Computer Science

  • Computer Science has replaced ICT on the school curriculum and is aimed at improving students' understanding of not just how computers can be used, but also how they work.  The curriculum equips students to use computational thinking and work creatively to understand the impact of computing and IT in the world today.

The curriculum is in 3 distinct sections;

  • Computer Science
  • IT
  • Digital Literacy

Computer Science is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 3, all students study aspects of computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career.  The school offers a range of Computer Science and IT based qualifications at Key Stages 4 and 5.

Key Stage 3

The course at Key Stage 3 covers the three strands of the new Computer Science programme of study; Computer Science, Digital Literacy and IT.  In computer science units, students will learn how to programme and be taught the basics behind computers and how they operate.  In the IT units, they will learn how to use computers and their applications effectively, as well as developing an understanding of the hardware and infrastructure of computer networks.  Students will also develop their digital literacy by learning for example, about the social, moral and ethical issues that arise from the misuse of computers and other forms of technology. 

Key Stage 4

There are two option choices which can be studied at Key Stage 4:

1 - We offer the Cambridge National in Creative iMedia. This qualification provides learners with essential knowledge, transferable skills and tools to improve their learning in other subjects with the aim of enhancing their employability when they leave education, contributing to their personal development and future economic well-being. The qualification will encourage independence, creativity and awareness of the digital media sector. The course consists of 4 units:

  • Pre-Production Skills
  • Creating Digital Graphics
  • Digital Photography
  • Creating an Interactive Multimedia Product

2 - The school also offers the OCR GCSE in Computer Science. This course allows students to gain valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace. The gain a deeper understanding of problem solving and creating solutions to logical problems.

The course consists of 2 units:

Unit 1 - Computer Systems

This unit is assessed by a 1 hour 30 minute exam in Year 11 and is worth 50% of the total GCSE. In this unit students will be able to:

  • Study how processors work
  • Investigate computer memory and storage
  • Explore modern network layouts and how they function
  • Build skills in the ever important realm of cyber security
  • Investigate how types of software are used within the computer systems
  • Stretch wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues.

Component 2 - Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

This unit is assessed by a 1 hour 30 minute exam in Year 11 and is worth 50% of the total GCSE. In this unit students will be able to:

  • Study fundamental algorithms in computer science
  • Build a firm foundation in programming techniques
  • Produce programs through diagrams
  • Thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse
  • Explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT)
  • Understand how we store data within computes in binary form.

Programming Project

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally, they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

Students should be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The project does not count towards a candidate's final grade, but is a requirement of the course.         

Enrichment Opportunities

There are various coding clubs held at lunchtimes for students to attend where students can explore different interests in computing such as animation, programming and hardware. Their are also a variety of initiatives involving computer science that are launched at both KS3 & KS4 for students to take part in. They include improving skills in Cyber Security, game creation and computational thinking skills.

Teaching Staff

Harriet Page - Head of Computer Science
Paul Connor - Teacher of Computer Science & ICT
Robert Parkin - Teacher of DT & Computer Science