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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

The focus for this criterion is an introduction to networks.  Most students should have a general awareness of networks and servers, but may not have a more detailed grasp of how these systems are designed and fir together.

This will be an introduction into a more detailed look over subsequent lessons.

Students should be allowed to see a network in operation and go to the school's server room if possible to see the hardware in situ for more meaning.

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words network, server, client These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  

identify cost as an issue in performance

Evidence here will be student's own work, eportfolios and assessor observations  
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Students will need to look at some different client-server diagrams to see how they work and see how the server is the controlling part. What does it mean to serve?  What does a server serve in your network?  Why does a network need a server?  What other networks do you know, other than computing?  Do they have a central server?
Learning Objectives
  • understanding the place of a server in a network
  • be able to explain the main purpose of a server
  • be able to discuss the difference between servers and clients

Students should show that they understand a diagram of a network and that each component has a function and that generally it is controlled centrally via a server.

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
  • Investigate network diagrams
  • Detailed look at networking terms and icons
  • Students can break into groups and work on drawing their own diagrams with labels
  • Class discussion and examples of their findings
  • Group or individual work on their network terms and icons

Some office programs have shapes which represent network elements.  Students can use these to try and draw a network and therefore identify the server.  There are more specialised software's available and they can also use OpenClipArt to find pre-made examples.  If they are really motivated, they can use drawing programs to make their own graphics.

Use some of the student's ideas and examples to flesh out a solid understanding before progressing

Question students about how and why they did what they did.  Check for understanding.


Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. Introduction and basic overview of networks
  2. investigate in detail network components
  3. look at and discuss network diagrams
  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

Server diagram Lots of web sites show diagrams of different network set-ups and describe how they work.  Other sites have software that you can download and show students via an interactive board how they fit together.

offers on-line drawing tools, including a full library of images for networks.  Students can quickly and easily put together a network diagram.


Students can use drawing tools in office suits to design their won network diagrams or use openclipart to get pre-made graphics of networking items, or they can use graphics tools such as Inkscape logo to design their own.

Homework Get students to design their own network on Gliffy. 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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