“Almost no children in English schools have any idea how to program a computer, and unless you can program a computer the limit of what is possible are set by someone else’s imagination; not yours”
|David Braben, Cambridge computer scientist - Raspberry Pi Foundation.
In the not too distant future, you will be faced with the world of work and, unless you are living on a desert island, you will be interacting with computers. It’s one thing to be familiar with computers but the greater your real knowledge about their operation, the more effective your use of them will be.
It is in this context that we seek to teach young people about a broad range of technologies from the very beginning of their secondary school career whilst catering to those with a more specific interest.
The department teaches ICT in Year 7 to promote a basic level of facility with computers.
In Years 10 and 11, the iGCSE Computing is taught for a greater level of proficiency.
The iGCSE Computing course is about problem solving and is designed and delivered to exercise and excite the brain. If your only route to using a computer, for any purpose, is via programs written by other people, then you are obviously limited by the imagination of the author. But if you learn how to construct and write programs, then the possibilities become limitless.
This course will introduce pupils to brand new concepts and is not like any other subject previously experienced – not even ICT.
All pupils follow a course specifically designed to give them a thorough grounding in ICT skills. Lessons take place in the specialised computer suites with every session involving practical, hands-on exercises designed to introduce and reinforce the various topics, which include touch typing skills, word processing, IT security, spreadsheets, website design, digital photography and LOGO computer programming.
Our aim is to ensure that all pupils have a confident grasp of computer use, which they can then deploy in all their studies as they progress through the school, both on their own initiative and as directed by various subject teachers.
Years 10 and 11
The syllabus includes data communication and networks, algorithm design, Boolean algebra, combinational logic, finite state machines, data structures and programming concepts. Pupils are invited to consider a broad range of computer applications in order to provide an understanding of the power and versatility of the computer and the benefits of its use. They will also discover some of the limitations and potential disadvantages surrounding computer systems.
It is through the study of problem solving, algorithm design and learning how to write code that pupils will discover how to get a computer to do what they want it to – within reason.
The course is examined by two written exams, both taken at the end of Year 11.
While the subject is not vocational, Old Elthamians have appreciated their learning and utilised their knowledge and skills in their working life.
Eltham College has three dedicated computer rooms as well as computer facilities in Mervyn Peake Library and other classrooms around the school. Pupils at iGCSE will learn to use Visual Basic software which is provided for them on site.
Computing and ICT is taught in the Senior School by: