Digital Learning and Computer Science
We recognise that digital technology is an integral part of everyday life, both in and outside the classroom. By proactively incorporating technology into the school environment we prepare pupils for the outside world, where digital skills will put Kimboltonians ahead of their peers.
In addition to iPad use throughout the school, we teach Digital Learning as a discrete subject in our First to Third Forms, and as an optional Computer Science GCSE for our Fourth and Fifth Forms.
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
Our First to Third Forms have one lesson per week of Digital Learning, to introduce elements of coding and programming. We aim to encourage pupils to become ‘creators’ and not just ‘consumers’ of technology, by showing them how code can create programs and games, and also be used to control robots and rovers. The aim of the syllabus is for pupils to gain an understanding of how our modern world works, and to realise that they could become the next generation of creators in this cutting-edge field.
E-safety is an important element of DL, with lessons devoted to discussion and education of how to be safe online. This is reinforced with the annual E-safety Week and regular awareness campaigns across the school.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE optional subject
The OCR Computer Science GCSE is for pupils wanting to consolidate the experiences of their younger years into a GCSE qualification. Pupils cover many diverse topics from modern computing, such as the development of modern computer hardware, networking and the internet, the history of programming languages, and the ethical and legal aspects of digital technology. This culminates with two written papers sat in the Fifth Form and a 20-hour programming project to test pupils' coding skills.
The course utilises traditional learning (exercise books and handwriting) with interactive online activities and challenges.
Pupils can stretch their imaginations with the after-school ‘Robot Wars’ clubs where designing, building and coding personal rovers helps extend pupils' digital skills even further.
Sixth Form Extension course
Sixth Form students can enrol in the Robotics Extension course, in which the current project is to assemble a high-powered wireless search-and-rescue rover capable of streaming footage back to iPads as it traverses rugged terrain.