~ Year 8: Welcome to Secondary Level Computing


Year 8: The following topics have been selected for your learning pathway this year. Please download the e-portfolio for all topics on the net tab. Or, if your teacher prefers, you can download an e-portfolio for each topic.

You will be covering a selection of topics and at the end of each topic there will be an assessment/project/task for which you will recieve a grade/mark/assessment of some sort. But, first things first. Be inspired by Computer Science! A few motivational presenations/videos to get you started below:

Why Computer Science?

Dreaming in code

Power and Responsibiilty - Computer Science

Sign in to download your E-Portfolios, and End of topic assessment evaluation presentations.

Depending on what your teacher decides, you can download the E-Portfolio for the entire year (all topics) or the topical E-portfolio that you will complete for each topic (end of topic assessment)

End of topic assessment presentation

E-Portfolio -all topics


Overview of Topics

Introduction to HTML, JavaScript and HTML5 programming!  - You're going to love this. Be introduced to these amazing 'languages' by a series of challenges and exciting scenarios.

Computer Science Theory - A look at Computational Logic and Algorithms including: Abstraction, Decomposition, Pseudocode, Flowcharts and more.

VB.Net Programming - As a follow on from the introductory VB.Net series in Year 7, we'll be looking at more advanced programming in VB.Net. You may want to go back over the Year 7 series in your own time to recap on the basics!

Database Design - Databases may sound boring but they are absolutely essential and crucial to programming, game design and application creation in general. In this unit you will be creating your very own dating database! 

Flash Animation & Game Design - A step up from the basics of animation that you covered previously, this unit will take you through some of the principles of game design and animation using Flash and the programming language Action Script (which is similar, in syntax, to Javascript)

Programming Challenges and Problem Solving - Your chance to show what you know and solve problems! All the best! (Beginner Problems in Python and VB.Net programming challenges)

Assessment and Marking

Your teacher may mark and assess your work in different ways. The following spreadsheet (teacher download only) however, suggests one such method.

Image result for microsoft excel logo wikipedia commons

At the end of every learning topic, you will be given a PROJECT, TEST or TASK. This will be marked/graded/assessed by your teacher. An example of the sort of assessment tracking teacher's do is below:

In this example tracking spreadsheet, the mark will be out of 10 (for each topic and for effort, behaviour and team work) 10/10 being the best and the highest you can achieve, equivalent to an A*. 5 indicates an average mark which suggests you are performing in line with the majority of the group. Teachers can decide whether they want to grade on a curve, which allows room for the ability in the class or more objectively. The marks out of 10 can later be translated into a level or grade, depending on your school's system of assessment. 


Gifted &Talented

Information about ‘gifted and talented’ children and the support available to help them.

What does ‘gifted and talented’ mean?

‘Gifted and talented’ is a term used in schools to describe children who have the potential to develop significantly beyond what is expected for their age.

‘Gifted’ refers to a child who has abilities in one or more academicsubjects, such as English or maths. ‘Talented’ refers to a child who has skills in a practical area such as music, sport or art.

How do I know if a student (or I) am gifted and talented?

A gifted child will tend to:

  • develop speech and vocabulary early
  • ask lots of questions and be very curious
  • read early
  • learn quickly
  • have a good memory
  • be good at puzzles
  • enjoy problem-solving and reasoning

If you think a student or you are gifted or talented, speaking to a teacher about your interest and passion in the subject is the first thing you need to do! Explain why you think so and have some examples to illustrate your points.

Check out this American kid that made an app that went on to have 7 million downloads!

What support is available?

Schools have to meet the needs of all their pupils. They are required to provide more challenging lessons and other opportunities for gifted and talented children. As well as your child’s class teacher, you should talk to the teacher specifically responsible for gifted and talented pupils.

Schools register their gifted and talented pupils in their annual schoolcensus. They identify them based on test results, work quality and teachers’ and parents’ views. They need to demonstrate that they cater properly for these children’s needs.

