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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

Computing & ICT

Welcome to the Computing and ICT Department, part of the Vocational Faculty. Computing has never been more important in the modern work environment than it is today. Our computing curriculum has been designed to teach students a wide range of skills that modern day organisations look for in their employees.


Key Stage 3

Year 7

Year 7 Overview from Autumn 1 – Summer 2
NC Computing KS3

Term Unit of Work Summary
Term 1 Transition Task Introduction to School ICT & E-Safety

This is a year where many changes take place in terms of a childs’ learning, and so to prepare our students for the years ahead, we have embedded transitional skills and tasks at the start of the year. Students will focus on literacy, research skills, rewording text to avoid plagiarism, and keyword definitions from specific websites.


Students are introduced to the school by familiarising themselves with the school’s systems. Passwords introduce the students to the importance of using technology safely, which opens the term to the E-Safety unit. This is a compulsory requirement for all students.

Term 2 Hardware and Software

With students using technology day to day, they are expected to know the terms used to identify the equipment they use. Most students are unfamiliar with the real names of the actual gadgets they use, and so this is an important unit to cover the Hardware and Software they will use throughout their lives.

Term 3


Introduction to  HTML

This is an introduction to website development. Students will familiarise themselves with the basics of the web designing language: HTML. Students will delve into their previous learning of what software is and understand the development aspect of applications.

Term 4 Flowol

Students begin to learn how problem-solving methods can be applied to real life scenarios using logic reasoning and controls. At this stage it is important for them to understand how problems can be solved by breaking tasks down into smaller chunks. 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.

Term 5 Scratch

This unit will teach students about several programming elements going such as algorithms, variables, selection, loops and counts. The students will use these new key algorithms to create games such as pong, flappy bird and catch the ball. The students will also have the opportunity to create their very own games.


Students will learn the very basic level of programming using a program called Scratch ( They will create interactive animations, games and quizzes.

Term 6 Information Technology Theory - ITT This unit is designed for students to independently use their skills to research and find out information about computing theory. It is a game-based unit which is designed to help students with memory, problem solving and research. This unit will recap on prior learning, however will also introduce them to theoretical topics that they will not have covered previously. This is designed to help students raise their grades on a more holistic level and prepare them with key terminologies in year 8.

Year 8

Year 8 Overview from Autumn 1 – Summer 2
NC Computing KS3

Term Unit of Work Summary
Term 1 Understanding Computers

Students are reintroduced to the fundamental hardware components of computers. This is so that they can familiarise themselves with how technology works and recap their learning from year 7 but to a deeper level. This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles of computer architecture and use of binary. Pupils will look at the Input-Process-Output sequence, storage devices, the Fetch-Decode-Execute cycle and some simple binary to decimal conversion. Students will investigate inside computer towers and gets participate in a hands-on approach to working with and understanding computer systems.

Term 2 Data Representation

Students will learn how to convert between binary, denary and hexadecimal number systems and add binary numbers together. They will also be able to explain the outputs for logic gates (AND, OR, XOR and NOT) and logic circuits and complete truth tables based on logic gate circuits.


Finally, they will learn about the difference between bitmap images and vector images, how sound files are converted into a digital signal and what machine code and assembly language are.

Term 3  Introduction to Python

Now that students have been introduced to how numbers can be represented within internal components, it is important for them to start creating their own algorithms through programming. Python is a structured language and is widely used for most KS4 courses and in the world of work. This unit is an introduction to Python, an easy-to-use high-level programming language. The focus is on getting pupils to understand the process of developing programs, the importance of writing correct syntax, being able to formulate algorithms for simple programs and debugging their programs.

Term 4 Networks

This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles and architecture of local and wide area networks. Pupils will learn that the World Wide Web is part of the Internet, and how web addresses are constructed and stored as IP addresses using DNS.


