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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 takes a brief look at firewalls and what they do. The lesson will look at the basic way that firewalls work and what they are expected to do in a network system.

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

Key words firewall, ports, scanning, filtering, These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment identify a firewall and explain its purpose Evidence here will be the students showing a basic understanding of what a firewall does. Investigate the school firewall in operation
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what the main threats to a computer network are and what a firewall does to stop or minimise these. Who wants to come in to our network and why?
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and describe firewalls
  • To explain, with examples, the main types: hardware and software
  • To understand how firewalls and ports work
  • To show an understanding of some of the strengths and weaknesses of firewalls

Students should have a basic idea of the need to protect networks from intrusion.  Their school should have a decent firewall and even their home broadband should have some type of firewall, but what does it do and how does it do it?

Students should link the firewall to the protocols they looked at earlier.  It is no good a firewall blocking email going in and out etc, so needs to allow smtp protocol through port 25.

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
  • an introduction to ports
  • a look at the main types of firewall, with examples
  • Students can break into groups and work on some more detailed aspects of one type
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider issues of security
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of safety in relation to firewalls

In this lesson we need to explore the main types of firewall as well as look at the strengths and weaknesses.

One useful tool for looking at the need for a firewall is something like Wireshark.  This software will show students who is trying to get in o their computer and what method they are trying.  As long as your broadband is switched on, someone is attacking it.
Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate ports and protocols
  2. investigate in detail hardware and software firewalls
  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

Firewall image

Some hands on demonstrations might be useful here.  The network team should be able to show students what measures they take to protect the school network.  if possible, see the hardware and software solutions and get students to ask some questions.

Homework Get students to blog about firewalls and the dangers of hackers. 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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