KS3 Computing

At LAB, in addition to teaching the fundamentals of Digital Literacy and instilling safe and respectful online behaviour, we teach Data (which flows through each unit of our curriculum in its various forms). Data is the key concept in Computer Science and IT; it connects one unit of study to the next.

We teach said powerful knowledge through a spiral curriculum, which revisits the following key concepts each year (at an increasingly advanced level):

  • How a computer is made;
  • How to read (and to understand) the language of computers;
  • How to speak the language of computers (with increasing fluency and complexity);
  • How to use said language to create digital products (websites, 3D design, images, programming) 
  • How to apply this to the real-world (spreadsheets, databases).
Module 1 - E-Safety and a Global society

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What are the expectations and routines in Computing?
  • What can we do to stay safe online?
  • What is a digital footprint?
  • What is cyber bullying?
  • What are the issues with online gaming?
  • Who to contact if there are any concerns about online activity?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • Students will be able to use google classroom and the G Suite (slides, docs, sheets) and Adobe Spark effectively.
  • Students will be able to research efficiently and be able to gather different sources to provides evidence for a certain point.
  • Students will be able to recognise different online threats and know what to do if faced with these threats.
  • Students will build up resilience to online threats.
Module 2 - Computational thinking

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is an Algorithm?
  • What is Pattern Recognition?
  • What is Abstraction?
  • What is Decomposition?
  • What is a flowchart?
  • What are the different functions that can be used in a flow chart?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • Students will be able to describe what computational thinking is and how it is used to solve problems.
  • Students will be able to break down problems logically and efficiently and produce useful solutions.
  • Students will be able to write detailed algorithms.
  • Students will be able to apply flowcharts to help gather thoughts and apply solutions to problems.
  • Students will be able to identify and use different functions in flowcharts.
Module 3 - Block-based coding

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is iteration?
  • What is selection?
  • What are variables?
  • What are sub-routines?
  • What are operators?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • Students will be able to describe what Iteration is and how to use it in block based coding.
  • Students will be able to describe what Selection is and how to use it in block based coding.
  • Students will be able to describe what Variables are and how to use it in block based coding.
  • Students will be able to describe what sub-routines are and how to use it in block based coding.
  • Students will be able to describe what Operators are and how to use it in block based coding.
Module 4 - Data Representation

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What does data representation mean?
  • What is Binary?
  • What is Denary?
  • How do we add binary numbers together?
  • What is ASCII?
  • What is a bitmap image?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to describe the difference between Binary and Denary.
  • To have an understanding of how our base-10 number system is different to base-2 number system.
  • To be able to understand how computer systems use binary to translate complex information into a format it can understand.
  • To be able to convert denary to binary and binary to denary.
  • To understand how binary numbers are able to represent alpha-numerical data that humans can understand.
  • To be able to understand how binary is used to represent images.
Module 5 - Systems Architecture

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is hardware?
  • What is software?
  • What are the peripherals of the computer?
  • What is an input?
  • What is an output?
  • What is a CPU?
  • What is RAM?
  • What is ROM?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to describe what Computer hardware is.
  • To be able to give detailed description of what the peripherals of a computer are and identify the difference between input and output peripherals.
  • To be able to identify the functions of the CPU.
  • To be able to understand the difference between RAM and ROM storage and the features of both types of data storage.
Module 6 - Spreadsheets

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is modelling?
  • What is a spreadsheet?
  • How do you analyse data?
  • What is formatting?
  • What is the difference between data and information?
  • What is the difference between primary and secondary sources of data?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to identify columns, rows, cells, cell references in spreadsheet software.
  • To use formatting techniques in a spreadsheet.
  • To be able to use basic formulae to perform calculations using +-/*
  • To be able to use the autofill tool to replicate cell data.
  • To be able to create charts and graphs.
  • To be able to use functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, MAX and MIN
  • To be able to apply conditional formatting to data in a spreadsheet.
  • To be able to sort and filter data.
Module 1 - Intro to Python

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is Python?
  • What is coding?
  • What is Syntax?
  • What is Syntax error?
  • What is turtle?
  • What is iteration?
  • What is input?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to understand what coding is and how humans develop high-level programming languages to manipulate computer devices.
  • To be able to effectively use coding conceptions to solve problems and create in Python.
  • To be able to use the turtle function in Python to conceptualise and describe how input to the computer needs to be accurate for the computer to understand the instruction.
  • To be able to use the turtle function in Python to code simple digital images.
Module 2 - Chatbots in Python

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What are logical errors in code?
  • What is selection?
  • What is sequencing?
  • What are variables?
  • What are sub-routines?
  • What are operators?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to recognise certain errors in code and rectify those errors.
  • To be able to use a high-level programming language to explore complex coding concepts.
  • To be able to sequence a text-based coding project accurately.
  • To be able to provide evidence of using abstraction to break down problems and use algorithmic thinking to provide a step by step approach to find a solution for the problem.
Module 3 - Advanced Graphics Development

