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Computing, Business and IT

GCSE Computer Science

Description of the Subject

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science will encourage learners to:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science
What you will study

Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

Programming Project

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

Students should be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course.

Future Prospects

KS3 Computing

Year 7

E- Safety (6 lessons)

Students are taken through this compulsory unit of Computing, where they are made aware of computer safety aspects such as how to stay safe online. Students are introduced to the idea of cyber stalking and cyber bullying, where they are taken through a series of discussions that talk about how to prevent and tackle Cyber threats.  In addition to human aspect of cyber threats, Students are also introduced to the idea of software threats that exist on the internet such as Viruses, Spyware and Worms. They are required to research best steps to prevent these from occurring.

Systems architecture and Binary (7 lessons)

Students are introduced to the idea of digital devices. Students explore underlying components of a computer where they are introduced to the idea of CPU and storage devices that make up a computer. This is quite a research oriented scheme of work since students are required to research parts in order to build a computer virtually and showcase their presentation justifying their selection.

Kodu (6 lessons)

Introduction to Video games development and research some of the key factors that make video games really popular out there amongst the target market.

Students are taken through the video games software life cycle of planning, designing, building and evaluating their game on Kodu, which has been quite engaging for many over the past few years.        

Using Digital Tools (6 lessons)

Students explore features of a Digital productivity suite such as Serif Web plus to create a website, where they are given the chance to use their creativity to create stunning websites suitable for particular target audience.

Digital Creativity (5 lessons)

Students will use Photoshop to design and produce a creative digital product that is suitable for a particular target audience.  They will look at creating, editing and enhancing photographs and images.

Advance Scratch Programming (7 lessons)

Students are introduced to programming logic using Block level language to create a game of their choice. This requires them to follow project life cycle approach where they research, design, build and evaluate their game while exploring programming logic on a block level which is a solid grounding for them to start on text based language.

Year 8

E Safety (6 lessons)

Students enhance their knowledge of Cyber safety by looking into the idea of digital footprints where they explore case studies where these are apparent, students use their digital creativity skills from previous years to create a website that raises awareness of how Digital footprints are left behind and how one can minimise their footprint and ensure their footprint is safe and not jeopardise their chances of success and from a social stand point.

Spreadsheets (7 lessons)

Students will enhance their knowledge of electronically arranging data, they will use excel to design spreadsheets to record a digital model of real-world problems.  They will evaluate the situation by adding formulas, functions and conditional formatting. 

Flowol (6 lessons)

Students will be introduced to Flowol, a computer control and robotics software which allows students of to explore the world of automatic systems through:

  • The virtual world of Mimics (controllable on-screen pictures),
  • The real world of models operated by connected Interface Hardware.

Students will become familiar with the visual programming language of flowcharts:

  • Select and position the symbols,
  • Build the instructions with the prompt boxes,
  • Link the symbols with lines and
  • Run the program.

Microbit (6 lessons)

Students are required to explore hands on programming using Micro bit devices that allow students to explore programming while witnessing their impact on a practical level.

Database development (5 lessons)

During this unit we will look at the theory behind databases which include; database VS paper debate, the advantages and disadvantages of databases. Practically we will look at sorting, tables, data types, primary keys, validation, queries, forms and reports.

Technology Development in app development (7 lessons)

This unit will enable pupils to create a complete app with full takeaway functionality on an iPhone, Android, Windows, or Blackberry smartphone as well as desktop web browser in class. Pupils will plan and implement their own projects using skills from the periodic table including image galleries, video, interactive maps, and web links.

Year 9

E- Safety (6 lessons)

Students are taken through this compulsory unit of Computing, where they are made aware of computer safety aspects such as staying safe online, sexting and grooming. We will look into legal aspects of sexting as well as key consequences of sexting. Advice will be taken from the NSPCC website and shared with the students.

Cyber Security (7 lessons)

During this unit we will look at how encryption techniques work, how to avoid data corruption, new and upcoming methods for identifying the user to the computer, and more generic issues around ways to keep computer access secure. This topic also covers the legal issues around computer use.

