The modern workplace is changing fast as a result of technological advancement; we cannot predict with certainty the kind of jobs that our First Year students will be applying for in seven years’ time. We do know, however, that the increasing importance of the digital economy has already created a technological skills gap in many industries.
In a recent report from the House of Lords, it was estimated that 56% of the UK workforce was required at least to use and configure complex digital systems. At KGS we want to aim higher, encouraging our students to become confident digital ‘makers’, not just users, equipped with the skills to create and manipulate technology.
The addition of Art to the traditional STEM disciplines encapsulates the creativity and innovation inherent in modern technology and science industries. STEAM learning is hands-on and cross-curricular, with a focus on using technical knowledge and technology to solve real-world problems. We are fortunate to have a brand new STEAM lab space, designed specifically for hands-on making with digital technology.
Encourage young children to create and build and invent – to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.
At KGS we recognise the importance of digital skills such as programming. Students are given the opportunity to learn basic coding skills, making the transition from visual languages such as Scratch (which many have used at primary school) onto text-based languages such as Python. Our new KS3 curriculum is designed to develop these skills through engaging, project-based learning, utilising cutting-edge educational resources such as Raspberry Pi Laptops (Pitops), Microbits and Lego Mindstorms EV3. In this way, students are challenged to create and problem solve as well as learning core coding skills.
Part of our vision for KGS learners is that we encourage students “to innovate and not to replicate”. We believe that challenging our students to use STEAM skills across traditional subject boundaries allows this innovation to flourish. Our chosen activities our designed to encourage students to take knowledge from subjects such as circuits in science and CAD design packages in DT and apply them to physical computing projects.
Enrichment and engagement
Students at KGS have a huge range of opportunities to develop their interest and understanding of computing outside the classroom. As well as offering a Coding club to First and Second Years through the excellent national organisation Code Club, Third Year students and above can also join Digital Makers Club, which focuses on physical computing and robotics projects.
Last year our robot, Frostmite (the smart little sister of the DT Department’s Frostbite of Robot Wars fame), overcame a series of autonomous and driven challenges to achieve a fantastic second place in the national PiWars competition at Cambridge University’s computing lab.
We are also embracing the rapidly growing opportunities for students in cybersecurity, with students participating in the national CyberFirst girls’ competition as well as the newly launched Cyber Discovery programme, both developed by GCHQ’s National Centre for Cyber Security.
GCSE Computer Science
The OCR Computer Science GCSE is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem-solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in Computer Science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.
Students cover core theoretical features such as internal computer architecture, computer memory, computer history, binary along with other number systems, flowcharts and algorithms whilst creating a sense of discovery and interest. There is a strong emphasis on kinaesthetic learning, with the use of a range of physical computing tools such as Raspberry Pis. Students develop a resilient attitude, patience when problem-solving and independent working.
A Level Computer Science Course Guide
Computer Science information booklet
STEAM Information Booklet
- Head of STEAM; Teacher of Computer Science; Teacher of Physics; T Benson
- Teacher of Computer Science, N Reilly
- Teacher of Computer Science; A Gautam
- Teacher of Computing, Mr F Geron