KS3 ICT and Computing

In Years 7-9 we prepare students for courses in KS4 by following a Computing programme of study and undertaking an entry level qualification.

Year 7

Half Term 1 and 2: E – Safety
In the first term students will have an electronic baseline assessment of their current level in Computing. This will be used along with their KS2 Maths and English scores to put them into a flight path. The flight path is designed to ensure that they make sufficient progress from their starting point to be successful in a Computing or IT qualification at Key stage 4. All students will study e-safety in the first term.

Half Term 3 and 4: Scratch

This term revolves around the block based programming language Scratch. Students may have used Scratch before in Primary school. Here we teach a range of programming constructs that will enable students to plan, create and evaluate a game. We would encourage use of Scratch or other block based programming at home. Scratch resources are freely available on the Internet. MIT Scratch homepage: https://scratch.mit.edu/

Half Term 5: Spreadsheets

In this term we look at the use of Spreadsheets for the collection and analysis of data. We encourage students to be thinking about a range of functions they can use and how information can be summarised in the form of graphs. We use Excel as an investigation tool and a range of skills are needed to efficiently answer questions set. Parents must be very careful when helping students with their homework as they may be very familiar with Excel and give us a false impression of the progress their child is making. This unit contains a lot of technical vocabulary which may prove challenging for some students. Students need to understand BODMAS in order to successfully enter formula into Excel.

Half Term 6: Physical Computing

During half term 6 we go on to look at physical computing and how devices can be programmed in a variety of text based languages.

Year 8

Half Term 1: Technology and Networks

This unit introduces pupils to some technological terminology and the history of computing. They will learn about hardware including input, output and storage devices. They will also look at software including operating systems, applications software and utilities software. This unit will give the pupils a deeper understanding of technology. Further developing their technology knowledge, the pupils will look at the hardware and software involved in networks, the star, ring and bus topologies as well as learning more about what a network administrator does and using tools such as IPCONFIG and PING. They also learn about security dangers such as spyware, viruses and worms and how to avoid them.

Half Term 2: Flowol

A practical unit covering the principles of producing control and monitoring solutions using a flowchart-based interface. Pupils will start by producing systems that use simple loops and basic outputs, and then move on to look at systems that have multiple inputs and outputs. They will refine their solutions using subroutines and variables.

Half Term 3: Database

In this unit the pupils learn about using a relations database. They create a simple flat file database, look at data types and properties. They also create queries including basic criterion, multiple criteria and logical operators. They use a relational database, understand what primary keys are and one-to-many relationships. They create forms and reports to show the data and finally recap all the skills they have learnt through a final assessment.

Half Term 4: Python

This unit teaches the pupils the basics of programming using Python, a text based language. They create a variety of coded solutions to simple problems and use variables, data types, If statements, advanced If statements and loops. This unit helps the pupils learn about computational thinking skills and planning code and is the perfect introduction to more advanced programming and builds on what they learnt in Scratch.

Half Term 5: Animated Banner

In this unit the pupils will be learning how to make animations. They will look at drawing tools, motion and states, using the timeline and layers effectively and adding images, text and timeline effects to their animations. They will plan and create an animation that they will use in the website that they will create in the next unit. There is a strong element of making a product which is suitable for the target audience and purpose.

Half Term 6: Website
This unit shows pupils how to create a professional looking website. They evaluate existing websites and use that knowledge to plan, create, test and evaluate their own websites. They will learn how to insert text, images, roll-over images, tables, hyperlinks, buttons and image hotspots. They will also include the animation they have create in the previous unit, an animated banner, to show how they are able to work on creative projects, linking work together.

Year 9

Half Term 1: Scratch
This term involves pupils looking at Scratch in more depth. More complicated code and tasks will be complete that will help the pupil to take instructions and apply them to a program.

The middle part of Year 9 Students will undertake an Entry level computing qualification. This is pre-GCSE a stepping stone qualification that is structured into a programming assignment, a research task and three short exams.

Half Term 2: Controlled Assessment 1 – Programming Task

Bronze (Level1) – expected to achieve qualification 40%
Silver (Level 2) – 60%
Gold (Level 3) – 80%

Half Term 3: Controlled Assessment 2 – Research Task
Bronze (Level1) – expected to achieve qualification 40%
Silver (Level 2) – 60%
Gold (Level 3) – 80%

Half Term 4: Assessment 3 – Hardware, Software and Binary Logic Exam
Bronze (Level 1) – expected to achieve qualification 40%
Silver (Level 2) – 60%
Gold (Level 3) – 80%

Half Term 5: Video Unit

This term allows pupils to become familiar with video editing software. They will be able to plan, develop, export and evaluate their video. The pupils will be given a scenario to work towards and will be able to develop their editing skills.

Half Term 6: Extended Task – Programming (GCSE Computing), Video Unit, Animation or Creating a Website (CiDA Pupils).

Depending on options taken, pupils will carry out an extended task in one of the above options. The idea being this will give the pupils a more specific head start ready for GCSE year.

5 ways I can help my son/daughter


Parent Guide: Understanding Cyber Bullying http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/cyber_bullying/


E-Safety for Parents



Your child will need to work more independently at secondary school than at primary school. But your interest and input will still be important and will help your child to do well in ICT & Computing.


Look for opportunities to talk to your child about ICT and how it has changed our society, in so many ways.  Children enjoy sharing what they are learning. Try to find topics you’re both interested in so it’s more of a conversation than an interrogation.


Ask your child if there’s anything you can do to help with homework. Discuss the organisation of the work.