropriate to their learning path.
Linking to the creative side of our whole school curriculum, we utilise the industry grade 'Adobe Suite' to inspire our students through graphics, photography and video-editing. These skills are also used in ‘real life’ to support coursework across the school and events such as our Talent Show and Pantomime. This demonstrates to our students how the skills they learn in school can be usefully employed beyond school as a hobby or career.
There are also many opportunities throughout the year to learn and showcase digital talents during events such as E-Safety Week, Anti-Bullying Week, our Christmas Fair and Enterprise Week. During these occasions learners produce advertising campaigns including posters and websites, background production such as learning resources and the finances from any money raised is recorded is spreadsheets.
Key Stage 1
The use of information and communication technology is an integral part of the National Curriculum and is a key skill for everyday life. Computers, tablets, digital technology are a few of the tools that can be used to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information. Students have access to a wide range of wide range of technologies are used to enhance teaching and learning throughout the curriculum. It is our intention to empower pupils to acquire and develop the skills necessary to become competent, confident and creative users of technology and to appreciate how it supports learning.
Key Stage 2
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has strong links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.
The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 and 8, students develop their ICT skills by using various Microsoft Office applications. Students use spreadsheets and databases to learn how to handle and record data. Students also cover an element of Computer Science using Scratch software to develop their coding skills by creating a game. In Year 9, students complete one ICT unit and the remaining units of work are based around Computer Science, e.g. Algorithms, Programming & Development, Data Representation, Hardware & Processing, Communication & Networking
Key Stage 4
Currently we offer a range of level of qualifications at KS4 in order to allow students to build upon their knowledge and skills:
- Entry Level qualifications
- Functional Skills
- Cambridge Nationals
At GCSE students can opt to do Computer Science. We follow the OCR syllabus for Computer Science. In GCSE Computer Science, the exam is 100%. Students are required to complete coursework but it's not assessed. There are two exam papers on Computer Systems and Computational thinking, algorithms and programming. The coursework involves students coding a program using Python programming language, this is evidenced in a write-up including, Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, Evaluation, and Conclusions.
Qualification: Cambridge Nationals ICT - Level 1/2 Award, Cambridge National ICT is an Award (2 modules), or Certificate (4 modules) at Levels 1 and 2
This is a vocationally-related qualification that takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. The everyday use of ICT, from PCs to smartphones now impacts all of our lives. Cambridge Nationals in ICT reflects this and provides students with a solid understanding of the subject which they can use in their working lives. Three themes are covered: business information systems, creative and technical.
Key stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we can offer A-Level and 'Cambridge Technical Award' qualifications