Pupils will learn about data transmission and through an understanding of different network topologies and network hardware, they will plan the structure of a local area network. Client-server, peer-to-peer networks and the concept of cloud computing are all described. Ways of keeping data secure and simple encryption techniques are also covered.


This unit will form a very good introduction to the topic of networks at GCSE level.

Term 5 Cyber Security

This topic is essential in the development of each student, especially while they are being more exposed towards the uses of technology. It is important to ensure the safety of students while using technology so they prepare themselves for online dangers and know how to protect themselves. With the coverage of how the internet works, this unit falls nicely at this time and students are able to relate to the technicalities of specific dangers to a deeper level.

Term 6 Basic Spreadsheets

At this point students have covered majority hardware related topics and so it is important for them to learn how to use specific software packages. Both options at KS4 will require students to use spreadsheets and this is a life skill that students will need to know to equip them for the wider world. This unit of work will focus on data storage, manipulation and presentation with the use of formula and functions.


Students will create spreadsheets and using formulas, functions, charts and other spreadsheet tools.

Year 9

Year 9 Overview from Autumn 1 – Summer 2
NC Computing KS3

Term Unit of Work Summary
Term 1 Computational Thinking

Students are now introduced to a deeper level learning on problem solving. Students will uses every day examples along with lots of practical hands-on and unplugged challenges to bring the theory of computational thinking to life.


Students will learn about the core Computational thinking principles (decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithms), they create flow charts and will learn how to write pseudocode (including INPUT, OUTPUT, IF…THEN, IF…THEN…ELSE, IF…THEN…ELSEIF…ELSE statements, FOR, WHILE and REPEAT UNTIL loops).

Term 2

Advanced Spreadsheets

Students will begin to look at advanced formulae and functions in order to equip them for KS4. They will start to model scenarios based on real life situations, using IF statements, VLOOKUPs, graphs and formatting. Pupils start by looking at different types of Spreadsheet models and then use basic spreadsheet techniques to create and format a simple financial model to calculate the expected income from viewers’ voting.


The model is then extended to include sales from merchandising, with the introduction of “what if” scenarios.


Finally the pupils create a seat booking system to book seats and calculate income from seat sales. Spreadsheet features covered include SUM, MAX, IF and COUNTIF functions, cell naming, conditional formatting, validation, charting and simple macros.

Term 3  Advanced Python

This unit is built on the students some prior experience in Python. Pupils will use For loops and compare their use with While loops, before moving on to arrays (lists), which are introduced as a new data structure and are used in conjunction with For loops.


Procedures and functions with parameters are covered to help pupils understand the concept and benefits of modular programming. This unit is designed to take provide pupils with ample experience of programming in order to confirm any decision to pursue Computer Science as a GCSE option. Students will create interactive programs using IF statements, Loops and calculations so that they are able to independently work in developing their skills at an advanced level.

Term 4 Database Development

Creating databases is a key requirement in KS4. Those students who choose Computer Science will look at SQL queries and data types alongside records and fields. Those opting for the Cambridge National option will be expected to create their own database, using forms, queries and reports. At this stage student have covered data types, algorithms and the need for organised data structures.  This unit has a practical focus, covering the creation and use of a single-table database and/or a simple relational database involving two tables in a one- to-many relationship using MS Access.


In subsequent lessons pupils will create a flat-file or two-table relational database of their own, using suitable field types and adding in appropriate validations.

Term 5 Programming Theory This particular topic is focussed on preparing students for all subjects they have opted for as it covers the Project lifecycle, planning, analysis, data testing, implementing and reviewing projects. This will allow students to spread their learning in all subjects of the curriculum, specifically Cambridge Nationals and Computer Science. This topic will also allow students to gain deeper level theory on programming and project based scenarios.
Term 6 Computer Graphics - Photoshop This final topic is designed to explore the student’s creative skills and develop their skills of digital artefacts. This is a strand within the ICT curriculum and will allow students to hone in on the ethics, theory and practical aspects of graphic design. The unit explores how bitmap and vector images are represented and stored by the computer. There is also opportunity for pupils to practise skills in design, photo editing and image manipulation using layers to create a magazine cover using Photoshop.

At KS4, we are offering two qualifications:

  1. the OCR GCSE 9-1 Computer Science
  2. the OCR Level 2 Cambridge National Certificate  in Information Technology


Year 10 and 11 OCR GCSE 9-1 in Computer Science  

In 2020-2021,  GCSE Computer Science students

Year 10 will be starting the new specification J277

Year 11 will be in the last year of the J276 specifications ending in 2020


Unit Unit of Work Summary

Year 10: Term 1

Transitional Task

Students are often daunted with the leap between KS3 and KS4 and so transitional tasks have been put in place to familiarise students with Keywords, memorisation techniques and the understanding of difference scenarios based on a client’s brief. These are skills that they will need through their learning at KS4 and KS5 and therefore is an essential stage of their development.

Year 10: Term 1

Unit 5 Algorithms






Unit 6

Programming Project




This is a topic which students struggle to understand, and so we will be introducing this early and continuing to cover it throughout the course. Students are expected to spend 20 hours on a programming project issued by the examining board. They will need to understand the concepts of Algorithms and Programming in order to deliver this. By doing this unit, students will be able to create their own programs and solve complex problems. This unit will be preparing students to complete the programming unit, but also it will allow them to explore the expectations of their paper 2 exam, and thus gain a higher grade.

Year 10: Term 2

Year 10: Term 2



Programming Project

Although this is a key requirement for the course, students will not be marked on this project, and this will not count towards their overall grade. However, the project is designed to allow students to practically understand the concepts of Paper 2, while at the same time, it allows students to contextually relate to some aspects of Paper 1. And so we have decided to deliver this unit first - so that they can apply this learning throughout all concepts of learning. Both the year 10s and 11s will be taught this at the same time, so that staff and students can hold after school sessions, explore creative ideas, tutorial session together as a whole group.

Year 10: Term 3


Unit 7

Logic and languages

Students often find this unit lighter and easier to understand than the previous topics, which allows there to be a balance in terms of student enthusiasm. This particular unit allows students to theoretically understand the practical element that they have just carried out. Students are able to gain higher marks if they can provide examples of specific languages, and so, as they have already carried out the programming project- they are able to provide examples for higher level progress.

Year 10: Term 4


Unit 8

Data representation

Students are already familiar with the concept of binary and denary at KS3, and so they will be able to recap their previous learning. At this stage student can then delve further into the topic and convert binary/denary and then move on to a higher level by converting hexadecimal. Students will also be exposed to binary addition, which will allow them to gain higher marks in the assessment.

Year 10: Term 5


Unit 1

Systems Architecture

This is a linear based structure of the course so that students cover all aspects of Computer Science, however, with the aid of the students already completing the programming unit - they are able to contextualise concepts and apply theory to practice. The course is split into 2 exams, which are equally weighted. This unit is delivered to the students after paper 2 as it is more theory based, allowing students to independently learn through teacher and online resources. This is a more typical exam structure and so students can learn the theory of a computer through videos and assessments. This particular topic covers the introduction of a computer system, in which all other parts of computing stems from. Students will learn about the pioneers of computing in this unit, allowing them to link concepts such as Memory, Storage and instructions into further units.

Term Unit of Work Summary

Year 11: Term 1

Unit 2


This is a unit that students have briefly covered in year 8 and this then delves further into the concept of networks. Student should have a foundation understanding of the topic, and will be exposed to deeper learning, which will enable them develop and progress onto a higher level.

