Skip to content ↓

Year 9

Year 9

Computer Science (Keep scrolling for ICT)

In Year 9, the students will learn some of the theory elements for their GCSE examination, which they will continue in Year 10.

Autumn 1

Topic 1: Computer Systems

Topics covered:

 the purpose of the CPU

 common CPU components and their function:

o ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit)

o CU (Control Unit)

o Cache

 the function of the CPU as fetch and execute instructions stored in memory

 how common characteristics of CPUs affect their performance:

o clock speed

o cache size

o number of cores

 embedded systems:

o purpose of embedded systems

o examples of embedded systems

Autumn 2

Topic 2: Networks

Topics covered:

 star and mesh network topologies

 Wifi:

o frequency and channels

o encryption

 ethernet

 the uses of IP addressing, MAC addressing, and protocols including:

o TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

o HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)

o HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)

o FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

o POP (Post Office Protocol)

o IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

o SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

 the concept of layers

 packet switching

Spring 1

Topic 3: Issues related to the use of computing technology

Topics covered:

forms of attack

 threats posed to networks:

o malware

o phishing

o people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems (social engineering)

o brute force attacks

o denial of service attacks

o data interception and theft

o the concept of SQL injection

o poor network policy

 Identifying and preventing vulnerabilities:

o penetration testing

o network forensics

o network policies

o anti-malware software

o firewalls

o user access levels

o passwords

o encryption

 how to investigate and discuss Computer Science technologies while considering:

o ethical issues

o legal issues

o cultural issues

o environmental issues

      o privacy issues 

Spring 2 and Summer 1

Topic 4: Programming

Topics covered:

the use of variables, constants, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments

 the use of the three basic programming constructs used to control the flow of a program

the use of basic string manipulation

 the use of basic file handling operations

 the use of records to store data

 the use of SQL to search for data

 the use of arrays (or equivalent) when solving problems, including both one and two dimensional arrays

 how to use sub programs (functions and procedures) to produce structured code

 the use of data types

 the common arithmetic operators

 the common Boolean operators.

Designing programs through algorithms and testing programs for suitability 

Summer 2

Topic 5: Data representation

Units: bit, nibble, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte; how data needs to be converted into a binary format to be processed by a computer.

Numbers: how to convert positive denary whole numbers (0-255) into 8 bit binary numbers and vice versa; how to add two 8 bit binary integers and explain overflow errors which may occur

Characters: the use of binary codes to represent characters; the term ‘character-set’

Images: how an image is represented as a series of pixels represented in binary

Sound: how sound can be sampled and stored in digital form

Compression: need for compression: types of compression 


The Year 9s will undertake the Cambridge nationals in ICT. This is a vocationally-related qualification that takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. The everyday use of ICT, from PCs to smartphones, now impacts all of our lives.

The students need to cover 4 units in total, and will start off learning about interactive products and multimedia elements (Unit R005: Creating an interactive product using multimedia components).

Autumn 1: skills lessons

  • What is multimedia?
  • Types of interactivity
  • Evaluating existing interactive products
  • Designing an interactive product
  • Exploring suitable  software for interactivity

Autumn 2: Start the unit R005: Creating an interactive product using multimedia components

Designing the interactive product:

  • select and use the software features appropriate to the interactive products to aid in the design process, i.e. website, tablet/mobile phone apps, gaming platforms, presentation software
  • identify success criteria, i.e. meeting the client brief, component quality, composition and the extent to which the product is interactive
  • select and use different forms of navigation site planning techniques, i.e. mood boards, spider diagrams, mind mapping, site plans, house-style, hand-drawn templates
  • source and store multimedia components for inclusion in products and how to make ready where applicable, i.e. source components images, video, sound, animation, scripting, sprites. Storage will necessitate the use of different file types, i.e. swf, html, sis, app, exe, xaml, xml, ppt
  • understand the implications of legislation on their sources, i.e. Copyright Law; Intellectual Property; photo permissions and releases; acknowledgement and referencing of sources
  • select the applications software dependent on purpose and audience, i.e. web authoring software, game making software, ‘App’ development software or presentation authoring software.

Spring 1 & 2

Create the interactive product with multimedia elements

  • combine components using techniques (e.g. alternative pathway, user interaction and effects)
  • use templates, i.e. master slides, environments, cascading style sheets
  • create a navigation system, i.e. navigation bar, buttons, hyperlinks, mouse /keyboard controls, menus and drop down lists, graphical user interface
  • set up interaction, i.e. roll over, drag and drop, input form, behaviours (e.g. pop up messages, shake, fades, and sounds) triggers, collision, scripting, hot spots
  • use effects, i.e. transitions, html clock, fade in, fade out, custom animation.

Summer 1

Carry out usability testing

  • test the product during production and where appropriate review tools and techniques used in line with the success criteria
  • test the product post completion against the success criteria using a variety of feedback methods including client feedback.

Summer 2

Finalise the whole project.

Skills building for the next unit.