Pupils are taught to:
- design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
- understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem
- use 2 or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
- understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal]
- understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
- understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits
- undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users
- create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
- understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns
- learn about E-safety and the history of computing
- the main components of a computer system: Central Processing Unit (CPU), internal/main memory, backing storage, input and output devices and power supplies
- a range of common applications where microprocessor technology is used: personal computers, mainframe computers, super computers and embedded systems
- the difference between hardware and software.
- input devices and their appropriate use: keyboards and pads, specialist keyboards, mouse, joystick, tracker ball, touch pad, microphones, remote controls, scanners, digital cameras, webcams, touch screens, readers for bar codes, magnetic stripes and chip and pin, sensors, MIDI instruments
- output devices and their appropriate use: monitor/screens, printers, speakers, head/earphones, digital projectors, plotters, actuators
- storage devices and their appropriate use: hard disks, optical storage devices, magnetic tape, drives, flash memory devices
- communication devices and their appropriate use: modems, routers, hubs, network interface cards in fixed and mobile systems
- the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of input, output, storage and communication devices
- systems software: operating systems, utility software, drivers
- user interfaces: human-machine interfaces – graphical, command line, direct neural interface.
- applications software: word processors, desktop publishing software, spreadsheets, database management software, multimedia software, slideshow software, web authoring software, photo-editing software, video-editing software, graphics manipulation software, communications software (e.g. social networking software, chat, instant messaging, web browsers, file transfer and email clients), presentation software, gaming software
- programming software: compilers, debuggers, interpreters, linkers, editors
- appropriate uses of software
- the advantages and disadvantages of different software applications
- the different file types used to support software: image, audio, video, document and executable type
- communication services: voice telephones, SMS (text messages), instant messaging, fax, email, chat rooms, forums, bulletin boards, Voice-over-IP (VoIP), video conferencing.
- advantages and disadvantages of using different methods of communication
- sharing, exchanging and managing information: sharing files, file naming conventions and online safety version control, the secure transfer of data and secure access, read/write permissions
- the safe and responsible use of communication services: showing respect towards others, complying with data protection regulations, staying safe (disclosure of personal data, using appropriate language, misuse of images)
- communications software: web browsers, email software, messaging and file transfer
- the use of the internet: communication, commerce, leisure and information retrieval
- controlling ICT systems remotely: remote controls, remote access to computer systems
- monitoring and tracking systems: monitoring or logging a workforce or member of the public, cookies, key logging, worker call monitoring/recording, electronic consumer surveillance, mobile phone triangulation, automatic number plate recognition, CCTV cameras
- applications software: word processors, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, database management, multimedia, slideshows, web authoring, photo-editing, video editing, graphics manipulation, communications (e.g. social networking, chat, instant messaging, web browsers, file transfer and email clients), presentation, gaming
- types and purposes of different ways of presenting information: word processing and desktop publishing (DTP) software, slideshow, multimedia and web authoring software
- the use of ICT tools and features/facilities for presenting information with regard to efficiency, and quality of work and ease of transfer
- integration between and within software applications: integrating sections from one application into another, charts, tables, original graphics from programs into word processing files.
Manipulating Data - Data Management
- different data types, alpha numeric text, numeric (integer, real for example currency, percentage, fraction), date/time, limited choice (e.g. drop down lists, radio buttons, tick list) object, logical/Boolean (e.g. yes/no true/false) types
- the main issues governing the design of file structures: folders, subfolders, filenames, file types, paths, how encoding affects data entry and retrieval
- the main issues governing the design of data capture methods – advantages and disadvantages of using different data capture and collection methods: forms questionnaires, online forms, chip and PIN, OMR, barcode reader, voice recognition, biometrics, and RFID tags
- validation: range checks, type checks, format checks, presence checks, check digits, parity checks
- verification: batch totals, hash totals, double keying, visual checks.
