ICT & Computing
At Lipson Co-operative Academy we believe that our students should have the opportunity to follow an IT and Computing curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain and take advantage of opportunities that can offer them in both Britain and the wider world.
Good quality IT skills enable learners to engage positively within the modern workplace, while Computer Science skills enable students to take an active part in the design, development and creation of new technologies to be used in the world in which they live.
We provide a broad range of skills and experiences at KS3 which are then further developed as students enter KS4 and then extended to KS5.
Meet the Staff
- Jon Power (Head of Department)
- Mark Bevin - Teacher of ICT/Computing
- Jamie Corson - Teacher of ICT/Computing
- Craig Swiggs - Teacher of ICT/Computing
- Marie Price - Teacher of ICT/Computing
At Lipson Co-operative Academy we aim to prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. We understand how knowledge and understanding of ICT is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment. Our curriculum blends the three main strands of Computing: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. This teaches learners key knowledge about how computers and computer systems work, how they are programmed and also to equip young people with the skills to use applications effectively, as good quality IT skills enable learners to engage positively within the modern workplace.
Our aim is for students to explore how technology can act as a powerful force for change in modern society and students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the social, ethical, legal and economic implications of its use, including how to be a responsible online user.
Our Curriculum Learning Pathway
Key Stage 3
Our Year 7 curriculum begins by focusing on E-Safety before investigating what a computer system is made up of by exploring Hardware, Software and Networks. This allows the learner to answer the question ‘What is a Computer System?’. If Year 7 is the ‘What?’, Year 8 is the ‘How?’. Learners will understand how computer systems use binary to represent data and then develop the key problem solving skills of Abstraction, Decomposition and Algorithmic thinking by experiencing block based and script based languages to develop transferable programming skills. The computational thinking approach learned in Year 8 is carried forward into Year 9, where students begin by transferring this skill to develop control based modelling in both robotic systems and spreadsheet modelling. E-safety is revisited and built upon to enhance knowledge of cyber-security and shared data.
Content and skills developed in Key Stage 3 are utilised and transferred to schemes of learning at Key Stage 4 and 5. By using a range of modern technologies throughout Key Stage 3, learners can draw upon experience to select the most appropriate software.
Key Stage 4
Students study BTEC Level 2 in Digital Information Technologies at Key Stage 4. This allows students to produce a practical response to a digital brief and gain valuable skills for a future in the digital industry. Students can explore the sector while developing technical skills and techniques, planning a digital solution for a given brief and developing an understanding of what cyber security is and the importance of legal and ethical considerations when using modern technologies.
This qualification gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:
- development of key skills that prove aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data
- process that underpins effective ways of working in digital information technology, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct
- attitudes that are considered most important in digital information technology, including personal management and communication
- knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.
Key Stage 5
Students can then continue following the subject into Sixth form by studying an OCR Cambridge Technicals Introductory Diploma in IT This qualification is for learners 16 years old or over who prefer to study IT in a context that allows them to learn and be assessed in ways that are practical and relevant to the IT sector. This qualification is not just about being able to use computers. Employers have said that they need people who are able to help them develop their systems or the systems for their customers, use IT as a tool to analyse data and develop applications. Therefore, this qualification is designed to give learners a range of specialist knowledge and transferable skills in the context of applied IT, providing them with the opportunity to enter an apprenticeship, move directly into employment, or progress to a related Higher Education (HE) course.
Learners will have gain key knowledge and skills in the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science (programming e.g. coding and understanding how digital systems work), information technology (using computer systems to store, retrieve and send information) and digital literacy (evaluating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully). The objectives within each strand support the development of learning across the key stages, ensuring a solid grounding for future learning and beyond. Pupils will have a greater understanding of ICT and basic computational thinking skills. This is embedded within the faculty by:
- Creating an environment of confidence where students feel they can experiment, make mistakes and develop their skills in an independent manner
- Regular teacher led live modelling is used to demonstrate processes and applications both practically and theory based. Learners experience a wider range of block based and script based languages to develop transferable programming skills
- Using knowledge organisers which outlines knowledge (including vocabulary) all children must master
- Developing a cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth
- Using low stakes quizzes which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory;
- Challenging questions for pupils to apply their learning in a philosophical/open manner.
- Sharing Endpoint plans with learners at the start of their learning journey.
What Examination Courses do we follow?
Key Stage 4: Exam Board: Edexcel
BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology
With the new BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology, students get the chance to produce a practical response to a digital brief, and gain valuable skills for a future in the digital industry.
As the BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology is a practical introduction to life and work in the industry, students can explore the sector while developing technical skills and techniques, planning a digital solution for a given brief and developing an understanding of what cyber security is and the importance of legal and ethical considerations when using modern technologies.
Components covered are:
- Component 1: Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
- Component 2: Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
- Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices
Key Stage 5: Exam Board: OCR
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in IT (Equivalent to 1 A-Level)
This course aims to give learners the knowledge and understanding of emerging technologies to prepare for employment or to progress onto higher education or a degree. The diploma consists of 5 units; 3 units are internally assessed and externally moderated. 2 units are an externally assessed test. Units covered are:
Externally assessed units
- Unit 1: Fundamentals of IT
- Unit 2: Global Information
Internally assessed and externally moderated units
- Unit 6: Application Design
- Unit 12: Mobile Technology
- Unit 13: Social Media and Digital Marketing
Our ICT & Computing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If learners are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
- Learners can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation;
- Learners can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
- Learners can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems;
- Learners are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
How do we measure attainment progress?
At Key Stage 3 student progress is measured against the attainment targets and content of the Computing National Curriculum through either project work or testing.
At Key Stage 4 & 5 student student progress is measured using learning aims and assessment criteria set out by the exam board.