Gifted children often need more support at school, but not necessarily more structured activities. They may need more freedom to learn at their own pace, and/or more guidance.

Schools need to nurture their pupils’ all-round development as well as their intellectual development. Sometimes gifted children need extra help to develop their social skills such as working well in groups.

The National Association for Gifted and Talented Children runs a support network to help parents – www.nagcbritain.org.uk

10% of each year group are identified on the Able & Talented register as the most able in that cohort. This selection process includes a range of identification methods used in conjunction with each other to ensure the range of abilities and talents are represented in this cohort.

Identification methods include:

  • National Curriculum test results at Key Stage 2
  • CATs results
  • Subject teacher nominations

Talented pupils are identified purely through teacher nomination with specialist staff identifying the most able pupils in their subject area.

At Key Stage 4, an identified cohort of students who have the ability to be high achievers and would benefit from some extra support are selected. This is currently called the “National Challenge Able & Talented Cohort”.

Aims for the identified pupils

  • to ensure all Able & Talented pupils have access to an appropriate curriculum
  • to allow pupils to work at higher cognitive levels
  • to provide opportunities for pupils to realise and develop specific skills and talents
  • to develop the “whole” pupil in terms of social, intellectual and creative development
  • to improve motivation and self esteem of Able & Talented pupils
  • to raise the aspirations of Able & Talented pupils

Students from the cohort say:

“It is really good knowing that you always have a teacher to talk to who will listen and advise. It’s great to have that bond.” (Year 11 girl)

“I never thought I could achieve the higher grades, but have been pushed to achieve As and Bs – and I am doing it!” (Year 11 boy)

The school is determined to maintain this strong focus on progress for ALL pupils, and will push for more students to achieve those A/A* grades. We believe that ALL students should have the opportunity to reach THEIR full potential.


Links, videos and blog posts:

Schools need to teach more Computer Science. This really appeals to many G&T children. They can start here and progress on to app inventorbefore going on to Python, Java and C.

Here are some of the Myths of Giftedness.

Here’s a useful website on researching giftedness.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

G&T pupils can blog their way to achievement: A way I used blogging with my gifted students was through a daily revision (often tech based) revision task over the Christmas break. An advent calendar of revision if you like. Each day leading up to their exams I posted a new task for them to dip into. I tried to keep it challenging while also fresh.

[Students] have got to get there themselves for it to be real and deep learning. Gentle guide and a pulling back on course from teachers can be very empowering for the gifted student. They discover things that can blow the most learned of us away. They have young fresh minds. We can learn a lot from them.

For some revision ideas, click here.

For an example of collaborative learning blogging and online teacher marking, visit Sarah Findlater’s blog.

Pearltrees also has some great revision resources.



Click the image above for some great TECH articles and inspiration for the gifted and talented



http://readwrite.com/2013/06/19/a-handy-guide-to-google-project-loon#awesm=~o9drp7QB9T4otA (Google’s latest big idea!)

Lots of Cool Links!

100 social media stats and facts | Articles | Home

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prdaily.com  infographics


S L Breedon plumbing & heating ltd based in Billingham with 15 ratings: Limited Company – MyHammer.co.uk

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myhammer.co.uk  boiler


shawnlbreedon [AT] hotmail [DOT] co [DOT] uk

Troubleshooting the charging system

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hondavfr.org  reg/recchargingstatorvfr


10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics

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makeuseof.com  datay9infographicvisualizationtoolsinfographics


Beautiful web-based timeline software

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tiki-toki.com  ictpresentationsoftwareonlinemultimediainteractivetimeline


The Royal Society of Edinburgh | Mobile App Development

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royalsoced.org.uk  appApp Inventorprogrammingcomputingks4ks3


Year 8 ICT Survey

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google.com  surveymie


Code Monster from Crunchzilla

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crunchzilla.com  tutorialks3javascriptprogramming


