The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

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How to improve in Computing - Year 8

1.1 Describe, using the correct terminology, how to carry out simple operations on binary numbers

What does this mean?
Students should understand how the base 10 (denary or decimal) and base 2 (binary) numbering system work, before they will understand how to convert the two numbering systems and carry out simple addition in binary. They must be able to convert denary numbers, also known as decimal numbers to 8-bit binary numbers and also be able to convert 8-bit binary numbers to denary numbers. Furthermore, the students must be able to describe the numbering systems as well as the binary addition process using the correct terminology. In order to carry out the binary addition for two 8-bit binary numbers, the students should also know the four basic rules of binary addition. At this level the students should recognise a binary overflow can occur when a binary addition answer results in an extra bit, e.g. the answer results in a 9-bit answer.

 

1.2  Describe how data (text, sounds, images) can be represented and manipulated digitally

What does this mean?
Students should understand that all data that is represented on a screen is represented in the computer in binary form. This includes text, sound, images, videos, etc. All text, known as characters (lower and upper case letters, numbers, symbols and special characters) are represented in a computer with binary numbers. These characters, which are found on the keyboard, are represented by the ASCII character set, which is converted to binary in order for the computer to process it. ASCII is used to represent the English language on the keyboard. All sound is also represented in a computer system using binary. The students should understand the process of sampling, where analogue sound is recording to digital sound. They should also understand that digital processing is the process of applying mathematical calculations on binary values, which represent the recorded sound, to manipulate the sound. Images are represented in the same way using binary, but in this case each image is made up of pixels and each pixel is represented by a binary value that could be manipulated to shades of specific colours depending on the colour depth. The students must be able to describe these processes using the technical terms correctly and the impact these have on the computer system, e.g. file size and file transmission over the internet.

 

1.3 Explain in detail how binary is used to represent colour depth in high definition devices

What does this mean?
Once the students are proficient with the previous point, they should be able to describe in detail, using the correct terminology, how binary is used to represent colour depth in high definition devices. This includes being able to describe colour depth from the ‘ground up’ e.g. 1-bit pixels represent 2 colours, usually black and white; 2-bit pixels represent up to 4 colours; 8-bit pixels represent up to 256 colours; 24-bit pixels represent 16.7 million colours also known as ‘True colour’, etc. They should be mindful of further advances in technology e.g. high definition (HD), ultra HD, including 4K and how binary is used to represent colour depth in these modern HD devices. This will give them insight and understanding into the size and shape of screens such as televisions and computer monitors. This will require extra research beyond the classroom.

 

2.1 Use HTML tags more effectively to create webpages with a range of formatting skills

What does this mean?
In Y7 we introduce the students to Hyper Text Mark-Up Language (HTML). This is another programming language they will learn to use specifically to create web pages for websites. Once they know all the basic HTML tags to create a web page, format text and insert images and hyperlinks, etc., they will be expected to create basic web pages to a given brief. They should be able to use a wide variety of the HTML tags effectively to create these web pages so that their skills are displayed in the web pages. This includes a web page title, heading, sub-headings, background colour, font that is formatted using size, colour, bold, italics, underline, alignment, etc. where appropriate. E.g. to change the font size of a piece of text to size 5, they should know how to use the following format for the ‘font’ tag:

The piece of text.

The piece of text.

 

2.2 Describe the purpose of various HTML tags and create webpages using formatted text in various ways

What does this mean?
Once the students are effective with the above-mentioned, they should learn the purpose for each of the HTML tags that they’ve mastered. This means that they should be able to describe the purpose for each of the HTML tags learnt as well as create high quality web pages with little or no support from their teacher. E.g. to change the font size of a piece of text to size 5, set the colour to blue and make one word in the text bold and another italics, they should be able to describe and know how to use the ‘font’ tag in combination with other tags:

The piece of text.

The piece of text.

 

2.3 Explain the key terms/HTML tags accurately and create multiple linked webpages that include images

What does this mean?
Once the students are proficient with the two points above, they should be able to explain all of the HTML accurately, including key terminologies, HTML tags and the purposes of the HTML tags. This will ensure that they are well versed in HTML for the Y7 and should be well prepared for their end of unit test. As an addition to the previous two point above, they should be able to use hyperlinks to link multiple pages, including linking hyperlinks to images, so when the user clicks on an image it takes them to another page.

 

2.4 Explain how the appearance of a web page can be improved by using CSS tags

What does this mean?
The students must be able to use Cascading Styles Sheets (CSS) to improve the appearance of a web page by changing the background colour as well as altering the appearance of text, borders and background images. Not only should they be able to create these styles, but should also be able to explain how it is done together with the use of HTML tags in the creation of a web page, using the correct terminology. The students should know where the tags should be created and the format it should be in.

