Across the curriculum
Students at Lawrence Sheriff make extensive use of computers across the whole curriculum and the school is well-equipped. There are seven large computer suites, a classroom fully equipped for smaller groups or staff training, study areas in the Learning Resources Centre and Sixth form centre equipped with networked PCs and a computer area in the Design Technology block. All classrooms have PCs with projector systems and teaching staff have tablet PCs. In addition some departments are now making use of mobile computing devices for teaching and learning and the school has a good supply of Lego Mindstorms kits for use both within the school and with community partners. There is a strong team of technician and Teaching Assistant support for those using our computing facilities.
Students in the school are able to use computer facilities before school from 8 am, at lunchtime and after school to 5pm as well as in lesson times and Enrichment time activities make good use of computing skills to extend thinking outside of the curriculum lessons.
The department aims to encourage students to develop problem solving and computational thinking as well as to enable students to use computers in a wide range of contexts. All pupils in years 7 to 9 have timetabled Computing lessons. In years 10 and 11 the majority choose to take the subject further and study for a GCSE in Computing, whilst those that opt to take the alternative Extended Project course still use computers widely for research, analysis and presentation.
In years 7 and 8 pupils will study two blocks of Computing each year
Building the Basics – “The tool for the job”
- Introduction to file organisation and good practice
- Software - spreadsheets, databases, word processing, DTP, graphics, email
Technical Topics – Introduction to programming
- Programming in Scratch and Logo
- A look at the History of Computing
- Using control software and looking at the way that computers are used to control events at home and around us.
- An introduction to web design.
In year 9 pupils get the opportunity to study
- Datahandling with spreadsheets and databases
- Developing a mobile app
- Further programming
At Key Stage 4 we offer a GCSE in Computing and in the Sixth Form we offer GCE Computing. Both of these courses give students the opportunity to engage in open ended tasks as well as looking at how computer systems are developed to meet the needs of a real user. Many of our Sixth Form students have gone on to study computing related subjects at university and former students are now working in the computing industry.
The ethos of the department is to encourage members of the school community to have the confidence to experiment and explore computer systems safely and to have fun while they do so.