Students at Kirkburton Middle School study Computing for one hour per week throughout Years 6, 7 and 8. Students also have many opportunities to use computers in other subjects, where they are taught new skills and also are able to practise the skills that they have learned in their Computing lessons.
In Year 6 Computing, students will study seven modules – “Basic Skills”, “Perfect Presentations”, “Internet & e-Safety”, “Project Mars”, “Spreadsheets” & “Programming & Control”.
Students will learn how to log onto the school network and discuss the importance of secure passwords. They will complete an ICT baseline test. They will then use a range of programs as an introduction to ICT in the school, with an emphasis on saving, retrieving and printing work correctly. Finally, they will end this module with a revision of skills in Microsoft Word, focusing on spelling, punctuation and formatting of text.
Students will look at example presentations in Powerpoint and evaluate the effectiveness of each one – pointing out good points and weaknesses. They will plan, develop & implement a presentation called “About Me” to be shown to the rest of the class.At each stage students will improve the presentation both in terms of spellings, punctuation, grammar etc and also in terms of fonts, sizes, colours.
Internet & E-Safety
Students will discuss online safety and how to act responsibly online. They will look at the ways in which people communicate online, the type of information that people post online and decide which is safe, which is dangerous and which information depends. The will also look at ways of dealing with online safety issues.
Students will look how computers are programmed, how they count in binary and how they control robots. They will look at the Martian Rovers and discuss how instructions can be sent to the Rovers from Earth. They will work in groups to program a robot to move around obstacles. They will look at the importance of creating accurate sequences of commands, working in small groups to control a robot and individually to control a Turtle on the computer.
Students will work through a set of learning exercises in Excel covering basic formulae – +, -, /, *, SUM and AVERAGE.
Programming & Control
Students will create some simple programs in Scratch. They will go on to control a turtle in LOGO and then apply this in Scratch. They will also learn some simple commands in BASIC.
In Year 7 Computing, students will study six modules – “Vector Graphics & DTP”, “Graphics Programming”, “Textual Programming”, “Spreadsheets and Cryptography”, “Animation & Control”
Students will look at the idea of having a “corporate image” for work, where colour schemes, fonts, sizes etc are kept the same throughout a document or product.
They will look at company logos and at what features make a good logo. They will produce logos for specific companies or organisations and evaluate other students’ work.
They will use one of their logos to produce a leaflet incorporating their own corporate image.
Students will use Scratch and MSW LOGO to create sequences of commands for the computer.
In MSW LOGO this will involve drawing shapes on the screen, using loops to repeat sets of instructions, calculating angles to draw polygons, creating subroutines and calling subroutines from a program.
Students will write a series of commands in BBC BASIC to achieve an outcome or a solution to a problem.
Spreadsheets & Cryptography
Students will work through a set of learning exercises in Excel covering basic formulae – +, -, /, *, SUM and AVERAGE. They will investigate the use of brackets in formulae and will also look at the use of absolute cell references. Students will then look at some real-life uses of spreadsheets such as predicting sales profits in a shop. Students will then look at the work of Alan Turing and build spreadsheets to break coded messages.
Animation & Control
Students will produce some simple animations using Scratch. They will then go on to create their own game in Scratch.
In Year 8 Computing, students will study eight modules – “Posters & Presentation”, “How Computers Work”, “Sequencing, Programming & Control”, “Spreadsheets”, “Databases” & “Graphics / Games Programming”
Posters & Presentation
Students will revisit some of the skills from Years 6 & 7 to produce a prototype poster for a school Halloween party. They will then use a set of criteria to comment on other students’ work and suggest improvements.
They will then look at some more advanced graphics techniques to improve their poster and will finally produce a finished product that is suitable for a specific target audience, whilst producing a portfolio of evidence showing the resources that they have used and different stages of the design process. Finally they will evaluate their own work and seek feedback from other students on their final poster.
Sequencing, Programming & Control
In FLOWOL students will program a toy for a child such that each button has a purpose, but sequences of button presses have new effects on the toy in order to add interest and make the toy educational. They will also look at programming two sets of traffic lights to make them work in sequence at each side of a narrow bridge.
They will then complete an assessed project to create a system for a car park that controls IN and OUT barriers, counts cars in and out and utilises a “Full” sign that automatically stops cars from entering until another car leaves. Students will need to explain how their programs work, how they have changed them as they work through the problems and what further improvements could be made.
In BBC BASIC, students will programme to solve a particular outcome or a solution to a problem; an example would be “Maths Machine” calculator and create programme that asks for their name and age; calculates how old they will be in the future.
Students will revise the work they have previously done using spreadsheets – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They will look at the use of brackets to control the order of mathematical operations. They will then go on to look at SUM, AVERAGE, MAX and MIN functions and will then learn how to use IF statements and the COUNTIF function.
Students will practice these skills by working out profit and loss in a business scenario. Students will learn how to lock and password protect a spreadsheet and will look at how different levels of security are needed for different applications. Finally, they will use their knowledge of spreadsheets to create a general knowledge quiz that will automatically give the user their score.
Creating & Using Databases
Students will look at how databases are used and discuss how their own details are collected and stored on various databases around the world. They will learn how to create a new database, create a user form for adding records, add, delete and edit records, import records from a CSV file, and use queries to search a database using multiple criteria.
Graphics & Games Programming
Students will use Scratch or BASIC to create their own computer game.