Information Technology

Year 9

The year 9 Technology curriculum has three objectives: to teach the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum for Computer Science;  to equip students with a platform of skills and knowledge required to access the GCSE syllabus; and to give students an understanding of technology which can be transferred to any other subject within the school.   

Students will be taught the material in two strands: Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) each for two lessons per week.  In IT lessons students will focus on: the use of application software; understanding a target audience; hardware; and using technology safely. 

National Curriculum Topics

  1. Understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  2. Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications (preferably across a range of devices) to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users 
  3. Create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability 
  4. Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns 

Lesson Objectives and Projects

Mars has been a source of interest to humans since ancient times. Recently Space-x has been making plans; to send cargo in 2022 then a crew to start the journey 2024. Elon Musk dreams of a colony of 1000 people living and working on the Red Planet. During year 9 we will use a potential Mars colony as inspiration for our work.

Autumn Term: Project 1 – Age of the Universe (NC topics 2, 3)

How much fuel? Students will calculate how much fuel it will take to get to Mars. They will then need to consider the limitations to the amount of fuel a rocket can store and what people/equipment they will also need to account for in order for the crew to make it to Mars alive. 

Autumn TermL Project 2 – Science Staff Recruitment (NC topics 2, 3)

Recruiting the correct staff is central to the success of any new operation, and having the correct crew on a Mars mission is even more important because no one can be replaced. 

Students will work in teams to research the science job roles that will be required for the mission. They will write job specifications and create adverts for the most important posts. Students will use Adobe Photoshop and learn how to use search terms when researching online. 

Spring Term: Project 3 – Keeping informed (NC topics 3, 4)

Keeping the public informed is part of any modern media campaign, often using social media and websites. Understanding how to keep personal data current and safe online is the responsibility of the Internet Company and individuals who use the system. 

Students will design and build a social media platform for use by the Mars crew, their families and the general public. Each team will need to develop a policy document and easy to understand material that will be used to keep people safe on the website. Students will us a combination of Microsoft Office tools and Adobe Design tools including Dreamweaver. 

Spring Term: Project 4 – Ready Player One (NC topics 2, 3)

In both computer science and IT the law and ethics play a large part. In this unit students will be looking at some of the main considerations using the context of the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 

Summer Term: Project 5 – Share Holder Magazine (NC topics 1, 2, 3)

Keeping shareholders informed is crucial for large companies. Students will research and design a shareholders' magazine using Adobe InDesign. Students will need to write a number of articles based on the Computer Science and Information Technology projects they have completed during year 9. 

Summer Term: Project 6 – Mars, the Moon or both? (NC topic 2, 3)

Having a base on Mars is a great idea, but it is very expensive, costing $10-20,000 per kilogram taken beyond the earth orbit 6. Taking cargo to the Moon is much cheaper than going further. Students will produce a report and presentation using Microsoft Office that analyses the cost-effectiveness of launching from Earth to Mars versus building a base on the Moon and launching to Mars from there.