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IT and Business

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.

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business L2

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 Enterprise in the business world - What is a business and what does it do? The term ‘business’ can cover anything from a sole trader in a local market to a multinational corporation selling products to millions of people all over the world. This unit introduces you to the language and terminology used in business. It explores what businesses do, trends that affect them, how they operate and the factors that influence their success.
  • Unit 2 Finance for business - In this unit, you will explore the types of costs that businesses incur, from the initial start-up costs involved in setting up a business to the on-going daily costs of running the business. You will then explore the ways in which the sale of products and services generates revenue, so that you can develop your understanding of profit. The final part of the unit explores the ways in which businesses measure success and identify areas for improvement. You will understand how gross profit and net profit are calculated and you will learn about the relationship between sales, cost of sales and gross profit. You will analyse key financial statements (e.g. profit and loss accounts, balance sheets) and review their importance in the successful financial management of a business.

Year 2:   2 units

  • Promoting a brand - A successful business promotes itself to customers through its brand and image. In this unit, you will find out what it takes to build a brand and what a business has to consider when planning brand development. You will investigate the importance of branding to a business, the types of branding that are available and why businesses need to review and update their brands. You will consider the important role of promotion and its place within the marketing mix. You will discover that promotion is a communication process, involving the sending and receiving of messages via a particular medium. It is not enough to have excellent products on offer at competitive prices; the benefits of these products must be clearly communicated to customers in order to encourage sales and, ultimately, make a profit.
  • Recruitment & Selection process - The success of any business is largely due to the calibre of the people who work for it. A business will strive to ensure that it has the right people in the right place at the right time. In this unit you will be introduced to the variety of job roles that exist within businesses and the various functions that are performed by individual roles, as well as the types of organisational structures used in businesses. You will also consider how to prepare for interview and employment and the necessary steps for career planning by producing your own career development plan.
How you will be assessed

A combination of assignments and an examination

Year 1:   50% external assessment, 50% assignments

Year 2:   100% assignment.

Future Prospects

The skills and knowledge you will develop on this course are designed to meet the current demands of industry and commerce, and you will find that many of the skills are transferable and will have currency in a wide range of careers. On successful completion of this course you could progress into employment or apprenticeship training in a wide variety of posts in industry and commerce.  Alternatively you could progress to the BTEC Subsidiary/Extended Diploma in Business or another Level 3 course. Students who continue studying A level or BTEC Business courses, can look forward to future careers in Accounting, Fashion, Marketing, Law, Finance, Human Resources and of course, use this to start their own business in any chosen field.

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 Exploring Business- study features of different businesses and analyse what makes them successful, investigate how businesses are organised, examine the environment in which businesses operate, examine business markets and investigate the role and contribution of innovation and enterprise to business success
  • Unit 2 Developing a marketing campaign – introduction to the principles and purposes of marketing that underpin the rationale for a marketing campaign; developing a rationale for a marketing campaign and planning and developing a marketing campaign

Year 2:   2 units

  • Personal and Business Finance - Personal finance involves the understanding of why money is important and how managing your money can help prevent future financial difficulties. It is vital you understand the financial decisions you will need to take throughout your life and how risk can affect you and your choices. This unit will also give you an insight into where you can get financial advice and support.  The business finance aspects of the unit introduce you to accounting terminology, the purpose and importance of business accounts and the different sources of finance available to businesses. Planning tools, such as cash flow forecasts and break-even, will be prepared and analysed. Measuring the financial performance of a business will require you to prepare and analyse statements of comprehensive income and statements of financial position.
  • Recruitment & Selection process - You will learn that successful recruitment is key to maintaining the success of a business, as people are often considered to be the most valued resource. You will explore the various selection tools and the enhanced use of technology in this area. Businesses with an effective recruitment process in place are more likely to make successful appointments. In a competitive labour market, this is a major advantage and will support business success. This unit gives you the opportunity, through role-play, to take part in selection interviews. They will need to be organised and prepared so that they demonstrate your communication skills in this work-related competence.
How you will be assessed

A combination of assignments and an examination

Year 1:   50% external assessment, 50% assignments

Year 2:   60% external assessment, 40% assignments

The new BTEC Nationals in business offer a flexible range of qualifications that can be studies alongside other level 3 qualifications such as A Levels or other BTEC Nationals.

Future Prospects

A BTEC in Business Studies can help you to go on to study a wide range of subjects at university, or could lead into a career in Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing, or many other related subjects.

University Progression

Leading pathways from the BTEC Business Course include: Economics, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Advertising, Accounting & Finance, International Business, Politics, Retail Management, Travel & Tourism and Hotel Management/ Hospitality.

OCR Cambridge Technicals Level 3 Information Technology

Description of the Subject

The qualifications aim to develop your students’ knowledge, understanding and skills of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. You 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 Technicals 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.