Computing / Computer Science

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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).

MYP Assessment Criteria

Criterion A

Research

Criterion B

Design

Criterion C

Create

Criterion D

Evaluate

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Click on the links below to view the videos and resources for the extension activities.

Modules 1 & 2

Read
Learn how to use Google Docs

Read
Learn how to use Google Slides

Watch
Learn Adobe Express

Modules 3 & 4

Watch
Adobe Express Tutorial

Read
Google Docs

Read
Google Slides

Click on the links below to view the videos and resources for the extension activities.

Modules 1 & 2

Read
Learn how to code

Read
Learn Python

Modules 3 & 4

Watch
Algorithms

Read
Python Tutorials

Click on the links below to view the videos and resources for the extension activities.

Modules 1 & 2

Read
Learn Python

Read
Python Project

Modules 3 & 4

Read
Python Tutorials

Watch
Python Project

Watch
Animation Tutorial

back to ks4 subjects

ks4 computer science

link to specification

Link to prior learning

  • Systems Architecture – Year 7 / Module 5

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • What is the purpose of the CPU?
  • What actions occur at each stage of the fetch-decode=execute cycle.
  • The role of each component of the CPU.
  • The purpose of each register and what it stores.
  • How the common characteristics such as clock speed, cache and number of cores affect the performance of a CPU.
  • Purpose and examples of embedded systems.

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • Draw a diagram which represents the Von Neuman Architecture which shows how the CPU works and communicates with the memory to execute instructions.

Link to prior learning

  • Data Representation – Year 7 / Module 4 and Year 9 / Module 5

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • Why there is a need for primary storage
  • The difference between RAM and ROM
  • The purpose of ROM in a computer system
  • The purpose of RAM in a computer system
  • How virtual memory works
  • The use of secondary storage
  • Describe common types of storage
  • Explain the characteristics of different types of storage
  • How data such as numbers, characters, sound and images are stored in a computer
  • How character sets are logically ordered.
  • The two different types of compression.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of compressing files.

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • List different types of secondary storage
  • Identify suitable secondary storage needed for given scenarios
  • Know the characteristics of secondary storage such as capacity, cost, speed, portability, reliability and durability.
  • Calculate required storage capacity for a given set of files.
  • Calculate the file sizes of sound, image and text files:
  • Sound file size = sample rate x duration (s) x bit depth
  • Image file size = colour depth x image height (px) x image
    width (px)
  • Text file size = bits per character x number of characters
  • Convert denary values to binary digits
  • Convert denary values to hexadecimal values and vice versa
  • Convert binary digits to denary
  • Convert binary digits to hexadecimal and vice versa
  • Calculate the resolution of an image

Link to prior learning

  • Intro to Python – Year 8 / Module 1

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • The principles of computational thinking (abstraction, decomposition and algorithmic thinking)
  • Identify the inputs, processes, and outputs for a problem
  • Understand the main steps of searching and sorting algorithms are (Binary & Linear search and Bubble, Merge & Insertion sort)

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • Use and create structure diagrams
  • Create, interpret, correct, complete, and refine algorithms using:
    Flowcharts,
    Reference language/high-level programming language (Python)
  • Identify common errors
  • Trace tables
  • Identify syntax/logic errors in code and suggest fixes
  • Apply Binary and Linear search to a set of data
  • Apply Bubble sort, Merge sort and Insertion sort on a set of data
  • Identify the algorithm used for each algorithm

Link to prior learning

  • Intro to websites – Year 8 / Module 4

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • Identify different types of network, such as LAN and WAN.
  • Explain factors thata ffect performance of networks
  • Describe the different roles of computers in a client-server and a peer-to-peer network
  • Know how networks can be connected in different ways such as a Star network ot Mesh network.
  • Know the modes of connection ie wired and wireless.
  • How encryption works.
  • The steps of IP and MAC addressing.

Know the hardware needed to connect stand-alone computers into a
Local Area Network:

  • Wireless access points
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • NIC (Network Interface Controller/Card)
  • Transmission media

Know the Internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks and define:

  • DNS (Domain Name Server)
  • Hosting
  • The Cloud
  • Web servers and clients

All the common protocols:

  • TCP/IP (Transmission control protocol)
  • HTTP (Hyper Text transfer protocol)
  • HTTPS (Hyper Text transfer protocol secure)
  • FTP (File transfer protocol)
  • POP (Post office protocol)
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access protocol)
  • SMTP (Simple Mail transfer protocol)

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • Draw the different ways a network can be connected: As a Star network topology and a Mesh network topology.

Link to prior learning

  • Systems Security – Year 9 / Module 3

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • The different Forms of attack on a network such as:
    • Malware
    • Social engineering, e.g. phishing, people as the ‘weak point’
    • Brute-force attacks
    • Denial of service attacks
  • Data interception and theft
  • The concept of SQL injection
  • The Common prevention methods such as:
    • Penetration testing
    • Anti-malware software
    • Firewalls
    • User access levels
    • Passwords
    • Encryption
    • Physical security

Link to prior learning

  • Boolean Logic – Year 9 / Module 6

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • Know how truth tables work for each logic gate
  • Recognise each gate symbol
  • Understand how to create, complete or edit logic diagrams and truth tables for given scenarios

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • Draw simple logic diagrams using the operators AND, OR and NOT.
  • Draw truth tables to represent their logic diagrams.
  • Combine Boolean operators using AND, OR and NOT.

General Principle (Statement of Inquiry)

This unit enables students to gain knowledge and understanding of the impact of technology on individuals, organisations, and the planet. Through a range of real-world examples, they will learn how to identify the specific type of impact, ie legal, cultural, privacy, environmental, and ethical. They will then progress to identifying stakeholders who are impacted by technology, and learn how these impacts are experienced, negated, or adapted to.

Link to assessment

  • Online safety – Year 7 / Module 1

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • The impacts of digital technology on wider society including:
    • Ethical issues
    • Legal issues
    • Cultural issues
    • Environmental issues
    • Privacy issues
  • The legislations relevant to Computer Science:
    • The Data Protection Act 2018
    • Computer Misuse Act 1990
    • Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988
    • Software licences (i.e. open source and proprietary)

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • How technology introduces ethical, legal, cultural, environmental and privacy issues
    • Knowledge of a variety of examples of digital technology and how these impacts on society
    • An ability to discuss the impact of technology based around the issues listed
    • The purpose of each piece of legislation and the specific actions it allows or prohibits
    • The need to license software and the purpose of a software licence
    • Features of open source (providing access to the source code and the ability to change the software)
    • Features of proprietary (no access to the source code, purchased commonly as off-the-shelf)
    • Recommend a type of licence for a given scenario including benefits and drawbacks

General Principle (Statement of Inquiry)

This unit allows learners to discover the need for system software to facilitate communication between software and hardware in computer systems.

Link to assessment

  • Systems architecture – Year 7 / Module 5

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • The purpose and functionality of operating systems:
    • User interface
    • Memory management and multitasking
    • Peripheral management and drivers
    • User management
    • File management
  • The purpose and functionality of utility software
    • Encryption software
    • Defragmentation
    • Data compression

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • What each function of an operating system does
  • Features of a user interface
  • Memory management, e.g. the transfer of data between memory, and how this allows for multitasking:
    • Data is transferred between devices and the processor
    • This process needs to be managed
    • User management functions, e.g.
      • Allocation of an account
      • Access rights
      • Security, etc.
  • File management, and the key features, e.g.:
    • Naming
    • Allocating to folders
    • Moving files
    • Saving, etc
  • Understand that computers often come with utility software, and how this performs housekeeping tasks
  • Purpose of the identified utility software and why it is required

General Principle (Statement of Inquiry)

In this unit students explain the principles of defensive design by recognising how programs may be misused by users and exploring different authentication methods.

Link to assessment

  • Online safety – Year 7 / Module 1
  • Systems architecture – Year 7 / Module 5
  • Intro to Python – Year 8 / Module 1
  • Websites in HTML – Year 9 Module 5

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • Defensive design considerations:
  • Anticipating misuse
  • Authentication
  • Input validation
  • Maintainability:
    • Use of sub programs
    • Naming conventions
    • Indentation
    • Commenting
  • The purpose of testing
  • Types of testing:
    • Iterative
    • Final/terminal
  • Identify syntax and logic errors
  • Selecting and using suitable test data:
    • Normal
    • Boundary
    • Invalid/Erroneous
  • Refining algorithms

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • Understanding of the issues a programmer should consider ensuring that a program caters for all likely input values
    • Understanding of how to deal with invalid data in a program
    • Authentication to confirm the identity of a user
    • Practical experience of designing input validation and simple authentication (e.g. username and password)
    • Understand why commenting is useful and apply this
      appropriately
  • The difference between testing modules of a program during development and testing the program at the end of production
    • Syntax errors as errors which break the grammatical rules of the programming language and stop it from being run/translated
    • Logic errors as errors which produce unexpected output
    • Normal test data as data which should be accepted by a program without causing errors
    • Boundary test data as data of the correct type which is on the very edge of being valid
    • Invalid test data as data of the correct data type which should be rejected by a computer system
    • Erroneous test data as data of the incorrect data type which should be rejected by a computer system
    • Ability to identify suitable test data for a given scenario
    • Ability to create/complete a test plan

General Principle (Statement of Inquiry)

This unit enables students to get a deeper understanding of the different generations of programming language, identifying the difference between low-level and high-level languages and which translator is needed for each.

Link to assessment

  • Block-Based Coding – Year 7 / Module 2
  • Intro to python – Year 8 / Module 1
  • Advanced Python – Year 9 / Module 1 & 2

Core declarative knowledge: What should students know?

  • The characteristics and purpose of different levels of programming language:
    • High-level languages
    • Low-level languages
  • The purpose of translators
  • The characteristics of a compiler and an interpreter
  • Common tools and facilities available in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE):
    • Editors
    • Error diagnostics
    • Run-time environment
    • Translators

Core procedural knowledge: What should students be able to do?

  • The differences between high- and low-level programming languages
    • The need for translators
    • The differences, benefits, and drawbacks of using a compiler or an
      interpreter
  • Knowledge of the tools that an IDE provides
    • How each of the tools and facilities listed can be used to help a programmer develop a program
    • Practical experience of using a range of these tools within at least one IDE

Module 5 – Revision

Module 6 – Exams