Year 11: Term 2

Unit 3

Systems software and security

After learning about networks and the Internet, this unit is a natural progress as it allows students to critically think about the risks involved with Networks and how the security measures in place to protect themselves. This will stretch their learning of computer networks and system security so that they are able to practically and theoretically move towards analysing and solving complex scenarios.
Year 11: Term 3

Unit 4 Ethics

This unit allows students to reflect back at their previous units and critically think about the impacts of technology in society and to an individual. This particular unit allows students to aim for higher grades as it gives them the opportunity to analyse and discuss specific scenarios. Students would need to be aware of the capabilities of computers as per previous units, in order to fully stretch their understanding of the impacts of technology.


Year 10 and 11     OCR Level 2 Cambridge National Certificate in IT, J808   Entry Code: J808

In 2020-2021,  OCR Cambridge National Certificate students:

Y10 will undertake the internal examination component at the end of the year

Y11 will do both the internal and external examination during the year


Year 10

Term Unit of Work Summary

Year 10:

Half Term 1


LO1  Stages of the project life cycle

Interaction and iteration

Initial project considerations Planning tools and software


LO2  Initiating a project by analysing the requirements

to a given context

Students are given the opportunity to look at the different stages of a project. This is a nice introduction as it is based on the exam unit (R012) and allows students to start doing practical tasks for the coursework unit (R013).


This unit allows students to understand the initiation stage of a project and gets them to look at tools and techniques that can be used to initiate a project by analysing the requirements to a given context.

Year 10:

Half Term 2


LO4   Prevention Measures Implications and applications of the current legislation

LO8   Carrying out and documenting an iterative review

Practical tasks will be issued to students so that they can apply the theory they have learnt into practice.

How to mitigate risks through the planning process.


Students will be taught how to to use planning documentation and carry out and document an iterative review ie Phase review.

Year 10:

Half Term 3


LO3   Data Types


LO6    Selection and justification of
the appropriate tools and techniques/formats to process data

Students will be taught how to create, edit and delete data using appropriate software tools and techniques.


They will cover the selection and justification of the appropriate tools and techniques and formats.

Year 10:

Half Term 4


LO6 Processing data to meet defined objectives

LO7 Purpose and suitability of presenting methods


LO3 Data types Information and relationships

Students will learn to process data to meet the defined objectives in a given context.


They will be taught how to present information using appropriate software tools and techniques and be taught presentation techniques and how to select and present information for a given purpose and audience.

Year 10:

Term 5 & 6

LO7 Select and Present Information






Coursework for L0 2, 5, 7 and 8

At this stage student are prepared to select and present information in the development of the solution to meet an identified need. This learning will be expected for them to complete their coursework, and so it is important that they have imported and manipulated data and they will have to present the necessary information.


Students will take part in a practice coursework assignment before they undertake their 20-hour coursework assignment examination, which will be issued midway during this term.

Year 11

Term Unit of Work Summary

Year 11: Term 1





LO5 Import and Manipulate Data

Students are given practical tasks to import and manipulate data using the software tools they have looked at in LO6, the previous unit. This will allow them to use the tools and techniques of different software tools so that they can practically understand the advantages and disadvantages of each tool.

This level of understanding will allow the student to gain higher and deeper level of understanding, so that they are able to practically analyse the requirements of their exam and coursework.

Year 11: Term 2


Preparing for the external Examination for LOs 1, 3, 4 and 6

Students will be involved with revision and recap lessons in preparation for the external examination in January.

Year 11: Term 3&4


External Examination for LOs 1, 3, 4 and 6


LO8 Iterative Review and




Coursework for Learning Objectives;

2, 5, 7 and 8




This is the final stage of the project lifecycle, hence why this is delivered at the end of the course delivery.

This will prepare students to follow a structure when developing the project for their coursework.


Students must be able to iteratively review the development of the solution in their coursework and so they will be given practical tasks to do before they undertake their 20-hour coursework assignment examination, which will be issued midway during this term.

Year 11: Term 5&6


LO 1, 3, 4 and 6 (Exam)


LO 2, 5, 7 and 8 (Coursework)

Students will be involved with revision and recap lessons in preparation for exam / Coursework retakes.


Useful websites: