Computing is a compulsory subject from Year 7-11. The curriculum is revised year on year to reflect the changes in ICT and therefore equip students with skills appropriate to work and life. The department has 3 discrete teaching rooms (there are 3 rooms also available for cross curricular use) and students have access to a range of devices to enhance their learning.
The main aim of the department is to ensure that students are given the opportunity to learn skills which are pertinent to life today and as a result, topics covered are revised each year in line with developments in technology. Students are encouraged from the outset to be independent learners and to be confident in their use of ICT.
We offer lunchtime clubs whereby students can learn more aspects of Computing related to Programming. Activities include animation, gaming and programming.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students have the opportunity to develop their skills in the following applications:
- Office Applications with specific focus on Access and Excel
- Web Design
- Python Programming
- App development
Students also learn about hardware, software and legislation.
In Year 8 students build on the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 7 alongside working with new software:
- HTML, using Notepad++
- Future technologies and the impact on our lives
- Being able to create, populate and manipulate a database
- Python programming
- Binary and Algorithms
- Web Design
In Year 9 students follow a programme of study designed to develop the skills and knowledge required by the courses at GCSE which further prepare them for studying this subject at GCSE:
- Web design using HTML
- Investigating the benefits of social networking
- Developing their awareness of the moral, ethical, environmental and legal issues relating to ICT
- Advanced uses of Excel and Access
- Further programming using Python
Students are assessed at the end of each unit of study and then three times during the year students will be given a report grade to reflect their Computing capability.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Computer Science
The aims of the Pearson Edexcel GCSE in Computer Science are to enable learners to:
- develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science
- develop and apply computational thinking skills to analyse problems and design solutions across a range of contexts
- gain practical experience of designing, writing, and testing computer programs that accomplish specific goals
- develop the ability to reason, explain and evaluate computing solutions
- develop awareness of current and emerging trends in computing technologies
- develop awareness of the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues
- communicate computer science concepts and explain computational solutions clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology.
During the course students will complete two units:
Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science
Overview of content
- Understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.
- Understanding of binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases; ability to use SQL to insert, amend and extract data stored in a structured database.
- Understanding of components of computer systems; ability to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret fragments of assembly code.
- Understanding of computer networks, the internet and the world wide web; ability to use HTML and CSS to construct web pages.
- Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.
Unit 2: Practical Programming
This is a practical ‘making task’ that enables students to demonstrate their computational techniques using the Python programming language. They will:
- decompose problems into sub-problems
- create original algorithms or work with algorithms produced by others
- design, write, test, and evaluate programs.
The final GCSE mark is made up of two components:
1. Unit 1 - Written Paper (2 hours – 75%)
2. Unit 2 - Controlled Assessment (15 hours – 25%)
The controlled assessment tasks have replaced what was traditionally referred to as coursework. All of the controlled assessment tasks must be completed in a supervised environment. The maximum time allowed for completing each controlled assessment is 15 hours.
Students will complete the Unit 2 controlled assessment during the spring term of Year 11.
Key Stage 5