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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus This lesson will look at what elements affect how fast servers can perform their various tasks, especially when part of a network. The lesson will look at how system servers cope with loads.

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words RAM, Switch, Hub, bandwidth, router These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment Identify key factors that can affect server and network performance Evidence here will be the students showing a basic understanding of the main terms and being able to demonstrate they know how servers work in simple terms. Explore different servers and services, if possible, showing some of the systems in operation.  Look at the elements of servers and clients and how they fit together.
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what network services are and what they take for granted when using networks in their daily lives. Servers can cost £100,000.  What makes them different from desktop machines.  What do they do well and not so well.
Learning Objectives
  • To understand the key aspects and technologies of server performance
  • To describe and explain, with examples, how servers are built
  • To understand how servers function
  • To understand what features might cause slowness

Students will need to understand some of the computer hardware to be able to understand the relationship between the main actors: RAM, Hard drives, processor speed and connections.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • introduction to server components
  • detailed look at the main components
  • Students can break into groups and work on some basics of server components
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider uses of server hardware
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of open standards

In this lesson we need to give students some understanding of some of the elements of computers and how these affect servers that are servicing multiple client machines on a network.

There is no need to go into great details, but it would be useful to explore some of the management functions based on resources.

Using a Virtual Machine is an easy way to play with file server technology without messing up your own network. 

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate server resources
  2. show students some more examples of components and how they interact
  3. group work to work on some of their own views and examples
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

BSOD image

There is a good game to illustrate this on the guidance site (see the assessment link above).

Look at purchasing web sites and compare specifications of servers and desktop machines.

See if the IT team can show students their server set up and some of the configuration options and resources.


Some videos here explain some of the issues with virtual machines if they will be used to explain some of these systems and services.

Homework Get students to research what is required for a server. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding. Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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