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is a digital campaign?
  • What is influence?
  • What is marketing?
  • What is a logo?
  • What are graphics?
  • What are animations?
  • What is an infographic?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to use various online resources to analyse, design, create and evaluate a social media campaign.
  • To be able to identify how marketing and influence is used to make products/services more popular.
  • To be able to create a logo.
  • To be able to create mini animations and infographics for design and part of a campaign.
Module 4 - Intro to websites

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is the WWW?
  • What is search?
  • What is an index?
  • What is a website?
  • What are websites used for?
  • What are links?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to understand how search engines work.
  • To be able to describe how the WWW works and how the different networks connect.
  • To be able to design and develop a website on google sites.
  • To be able to publish websites and create links on the website.
  • To be able to include multiple forms of media on websites.
Module 5 - Website development (HTML)

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What makes a good website design?
  • What is navigation?
  • What is HTML?
  • What are Tags?
  • What is a target audience?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • Be able to add images, hyperlinks, background colours to a HTML page.
  • Be able to create a webpage using HTML.
  • Be able to judge the purpose of websites.
  • Use tables in notepad to create the structure of the HTML page.
  • Be able to format the font size, type, colour and font of the text in HTML.
Module 6 - Databases

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is a database?
  • Who uses databases?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using database?
  • What are the differences between paper based and digital databases?
  • How can information be grouped?
  • What is structured and unstructured data?
  • What are validation checks used for?
  • What is a query?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to record information and data into a database.
  • To be able to enter data using tables and form.
  • To be able to sort and filter data in a database.
  • To be able to query a database.
  • To use data and create reports to show findings.
  • Use the booleans AND and OR to refine data selection.
  • Use multiple criterias to answer a given question about the data.
  • Select charts appropriately to visually compare data.
Module 1 - Programming with Python

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is Python?
  • What is coding?
  • What is Syntax?
  • What is Syntax error?
  • What is turtle?
  • What is iteration?
  • What is input?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to understand what coding is and how humans develop high-level programming languages to manipulate computer devices.
  • To be able to effectively use coding conceptions to solve problems and create in Python.
  • To be able to use the turtle function in Python to conceptualise and describe how input to the computer needs to be accurate for the computer to understand the instruction.
  • To be able to use the turtle function in Python to code simple digital images.
Module 2 - Advance Programming in Python

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What are logical errors in code?
  • What is selection?
  • What is sequencing?
  • What are variables?
  • What are sub-routines?
  • What are operators?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to recognise certain errors in code and rectify those errors.
  • To be able to use a high-level programming language to explore complex coding concepts.
  • To be able to sequence a text-based coding project accurately.
  • To be able to provide evidence of using abstraction to break down problems and use algorithmic thinking to provide a step by step approach to find a solution for the problem.
Module 3 - Systems Security

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is spam?
  • What is malware?
  • What is phishing?
  • How might someone steal your identity online?
  • What is Hacking?
  • What is a Ethical Hacker?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to explain what malware is and describe the different types (virus/trojan/ransomware).
  • To be able to identify spam and phishing emails and how to deal with them.
  • To be able to explain how individuals, businesses and organisations can protect themselves from online threats.
  • To be able to explain why updates occur so often.
  • To be able to understand why hacking can be lucrative.
  • To be able to understand the need for ethical hacking.
Module 4 - Beetle Blocks - 3D Design

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is 3D design?
  • What is a turtle?
  • What is 3D printing?
  • What is “Random” in computer science?
  • What is iteration?
  • What is 3D art?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to explain what 3D design is.
  • To be able to design and create a 3D object to be printed off.
  • To be able to program 3D art using logical steps.
  • To be able to explain the importance of random in a program.
  • To be able to understand the use of iterations in programming.
Module 5 - Data Representations

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What are pixels?
  • What are digital images?
  • What is resolution?
  • What is colour depth?
  • What is digital conversion?
  • What is analogue sound?
  • What is digital sound?
  • What are samples?
  • What is sample rate?
  • What is sample size?
  • What are vector graphics?
  • What is MIDI?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to understand how pixels make up everything we see on a computer and how each colour has a binary representation.
  • To be able to explain what true colour is and how it is represented in colour depth in computing.
  • To be able to demonstrate how images are stored in files, and how files sizes will impact storage capacities.
  • To be able to explain differences in analogue sound and digital sound.
  • To be able to explain what samples are and how samle rates increase the need for storage.
  • To be able to understand the need for compression and what this looks like with vector graphics and MIDI audio.
Module 6 - Boolean Logic

End Points for Module – Knowledge

  • What is logic?
  • What is a logic gate?
  • What is an AND gate?
  • What is an OR gate?
  • What is a NOT gate?
  • What is logic in programming?

End Points for Module – Skills

  • To be able to explain what logic gates are and how they function.
  • To be able to explain how logic gates function.
  • To be able to understand and implement logic gates in systems.
  • To be able to translate the meaning behind logic gates and what it means for computer systems when run.
  • To be able to expand logical reasoning from the computer system to computational thinking.