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In September 2014 the government radically changed the way that Computing was taught in schools across the country.

It was clear that throughout Britain over a number of years ICT, as it was then commonly known, had fallen into disrepute as an academic subject. ICT was often seen as an easy option often focused on an ability to use Microsoft Office rather than delve deeper into the subject.

A change in focus has seen computing become much more about how computers work and how they can be used effectively in an ever changing, innovating world. The new curriculum is aimed at helping prepare students to understand and change the world through logical thinking and creativity, making explicit links with Maths, Science and Design Technology.

At Castle Rock we have taken the opportunity to look how technology is used not only in schools but in the wider world, not least in business. Students spend much of their time learning to program using a range of software packages, including Scratch and Python.

All students get the opportunity to look at how computers are made and take part in practical activities taking working computers and other devices apart and just as importantly putting them back together again.

How learning is assessed?

Learning is assessed using a variety of methods continually throughout the year. Students are given the opportunity, before the end of each rotation in years 7 and 8, to reflect on the variety of feedback given to them in order to help them progress towards their new target before the end of the rotation.

Teachers will continually assess students in their technical skills through observation and using our monitoring software, RM Tutor. Teachers encourage the use of self-assessment, peer review and mentoring in all practical lessons.

Formal checks are made using a variety of assessment techniques at the end of each topic.

Feedback will be given in a variety of ways such as: through success criteria, verbal feedback which is recorded, self- assessment and peer assessment; to name a few. Students are formally assessed in each rotation in Year 7 and 8 and in Year 9, students are assessed every 4-6 weeks.

Schemes of Learning

Year 7

Project 1 - E-Safety

Project 2 - Hardware and Software

Project 3 - Micro:bit Programming Project

Year 8

Project 1 - Binary, Logic Gates & Truth Tables

Project 2 - Flowcharts

Project 3 - Programming Project

Year 9

Project 1 - Hardware & Software

Project 2 - Databases & Programming

Project 3 - Programming & Pseudocode

Project 4 - Algorithms, Networking & Flow Charts

Project 5 - Exam Focus Project

Project 6 - Creative Project