Key Stage 3

It is important that all students are prepared for a world that is ever changing due to digital technologies.

All students at Dowdales are taught to use logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, design and structured problem solving – these are all skills and concepts that are valuable well beyond the computing classroom. Dowdales recognises the importance of Computer Science as part of the curriculum due to the demand for computer scientists and the want from students to be taught this discipline.

Our curriculum at Key Stage 3 ensures that all skills are applicable to many contexts from business to engineering and is already leading to deeper understanding within many areas of each students schooling.

During Key Stage 3 all students will learn the following:

  • Algorithms -  Computational Thinking
  • Programming and Development – Both Graphical and Textual based programming
  • Data & Data Representation – Binary, Hexadecimal, Binary Subtraction etc
  • Hardware and Processing – Moore’s Law, von Neumann architecture, Hardware and Software
  • Communication and Networks – Hardware and Protocols, WAN’s, LAN’s to Mac Addresses
  • Information Technology – E-safety, Legislations, Databases, Modelling, Creative Projects

Year 7

In Year 7 students will study the various issues that revolve around E-Safety and the techniques used to stay safe online. They will then move onto programming, in particular Scratch, where they will explore the various commands and programming techniques, thus developing an understanding of how computer games are developed. The students will then look into computer modelling, focussing on creating spreadsheet models in Microsoft Excel. In Year 7 the students will also enhance their knowledge of how computers work, this includes looking at input, output and storage devices, as well as looking at how computers work using Binary, focussing on how characters, colours, images and sound are created using Binary, which then leads onto looking into the future of computing. Then the year finishes off with looking at Modelling, but this time looking, creating and programming models using Small Basic.

Year 8

In Year 8 students will study Databases, in which they will explore Microsoft Access and create and develop a Database, looking into Queries, Forms and Reports and the importance of Databases to a business or an organisation. Year 8 students will have a look at Modelling, in particular looking, creating and programming models using Small Basic. The students will also have a go at Modelling, but this time using Star PNG. Students will then move onto video editing, in particular creating videos using Serif Movie Plus and using the features on the software to create and develop videos. The year then finishes off with looking at “Computational Theory”, in particular looking at how Computers have developed over time and then looking ahead to the future, focussing and developing an understanding of Artificial Intelligence.

Year 9

In Year 9 students will study Networks, focussing on how Networks are different to the Internet, and then exploring how Download Speed affects performance whilst using the internet, moving onto the different types of networks and then finishing off with Encryption, in particular looking at the effort from Alan Turing and the Code Breakers at Bletchley Park during WWII. The students then look at Control, focussing on Logicator, where students will develop simulations using Logic Gates and Flowcharts. Moving into December, Year 9s will then look into web design, focussing on how websites are developed using HTML and CSS rather than developing a website purely on design and focussing on the coding element to websites. Continuing with the Programming Theme, the students will then look at Python and create some text based programs using Python, thus enhancing their knowledge and understanding of how programs and computer games work. Students will then move forward and look at Animation, how it developed over time, leading on with Year 9 creating animations of their own. Then the year finishes off with looking at Modelling, focussing on creating spreadsheet models in Microsoft Excel.