Key Stage 4 Overview
This module explores the processes that allow computers to connect to each other; the different ways they can be connected and the ‘rules’ that a computing device must adhere to in order to successfully exchange data with another device. Other topics in this area include information encryption as well as the advantages and disadvantages of wired and wireless connections.
Computer Hardware: An in-depth guide
KS4 students learn the inner workings of the CPU and become familiar with the Von Neumann Architecture which essentially governs how CPU’s function. We also explore different types of computer memory/storage, its uses, limitations and its effect on CPU performance.
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
An area of study that delves into the threats a network may face and the procedures that can be put into place in order to anticipate such threats. It also closely examines the impact of technology on external factors such as legislation, environment and culture and requires students to assess the pro and cons of this impact.
This topic is a detailed examination of what is required to successfully create a sophisticated program in Python (a computer programming language). It requires KS4 students to understand how computers ‘think’; use pseudocodes to create effective and efficient programs; teaches them the functions and tools available in Python and how to identify errors in their programs.
Computational logic: Thinking like a computer
This is a field within Computer Science that allows students to understand the inner workings of logic gates and how they can be manipulated to create a range of outcomes. Through the use of truth tables, pupils will be able to successfully predict outcomes when employing AND, OR and NOT gates in a myriad of different ways.
Denary, binary and hexadecimal
This module aims to provide students with a clear understanding of how computers use binary logic to represent data such as letters, numbers, colours and images. Students will gain the skills needed to convert ‘normal’ every day numbers known as denary, into binary and hexadecimal code and vice versa. This area of learning is vital in understanding how humans successfully communicate with computing devices.
This practical task requires students to plan and then code a software program using the knowledge and skills they have learned in previous modules. Students will be given a total of 20 hours in computer use time to complete all aspects of their mini project. This project is then sent off to the exam board as evidence of their work.