Hollins ICT Department Virtual Learning Environment
The computing curriculum requires that every child leaves school digitally literate. This is why at The Hollins Technology College KS4 pupils have the option to choose the GCSE in Computer Science or the European Computer Driving License.
The GCSE (9-1) Computer Science course by OCR builds on pioneering qualification development in this field and is relevant to the modern, changing world of computing, it’s designed to boost computing skills essential for 21st century. Different aspects of the course include:
Engaging and contemporary – We’ve talked to companies like Microsoft, Google and Cisco, organisations like Computing At School (CAS), plus teachers and academics.
Focus on cyber security – It looks at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems, which students will study for the first time at this level.
A greater emphasis on ‘computational thinking’ – We’ve partnered with a specialist education technology company, Codio, to provide you with a cloud based programming and course content platform where students can learn the theory and apply it in real life situations, in any computing language.
Encourages mental versatility – Students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.
Pupils have a choice of textual programming languages to choose from such as Visual Basic, Python and Java.
ECDL is the benchmark for digital literacy in educational systems around the globe. ECDL equips students with the skills to use a computer confidently and effectively, building on existing knowledge and motivating further learning. ECDL is a vocational qualification that teaches young people how to use IT software applications confidently and effectively. Its hands-on delivery engages with students at all levels – encouraging productivity, creativity and soft skills like communication and problem-solving across the curriculum. At KS3 the department aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
All of these aims are covered through topics such as online safety (cyberbullying, password security and digital footprints), an introduction to computing, Boolean logic, logic gates, truth tables, representing data, computational thinking, flowcharts, pseudocode and algorithms. Pupils use various programming languages such as Kodu, Scratch, Processing 3, Arduino and Visual Basic.