Data Representation (6 lessons)

Students touch some GCSE computing concepts on how computers are able to store and transmit data and translate it to meaningful information that we perceive as text, sound and images. Students develop a good understanding on the use of binary language and how this is used to sample data such as sound waves, pixels and ASCII text.

Virtual/Augmented Reality (6 lessons)

Virtual Reality is an exciting new concept, and many students will not have experienced a VR headset, or even know what to expect. This unit has been designed to provide an exciting, engaging, yet simple to use interface to allow students to quickly and easily access educational content and applications with minimal fuss and no distractions, keeping them focused on the task at hand.

Exploring user interface (5 lessons)

Students will enhance their knowledge about components that make up computer systems; they will explore the different user interfaces and how they work with the other components.  The students will be able to identify the positive and negatives for the different user interfaces and begin to look at creating and designing user interfaces.

Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns (7 lessons)

Students will investigate Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental concerns related to computer technologies; this will range from everyday living to developments in software e.g. driverless cars.   Students will develop a good understanding of, The Data protection Act, Copyright law, Computer misuse and freedom of information, and how the different legislations are used to protect us.

GCSE Business Edexel Business

Description of the Subject


The GCSE Edexcel Business course is structured into two themes, taking you from how entrepreneurs start businesses (Theme 1) through to growing and global businesses (Theme 2).
You’ll start by exploring the world of small businesses through the lens of an entrepreneur. How and why do business ideas come about? What makes a successful business? You’ll learn how to develop an idea, spot an opportunity and turn it into a successful business. You will understand how to make a business effective, manage money and see how the world around us affects small businesses and all the people involved. Then you’ll move on to investigating business growth. How does a business develop beyond the start-up phase? You’ll learn about key business concepts and issues and decisions you need to make when growing a business and working in a global business. You’ll learn about meeting customer needs, making marketing, operational, financial and human resourcing decisions and you’ll explore how the wider world impacts the business as it grows.


What will you study?


Theme 1
Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.


Key topic areas:

  • Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity
  • Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice
  • Topic 1.4 Making the business effective
  • Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business

Theme 2
Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.


Key topic areas:

 

  • Topic 2.1 Growing the business
  • Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions
  • Topic 2.3 Making product decisions
  • Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions
  • Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions

 

How will you be assessed?


Both themes are examined in year 11. Both exams are worth 50% of the qualification and are 90 minutes long.
Both papers will consist of calculations, multiple–choice, short–answer and extended–writing questions. Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper. Calculators may be used in the examination.

Future prospects


After this qualification you’ll understand the world of business and have developed skills in: making decisions and developing persuasive arguments, creative and practical problem solving, understanding data, finance and communication. It’s also a great step preparing you for further and higher education such as A levels and BTEC courses.
A GCSE Business course could help prepare you for an entrepreneurial role and help you to gain an understanding of what is involved in a business-related profession, like accountancy, law, marketing or the leisure and tourism industry.

 

BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology

Description of the Subject

BTEC Digital Information Technology provides learners who wish to acquire knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection. This builds on the learning that has already taken place at Key Stage 3. The qualification recognises the value of learning skills, knowledge and vocational attributes to complement GCSEs. The qualification will broaden learners’ experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

What you will study
  • Development of key skills that prove their aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data.
  • Processes that underpin effective ways of working, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct
  • Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes 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.
How you will be assessed

Components 1 and 2 are assessed through internal assessment. Internal assessment for these components has been designed to relate to achievement of application of the conceptual underpinning for the sector through realistic tasks and activities. This style of assessment promotes deep learning through ensuring the connection between knowledge and practice. The components focus on:

  • The development of core knowledge and understanding of different types of user interfaces, how user interface design principles are used to meet the needs of different users, and how organisations collect, manipulate and interpret data to draw conclusions and make decisions.
  • The development and application of skills such as project planning, iterative design of a user interface, using data manipulation tools to create a dashboard, interpreting and drawing conclusions from data.
  • Reflective practice through the development of skills and techniques that allow learners to respond to feedback on their design for a user interface and to identify areas for improvement.

There is one external assessment, Component 3, which provides the main synoptic assessment for the qualification. Component 3 builds directly on Components 1 and 2 and enables learning to be brought together and applied to realistic contexts.

Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices, requires learners to analyse and interpret information in relation to different scenarios and to draw on knowledge, understanding and skills such as the project planning process, interface design, collection and use of data, when making recommendations on working practices related to design, project organisation, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.

The external assessment is taken under supervised conditions, it is then marked and a grade awarded by the exam board. Learners are permitted to resit the external assessment once during their programme by taking a new assessment. The external assessment comprises 40 per cent of the total guided learning hours of the qualification and is weighted accordingly in the calculation of the overall qualification grade.

Future Prospects

Learners who generally achieve at Level 2 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • A Levels as preparation for entry to higher education in a range of subjects.
  • Study of a vocational qualification at Level 3, such as a BTEC National in IT, which prepares learners to enter employment or apprenticeships, or to move on to higher education by studying a degree in the digital sector.

Learners who generally achieve at Level 1 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • Study at Level 2 post-16 in a range of technical routes designed to lead to work, progression to employment, apprenticeships or to further study at Level 3. For these learners, the attitudes and the reflective and communication skills covered in the qualification will help them achieve.
  • study of a Technical Certificate in IT Support or Digital Technology post-16. Learners who perform well in this qualification compared to their overall performance should strongly consider this progression route which can lead to employment in the digital sector.

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business L3

Description of the Subject

BTEC Business Studies is a demanding, applied learning qualification. Students will need to complete a range of units, be organised, take some assessments that we will set and mark, and keep a portfolio of your assignments as well as take external tasks and exams within strict time frames.  The units chosen cover a range of business topic areas to provide a foundation for further study or employment.

What you will study

 

Year 1 – 2 units

  • Unit 1 Fundamentals of IT – External written exam – 80 Marks – 90 min

Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT. After completing this unit, the knowledge, skills and understanding your students have developed will underpin their study for the additional units. Knowledge gained in the study of this unit will also help prepare students for relevant industry qualifications such as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Mobility+ and Cisco IT Essentials.

  • Unit 2 Global Information – External written exam – 80 Marks – 90 min

This unit will provide students with a greater understanding of how organisations use information sources both internally and externally and the types of information they will encounter. The skills gained by completing this unit will give them knowledge of the functionality of information and how data is stored and processed by organisations. They will also learn about how individuals use information of various types. This unit will help students to understand the legislation and regulation governing information which flows in to and out of an organisation and the constraints and limitations that apply to it. They’ll also learn the relationship between data and Information.

 

Year 2 – 3 units

  • Unit 6 Application Design – Internal assessment

The world is increasingly reliant on applications that help individuals, business and organisations achieve specific activities or purposes. In this unit students will explore potential ideas for a new application and develop the fundamental design for it. They will then develop the designs for an application and how users will interact with it. The application that students will design could be for any sector and for any purpose. They will have the opportunity to present their ideas, prototype them and gain feedback before refining their design.

Besides the technical knowledge that students will gain about designing an application, they will also learn key transferable skills about liaising with clients, questioning people effectively to gain the information they need to develop successful designs, and presenting their ideas to an audience and getting feedback from them.

 

  • Unit 8 Project Management – Internal assessment

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to understand and use various project planning skills and techniques, thereby enabling them to become more effective in the workplace.

The key to any project being a success is the planning and management that takes place. Project management skills are essential transferable skills that can be used for all projects whether it’s traditional methodologies or more recently adopted agile approaches within the IT development environment. These skills can be adapted and used even on the smallest ‘tasks’ during the planning and implementation stages. This unit will assist students in developing skills, knowledge and understanding of different project methodologies and the key factors that can influence the success or failure of a project.

 

  • Unit 9 Product Development – Internal assessment

The purpose of this unit is to prepare students to undertake product development activities. They will learn about different product design methodologies and the role of the product development life cycle. In addition, they’ll discover the factors that influence product developments. The key to any product development being a success is the analysis, client review, design, testing and final acceptance that takes place. The skills that students will learn can be applied to the development of any product, large or small. They will use product development skills and work through the product development life cycle.