Data Handling Software
- the features of spreadsheet software: cells, cell references, rows, columns (and their height and width), show row/column labels, enter and edit cell content, key fields, cell gridlines, cell ranges, replication, formatting, merging cells, formulae, functions, automatic recalculation, sorting rows/columns, graph/chart creation and development to suit numerical information (e.g. bar chart, pie chart, line graph, scattergram and the use of scales, a title, axis title and key/ legend), layout of worksheets and linked sheets
- the features of modelling software: how a data model may be used to answer ‘what if’ questions and the benefit of being able to answer such questions using a data model
- use of data modelling, formulae, functions, variables, different scenarios, verification (accuracy and plausibility), graphs and charts for predicting trends
- the features of database software: field (column) and record (row), field names, key field (unique), primary key, file
- create a database, insert/delete field/record, enter and edit field contents, organise and select records, view database structure, control the content of reports by selection of fields and use of headings, control the format of reports (header and footer), creation and development of charts/ graphs
- typical tasks for which data handling software can be used: organising data, collecting data, amending existing data, deleting redundant data, select/search/filter records, sort on one or more fields (in ascending and descending order), merging data, report production
- the use of relational databases and spreadsheets: flatfile vs relational databases
- emerging data handling applications: models for financial forecasting, queuing, weather forecasting, flight simulators, expert systems for decision making.
Keeping Data safe and secure
- secure and safe practices in the use of ICT: protecting data from accidental destruction, protecting data from deliberate damage; what is meant be data encryption and when and why is it used
- backups and archiving: taking backups of data/programs, keeping information/archives safe, use of backing storage media and protecting data from unauthorised access
- appropriate User Security methods and devices: user IDs, usernames, password, encryption, restricted physical access (e.g. biometric scans, electronic passes), restricted access to data (e.g. hierarchy of passwords, access rights, encryption), monitoring (e.g. transaction logs)
- malicious software (malware) and the damage it can cause: viruses, including key logging software
- the procedures users can take to minimise risks of damage caused by malicious software: anti-virus software, firewalls, malware detection
- how to avoid the loss/disclosure of personal data to unauthorised users.
Legal, social, ethical and environmental issues when using ICT
- The main aspects of legislation relating to the use of ICT: the Computer Misuse, Data Protection, Copyright Design and Patents Acts and other legislation as it applies to the use of ICT
- the potential health problems related to the prolonged use of ICT systems: stress, eye problems, wrist problems, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), back and neck problems, Carpal tunnel syndrome
- the need for good design of user interfaces and their impact on the health of users
- how ICT systems can affect the quality of life experienced by persons with disabilities: screen filters, voice recognition software, text to voice software, customised desktop environments, Braille keyboards, specialist input devices, communication and control device, software accessibility options
- a range of safety issues related to using computers and measures needed for prevention of accidents: taking breaks, appropriate lighting, eye tests, wrist rests and other support devices, adjustable seating, monitor positioning, avoiding hazards, electrical safety measures
- the environmental impact of digital devices: their use, deployment and eventual recycling and disposal
- the social and ethical implications of the electronic transmission of personal information: monitoring/detecting loss or corruption of information, preventing the abuse of personal information, the purpose and costing of national databases, security of public data, links between public and private databases, national identity cards, CCTV, government access to personal data, the surveillance society.
Using ICT systems - How ICT systems are used
- the correct procedures to start, access, exit and shutdown ICT systems
- the selection and appropriate adjustment of system settings and user preferences
- the selection and use of the features of user interfaces
- the management of folder structures and files to ensure the safe storage and retrieval of information
- networking: the main types of network, the components and advantages and disadvantages of networked systems.
Using ICT systems - Troubleshooting
- common problems encountered when using ICT systems: software freeze, error dialogues, storage full, paper jams, hardware malfunction
- troubleshooting activities: hardware troubleshooting, software troubleshooting
- the difference between hardware and software problems, and how these can be solved.
Monitoring, measurement and control technology
- The different types of sensor and their suitable uses: sensors and actuators for visible, tactile, audible and other physical signals
- the advantages and disadvantages of computerised data logging
- writing a sequence of instructions to control a screen image or external device: light buzzers, sound or turtle, using repeated instructions, procedures and variables
- the use of ICT to control and monitor areas of everyday living: applications that utilise data logging and control, analogue-digital conversion, control and feedback loops and the associated hardware and software.
ICT and modern living
- how ICT systems have changed the way people go about their daily lives: communication, shopping, gaming, entertainment, education and training, banking and financial services, social networking, online/remote working, the advantages/benefits and disadvantages/dangers of using ICT/the internet
- the impact of emerging technologies on organisations: artificial intelligence, robotics, biometrics, vision enhancement, computer-assisted translation, quantum cryptography, 3D and holographic imaging, 3D printing, virtual reality..