 

2.5 Explain how to use CSS code to different divisions to add a structured layout to a web page

What does this mean?
Once the student has mastered the previous point, they can move on to the more advanced Division (DIV) tags and implement CSS code to improve the appearance of the web page so that it looks exactly the same in any web browser by placing the DIV tags in absolute positions on the screen. They can further ensure that each separate DIV tag has its own unique appearance if needed, by applying the CSS code to each DIV tag as needed. They should be able to explain how it is done using the correct terminology and formatting.

 

3.1 Use Scratch programming skills more effectively to create a game with gravity, movement and jumping

What does this mean?
Building on the introduction to Scratch, students now have the opportunity to advance their programming skills by creating a gaming project in Scratch. They need to learn how to effectively use the programming code to simulate the effect of gravity, movement and jumping on the computer screen. This will give them a glimpse into the ‘real’ world of game design where they have to understand the use of special awareness ‘in the game’ and how it’s represented on the computer screen e.g. gravity will pull the player towards the bottom of the screen where the bottom of the screen represents the earth, etc. They will also apply the mathematical concepts of graphs to understand how the x and y axis impact their code ito of movement, including jumping and moving left and right, etc. on different surfaces, e.g. movement will be different on the moon than on earth ito gravity.

 

3.2 Describe how to apply broadcasting in Scratch to advance through different levels of gameplay

What does this mean?
Students should understand that games consist of levels that become more challenging as the player progresses through them. When coding these levels, they should be able to apply ‘broadcasting’, where a script can run another block of code at various points in the program e.g. to advance to another level when ‘touching’ a specific object or when a certain score is reached, etc. Once they’ve mastered the code, they should be able to describe how the application of ‘broadcasting’ works in the code by using the correct terminology.

 

3.3 Explain how to plan the detailed design of each level, all characters and any scoring items

What does this mean?
Planning and Design are essential parts of project development in Computing. The students should be able to explain how to plan each part of their success criteria to a high level to excel on this point. They should have aims and objectives that are very clear and highly detailed. They should provide coding for the different game elements and example code for all major elements. Any sketches should be very clear, well drawn and annotated in high levels of detail. Their designs should clearly demonstrate a progression in player challenge.

 

4.1  Use Python programming more effectively to create programs using input, process and selection methods

What does this mean?
Once the students know how to code the basic syntax (rules of programming) for inputting data and the basic syntax for processing the data from the input, they should start to incorporate more complex programming processes effectively to solve problems. This means that they should be able to use ‘if then’ statements to make decisions and execute code based on those decisions in their program. They should be able to create a simple guess the number game using Python.

 

4.2 Describe how various data types such as strings and integers are used and stored using variables

What does this mean?
Once the students are effective with the above-mentioned, they should be able to describe how various data types such as strings (letters, numbers, symbols, etc.) and integers (whole numbers) are stored using variables. They should understand and describe that variables are stored temporarily in memory (RAM) and when the computer is switched off or the program is closed, the variables ‘lose’ the values stored in it. They should further understand that all strings stored in variables were either hard coded e.g. var = “some value” or inputted using the input function in Python using a keyboard. Any integers typed via the input function should be converted (cast) to integers, before storing it in the variable, otherwise the variable will ‘see’ it as string and any integers that are hard coded using Python should not have quotes around them.

 

4.3  Explain how selection can be used to create efficient code based on input from a user

What does this mean?
Once the students are proficient with the previous two points, they will start to use selection (‘if then’ statements) to inform the outcome of their programs. The use of selection, which will check if a condition is True or False e.g. If x=5, then execute some code if it’s true or execute other code if it’s false, can then help them to write efficient code for their programs based on input from the user. The programs can check many conditions, e.g. answers to questions asked via the input function, which could be string that is compared to saved data (comparing username against a stored one) or integers, mathematical answers to mathematical problems (What is 3 x 4?), etc. During the selection statements, marks/points can be awarded and totalled to show a score out of 10.

 

5.1 Use Boolean logic [AND, OR and NOT] to create logic gates to two levels and explain how it works

What does this mean?
Students should know the three main Boolean operators [AND, OR and NOT], their function and their symbols. They should be able to further combine two or more of these logic gates to two levels and predict the outcome based on the income using truth tables.

 

5.2  Describe the uses of simple Boolean logic [AND, OR and NOT] gates in circuits and programming

What does this mean?
Once the students are proficient with the previous point they should understand/research the role and uses of the logic gates in programming and electronic circuitry, e.g. how selection is used in integrated circuit boards, microchips, CPU, etc. Research will be needed to enhance their knowledge further.

 

5.3 Research advanced Boolean logic and describe in detail how it is used in circuits and programming

What does this mean?
Once the students are proficient with the previous two points, they should investigate/research further to see the uses of more advanced logic gates and how to use it when programming. This topic feeds in well with Design and Technology where they learn about logic gates as well. This is a more challenging and slightly above year 8 level, but good to know about in preparation for Computer Science in KS4 and the 6th form.