Computer Science

Computer Science is deeply concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing gain insight into computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computational thinking influences fields such as biology, chemistry, linguistics, psychology, economics and statistics. It allows us to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and that all pupils should be aware of and have some competence in.

Key stage 3

What do they study on the course?

Teaching computer science within a rounded computing curriculum that includes digital literacy is now regarded as of paramount importance by the Department for Education and is a statuary requirement at Key Stage 3. They will study:

  • Understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking
    Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures.
  • Understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers.
  • Understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits
  • Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.

What applications will they be using:

Microsoft Excel – Spreadsheets
Microsoft Access – Databases
Microsoft PowerPoint – Presentations
Microsoft Publisher – Desktop Publishing
Python – Control/Programming
Scratch – game creation

Key stage 4

What do they study on the course?

GCSE Computer Science course gets students working with real-world, practical programming techniques that give them a good understanding of what makes technology work.

How will they be assessed at the end of Y11?

This course consists of two components.

Component 1 – Practical programming – is examined by controlled assessment.(20%)

Component 2 – Computing fundamentals – is exam based (40%)

Component 3- Computational thinking, algorithms and programming- is exam based (40%)

Assessment across the course

Pupils learn programming techniques complete a Controlled Assessments. In year 11 pupils will learn the theory of Computer Science which consists of:

  • Constants, variables and data types
  • Structures
  • Program flow control
  • Procedures and functions
  • Scope of variables, constants, functions and procedures
  • Error handling
  • Handling external data
  • Computer structure
  • Systems
  • Hardware
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Memory
  • Secondary storage
  • Algorithms
  • Data representation
  • Software development life cycle
  • Prototyping
  • Application testing
  • Networking
  • Client server
  • Web application concepts
  • Use of external code sources
  • Database concepts
  • Query methods (SQL)
  • Connecting to databases from applications and web based apps
  • The use of computer technology in society

Year 9

In year 9 students will complete the ECDL qualification. This nationally recognised course is known at the ECDL and comprises 4 examined units: Word Processing; Spreadsheets; Presentation Software, and Improving Productivity Using IT. To pass each unit candidates must achieve 75% or more in each end of unit tests and 55% in the Improving productivity test. Once all 4 units have been passed, candidates will qualify for their Level 2 ITQ ECDL certificate.