Computing

Computing 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

Computing is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 3 and at Key Stage 4, all students study aspects of information technology and 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 Computing 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 Computing programme of study.  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 three option choices which can be studied at Key Stage 4.

Y11 ICT students are studying a Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills and follows on from the ECDL qualification that they gained at the end of last year. This course is equivalent to a GCSE.

The course consists of 5 coursework units in the following areas:

  • Improving Productivity
  • Security for IT Users
  • Spreadsheets
  • Word Processing
  • Multimedia Software

Once the coursework has been completed the students will study for an online exam, which determines their final grade.

We also 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

The school also offers the OCR GCSE in Computer Science which is graded on the new 9-1 scale instead of A* - G.

The course consists of 3 units:

Unit 1 - Computer Systems: this unit is assessed by a 1 hour 30 minute exam in Year 11 and is worth 40% of the total GCSE. This unit includes sections on;

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.

Unit 2 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming: this is also assessed by a 1 hour 30 minute exam and is worth 40% of the total GCSE. This unit covers the following theory;

  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational Logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Unit 3 is the Non-Exam Assessment and is worth 20% of the final mark. This is the replacement for Controlled Assessment, where the tasks are carried out in Year 11 and marked by the teacher.  The tasks are released by the exam board in the September of Year 11 and the students are expected to produce a solution which covers the following areas;

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing, evaluation and conclusions                   

Enrichment Opportunities

Digital ambassadors at the school run a Coding Club one lunchtime a week, where students from all year groups can get to grips with computer programming.

Teaching Staff

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