KS3 Computing

Our relationship with (and use of) technology dictates our place in society. To be successful in the modern world not only do you need to be a confident user of IT but you also need some understanding of how things work. During IT lessons at New Horizons you will be taught the necessary skills to use and create new technologies by a highly motivated and enthusiastic teacher. We aim to equip you with skills that can be applied to any career path.

Download PDF Version – KS3-Computing

Computer Science in Key Stage 3 Core
Computing is a new subject at Key Stage 3, replacing ICT.  Like all of our classes it is taught in small groups with consistent support for students. Learning outcomes will aim to ensure that by the end of the three year 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.

Pupils will be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding, in accordance with the National Curriculum, to:

  • design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems;
  • understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem;
  • use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions;
  • understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal];
  • understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems;
  • understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits;
  • undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users;
  • create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability;
  • understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.

Learning Organisation

In 2014 we introduced Computing to students at Key Stage 2 for the first time. As an introduction to the subject they firstly learn about the differences between Computing and ICT and then over the next three years of study they begin to develop their computational thinking skills and programming skills through a range of computing topics. Each year group studies 5 different topics a year, between 2 and 3 of these topics are computing topics.

Independent Home Learning

Students will be expected to work independently and use independent learning time to complete work ready for deadlines given for each project and to produce design work for the controlled assessment section of the exam. Home learning will be issued either in class or on the school blog.

Assessment Organisation It will be assessed in accordance with the National Curriculum.
Students will be able to continue study – to gain a GCSE in Key Stage 4.
Students may follow this with

  • A-level Computing or any other A-levels that involve problem solving.
  • BSc in Computer Science or other computer related fields.

Associated employment –Computer science is seen as a rigorous academic discipline. The skills developed in computer science are transferrable and could be used in any chosen career path.

If you have a keen interest in computers and programming potential careers could be:

  • Web Developer
  • IT Systems Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Network Optimisation Engineer
  • Network Support Engineer
  • Computer Science Teacher
  • IT Consultant
  • Software Engineer
  • Sales & Marketing Executive
  • Information Analyst
  • Graduate Management Trainee
  • IT Implementation Support Analyst
  • IT Help Desk Supervisor
  • Business Analyst
  • Assistant Project Planner
  • Enterprise Risk Consultant
  • Data Analyst
  • Programmer
  • Founder of start-up
Key Stage 3 Curriculum Coverage – as this is a new subject students will be following the same course at differentiated levels.  
  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Term 1 E-safety, Security and Ethics E-safety, Security and Ethics E-safety, Security and Ethics
Term 2 Understanding Computers Understanding Computers Understanding Computers
Term 3 How data is represented in computers How data is represented in computers How data is represented in computers
Term 4 Programming Programming Programming
Term 5 Digital Creativity Digital Creativity Digital Creativity
Term 6 Collaborative Project Collaborative Project Collaborative Project