Methods of assessment:

Unit 1: This unit is externally assessed by a 90 minute written examination. Unit 2: This unit is externally assessed by 90 minute written examination. Unit 6, 8 and 9 are internally assessment based on coursework produced and externally moderated.

Future Prospects:

You can progress on to a variety of degrees when combined with other suitable Level 3 qualifications. For example, the qualification supports entry to courses in ICT, business, software development, accounting and finance, computer art, software development for animation, etc. The qualification also enables students to develop knowledge and skills needed for entry-level roles related to IT, including vocational apprenticeship roles and trainee/entry-level roles such as a social media specialist, web/content developer, or business analyst.

 

 

OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3

Description of the Subject

The qualifications aim to develop your students’ knowledge, understanding and skills of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. Your students will gain an insight into the IT sector as they investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale, and the importance of legal and security considerations. Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Level 3 Cambridge Technical in IT focus on the requirements that today’s universities and employers demand.

What you will study
 
 
 

Unit 1 Fundamentals of IT

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT. Knowledge gained in the study of this unit will also help prepare students for relevant industry qualifications such as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Mobility+ and Cisco IT Essentials.

Unit 2 Global Information

The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge. This unit will provide you with a greater understanding of how organisations use information sources both internally and externally and the types of information they will encounter. This unit will help students to understand the legislation and regulation governing information which flows in to and out of an organisation and the constraints and limitations that apply to it. They’ll also learn the relationship between data and Information. Knowledge gained in the study of this unit will also help prepare students for relevant industry qualifications such as VM Ware.

Unit 5 Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality is a simulated environment that is intended to replicate the physical experience of being in places in the real or imagined worlds, by giving the user sensory experiences that match those which would be experienced were the user actually in that environment. Augmented Reality is the process of changing the user’s view of the real world in order to give them an improved, or more detailed view of what they are seeing. You will learn about both technologies and how they are used. You will research both technologies and design both a Virtual and an Augmented Reality resource. The unit supports the development of skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to a job role in the areas of 3D modelling, digital transformation and even the film and games industry.

Unit 9 Product Development

The purpose of this unit is to prepare your students to undertake product development activities. They will learn about different product design methodologies and the role of the product development life cycle. In addition, they’ll discover the factors that influence product developments. The key to any product development being a success is the analysis, client review, design, testing and final acceptance that takes place. The skills that students will learn can be applied to the development of any product, large or small. They will use product development skills and work through the product development life cycle.

Unit 13 Social Media and Digital Marketing

The use of social media has increased massively over recent years and is now a world-wide phenomenon. Users of social media are able to share ideas and files, compare opinions and pass comment on the activities of their friends and contacts. In doing so, they are not only generating huge amounts of data about themselves, but also allowing others the opportunity to contact them and monitor some of their online activities. Social media also allows users to collaborate with others across the globe. Digital marketing is part of the overall process of marketing as is the use of digital media to increase awareness of a product or service. As social media offers such a wealth of data and the ability to contact potential customers in their own homes across a range of media channels, it is only natural that digital marketing seeks to use social media as part of the marketing mix for goods and services. This unit looks at digital marketing as a concept and then offers you the opportunity to explore the possible impacts, both positive and negative, that may be generated by the use of social media as a digital marketing tool.

How you will be assessed?

Unit

Unit title

Assessment method

Further information

1

Fundamentals of IT

External exam

1 hour 30 minutes written paper 80 marks

2

Global Information

External exam

1 hour 30 minutes written paper 80 marks

5

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Internal assignment/project

 

9

Product development

Internal assignment/project

 

13

Social Media and Digital Marketing

Internal assignment/project

 

Future Prospects

This qualification can help you to go on to study a wide range of subjects at university, or could lead into a career in IT Technical Support, Database Administrator, Field Technician, Network Technician, Junior Digital Content Developer, 3D Graphics Technician, Virtual Reality Software Technician, Junior Web Application Developer, Junior Application Developer, Junior Software Analyst, Typical job roles within this pathway include; Junior Data Analyst, Junior Data Quality Analyst or Junior Big Data Architect.