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. 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.

Since September 2015, we have offered the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification.  This is an internationally recognised qualification in the use of IT and is the benchmark for digital literacy in educational systems around the world.  The ECDL equips students with the digital skills needed as they progress to further education and employment.

The course consists of 4 units;

  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Improving productivity using IT

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

The course conists of 4 units, including the following which will be studied in year 10;

Pre-production skills
Creating digital graphics

We also offer a Computing/Computer Science qualification.

In September 2016, the Year 11's will complete their GCSE in Computing.  This OCR qualification consist of 3 units:

A451 - Computer Systems & Programming: a theory unit which is assessed by a 1 hour 30 minute written exam which includes a mixture of short and long answer questions, some of which require candidates to write program code. This unit is worth 40% of the final mark.

A452 - Practical Investigation: students carry out a practical investigation as Controlled Assessment. The topic of this investigation is chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR and is worth 30% of the final mark.

A453 - Programming Project: Students create solutions to computing tasks in Controlled Assessment from a set of options supplied by OCT and is worth 30% of the final mark.

In September 2016, we will be offering the new version of the course to Year 10. The OCR GCSE in Computer Science replaces the GCSE in Computing and 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

 

Key Stage 5


OCR GCE A Level in Computer Science

Computer Science requires students to have good mathematical and problem solving skills and will develop their computational thinking, including:

  • Thinking recursively
  • Thinking procedurally
  • Thinking logically
  • Thinking concurrently
  • Thinking abstractly

Unit 1: Computing Principles

  • Characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms

Programming Project (Coursework)

Carried out and completed in Year 13, we work with students to select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve.

Examinations

Both exams are 2 hours long and are worth 40% of the final grade.  The coursework is worth 20% of the final grade.                                

WJEC GCE A Level ICT

The current Year 13 will be the last year at the school to sit an A Level in ICT, which comprises of 2 units in the final year;

IT3 - This is a theory unit which is assessed by means of a 2 hours 30 minute exam and is worth 30% of the whole qualification. It consists of the following units;

  • Networks
  • The Internet
  • Human Computer Interface                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Working with ICT
  • Security Policies
  • Database Systems
  • Management of Change
  • Management Information Systems
  • System Development Life Cycle.

IT4 - This is the coursework unit which is worth 20% of the whole qualification. Students have to devise their own scenario for which they have to produce a working database solution. The coursework covers the following sections of development.

  • User Requirements
  • Design Specification
  • Implementation
  • Testing
  • User Documentation
  • Evaluation

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

Scott Drew - Teacher of PE and Computer Science
John Hughes – Teacher of Computer Science
Robert Parkin - Teacher of DT & Computer Science
Julian White – Head of Faculty. Teacher of Computer Science & ICT