Year 8

Computer Science Curriculum

Cycle 1 – Computer Crime & Cyber Security: (SMSC / Careers Link)

This unit covers some of the legal safeguards regarding computer use, including overviews of the Computer Misuse Act, Data Protection Act and Copyright Law and their implications for computer use. Phishing scams and other email frauds, hacking, “data harvesting” identity theft and safe use of social media are discussed together with ways of protecting online identity and privacy. Health and Safety Law and environmental issues such as the safe disposal of old computers are also discussed.

Cycle 2 – Python Next Steps (Careers Link)

This unit assumes that pupils already have some prior experience in Python or a similar language, and the first lesson has a series of tasks designed to revisit the basic skills already covered. Pupils then 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.

Cycle 3 – HTML & Web Development (Careers Link)

In this unit pupils will learn the basics of HTML and CSS. They will learn how to create text styles and add content, including text and graphics, in a specified position on a page, as well as navigation links to other pages on their website and to external websites. Pupils can view the data collected by the web form into a simulated database. This also helps to stimulate discussion on the privacy of data.

Review Week - Making Learning Memorable

As part of marking learning memorable, student will spend review week undertaking a project based on Cycle 1, 2 and 3.

Cycle 4 – Database Development (Careers Link)

It is a practical unit covering the basic theory, creation and use of a single-table database and a simple relational database involving two tables in a one-to-many relationship. Pupils will start by looking at an existing single-table database, learning how to add records and make queries. In subsequent lessons they will create:

  • a flat-file or two-table relational database of their own, using suitable field types and adding in appropriate validations, an input form with help text, combo boxes and list boxes, queries and a report using data from one or both tables & a front end menu for their application linking to the database input form and report using MS Access.

Cycle 5 – Networks (Careers Link)

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. 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. In the final lesson, pupils will sit a multiple choice test which will form the Unit assessment.

Cycle 6 – Sound Manipulation in Audacity (Careers Link)

In this unit pupils will learn how sound is digitized and stored on computers. They will learn basic sound editing techniques and how to add sound effects and mix tracks. Ways of creating different sound effects (the job of a “foley artist”) are described. Pupils will undertake a creative project to analyse, plan, record and edit a short sound file. This could take the form of a radio advertisement or short podcast.

Review Week - Making Learning Memorable

As part of marking learning memorable, student will spend review week undertaking a project based on Cycle 4, 5 and 6.