CAS Online | Home

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computingatschool.org.uk  forumdiscussionsupportcommunityresourcesCASoptimus



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egglescliffe.org.uk  resourcesoptimus


Code Avengers, learn web development the fun way

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codeavengers.com  tutorialonline idejavascriptoptimus


Learn to code | Codecademy

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codecademy.com  online idejavascriptoptimus



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greenfoot.org  javaprogrammingks5ks4optimus


Python Programming Language – Official Website

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python.org  programmingks4optimus


ACSLogo for Mac OS X

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alancsmith.co.uk  programmingks3optimus


MSWLogo, An Educational programming language

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softronix.com  ks3programmingoptimus



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mit.edu  programmingks3optimus



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alice.org  programmingks3optimus


GameMaker: Studio™ | YoYo Games

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yoyogames.com  programmingks3optimus


Scratch | Home | imagine, program, share

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mit.edu  programmingks3optimus


Bloxorz – Play Free Online!

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bloxorz.org.uk  optimusproblem solvinggame


Leapfrog game

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akidsmath.com  problem solvinggameoptimus


Nursery and Floristry – Hartlepool | Blackford Nurseries

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blackfordnurseries-hartlepool.co.uk  garden centremoodboardimedia201


compiling errors |

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arduino.cc  lcd4bitlcd shieldkeypad shieldarduino


Emptyage — Yes, I was hacked. Hard.

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emptyage.com  passwordshackingsecurity


How Secure Is My Password?

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howsecureismypassword.net  privacycrackpasswordssecuritypassword


Printable Logic Puzzles

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printable-puzzles.com  computingalgorithmslogic_puzzlespuzzleslogic


The Film :: White Other ::

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whiteother.com  dramashort filmfilmimedia


Let’s Go Public! Ad Contest Gallery | Shell

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arcticready.com  8.3websitesbiasreliabilityfake


A Turing Complete Puzzle Game – Google Open Source Blog

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blogspot.ch  algorithmsalgorithmproblem solvingturing machineturingprogrammingcomputing

Build Apps 10 times faster with the LUA Programming Language – find out more here
Read about the Corona Software development kit here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_(software_development_kit)

Why not create a blog?

Creating and writing a blog is a great way to learn and keep track of your learning! Why not create one today?

There are several web platforms that allows users to easily create their website in a matter of minutes. We have handpicked a list of the most popular platforms to start with. Check them out below and if you have other suggestions, share them with us in the comment form below. Enjoy

Platforms to create websites for your class

1- Google Sites

This is by far our favourite and anyone with a Google account have access to it. Google Sites offers a wide range of templates to choose from and it also allows for adding admins to your site.

2- Weebly for Education

This is another popular platform for creating websites. Weebly created Weebly for Educational specifically for teachers, educators, and students and has all the useful features you would find in any other platform.

3- Webs

Webs has a solid site builder that allows users to set up a website in as few clicks as possible. Besides the free features one finds in site building platforms like customization, template gallery...etc Webs also offers its users the possibility to get their own domain names.

4- Yola

This is another great platform where you can create your websites for free. It offers several important features for site building and also has a blogging platform for teachers.

5- SchoolRack

This is more education focused and might be a good platform where you can build your classroom website. It is free and all it requires is a sign up

Platforms to create blogs for your class

1- Blogger

Like Google Sites, Blogger is a service provided by Google and is completely free. It is my favorite blogging platform. It is easy and simple to use and if you already have a Google account you ll set up your blog in minutes.

2- Wordpress

Wordpress is gaining more popularity online as the best blogging platform. Several webmaster recommend it for users basically because of the helpful plugins it provides for free .

3- Edublog


The World's most popular education blogging service... Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts - it's safe, easy and secure so try out an Edublog today!

4- KidBlog

Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions

Glogster EDU is the leading global education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills in the classroom and beyond. It empowers educators and students with the technology to create GLOGS - online multimedia posters - with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more.