Our high quality and forward thinking computing programme will equip pupils with the skills and understanding to play an active role in today’s digital world. Computing is taught in purpose-built, air-conditioned rooms with high specification machines running a diverse range of modern applications. Pupils will use an array of different hardware and software options to provide a diverse learning environment.
Through studying aspects of digital literacy, information technology and computer science, we will develop young adults who are able to express themselves across a variety of digital technologies, who are able to create and utilise digital systems to solve real world issues, and who are able to apply computational thinking to logical problems.
Digital Literacy - involves teaching the pupils to be able to create, consume and evaluate information from a wide variety of sources.
Information Technology - involves teaching pupils not only how to use different types of applications, but how to develop their own.
Computer Science - involves teaching pupils the fundamentals principles of information and computation, developing their skills in logical and computational thinking.
Years 7 - 9
Year 7 and 8 pupils study a varied programme to enable them to become competent users, consumers and creators of digital products, covering topics such as Image Editing, Video Creation, Programming, Website Design, Stop Motion Animation, Desktop Publishing, 3D Modelling, Game Creation, Office Skills, Binary, Codes and Cryptography, Flowcharts and Future Technology.
In Year 9, pupils continue to study a programme designed to give them an experience of both of the current GCSE options - Computer Science and Information Communication Technology (ICT). This provides them with the skills and experience to make an informed choice of which strand to pursue at GCSE. This covers: Games Creation, Image Editing, Programming, 3D Modelling and Control & Monitoring.
Pupils can choose between GCSE ICT (for the last time in 2016) or GCSE Computer Science.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT GCSE is being offered to the 2016-18 cohort, but this is the final time it is being taught.
ICT aims to encourage pupils to become independent and discerning users; able to make informed decisions about its use and implications for individuals, organisations and society. The pupils acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts, developing their understanding of current and emerging technologies. They also extend their understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental issues raised by ICT and practice working collaboratively.
In Unit 1, pupils study the impact of ICT on modern living and its effects on individuals and society. They learn about current and emerging digital technologies in a variety of contexts, together with the inherent issues and risks. The unit is assessed by a written examination (40% of marks).
In Unit 2, pupils develop practical skills, working to a brief to create effective solutions to a range of ICT problems, using a variety of software packages to complete a Controlled Assessment (60% of marks).
The new GCSE Computer Science course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of Computer Science and to imbue pupils with core programming skills. They will develop and apply computational thinking skills to analyse problems and identify solutions across a range of contexts, gaining practical experience of designing, writing and testing computer programs that accomplish specific goals.
The course will comprise: key concepts of algorithms; binary representation of data; structured query languages to insert, update and select data stored in a database; construction of truth tables to test logical statements; and appropriate use of computer networks. This theoretical knowledge will be applied to a diverse range of software programming tasks using script, ‘C’-derived and object-oriented languages.
The assessment will be in two parts: a written examination on the principles and concepts of Computer Science (75%) and a practical programming Controlled Assessment (25%).
Computer Science (OCR)
This brand new course has been designed to be relevant to the modern and changing world of computing, as well as preparation for Higher Education and industry. Pupils will learn to apply the principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. The course values computational thinking, helping pupils to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. They will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. They will undertake a personal project, which can be tailored to suit their individual needs, choices and aspirations.
The course has two mandatory components and an additional programming project component. The two mandatory components are assessed by an external exam in Upper Sixth, while the programming project is assessed internally.
- Component 1 - Computer Systems (40% of marks).
- Component 2 - Algorithms and Programming (40% of marks).
- Component 3 - Programming Project (20% of marks).
Component 3 will allow the pupils to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written to solve a problem. Pupils will have to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project.
Although a GCSE (Grade B or higher) in Computer Science is preferable, it is not essential. Strong mathematical and problem solving skills, and a genuine interest in how computers work, are essential. A minimum of Grade B in GCSE Mathematics is required.
- Mr Kevin Arnold - Head of Computing
- Mr Martin Gale BEd - ICT Teacher