Computer Science


Acting head of Computer Science: Mr Howden and Mrs Martin  


Computing is taught as a discrete subject at KS3. All students study Computing for two hours a fortnight. They will use their own desktop computer during lesson time to allow them to fully engage with the varying topics, encompassing Computer Science, Digital Literacy and ICT.

In ICT students are taught how computer systems are used and the most appropriate software to use for a given scenario. This will continue with the new curriculum, ensuring all students are well prepared for cross curricular ICT needs throughout their school career through the study of spreadsheets, presentations, word processing and e-safety. This will  be further developed to include the study of Computer Science where students will come to understand how computer systems are developed and learn the programming skills required to develop their own. Digital Literacy is implicit in all areas of Computing and provides the support students required to become fully accomplished in all areas of their curriculum.


Key Stage 3:

At key stage 3 students are given the opportunity solve business problems using their ICT skills, to understand how the components of a computer work and to develop practical programming skills through traditional programming methods as well as App and web development. This skills development will also be supported through the use of Raspberry Pis and Micro:bit computers.  Python will be the main programming language used, and no previous knowledge of this is required or expected.

The key stage 3 curriculum has been developed to provide an excellent and secure base for the study of key stage 4 Computer Science.


Key stage 4:

Students in key stage 4 study OCR GCSE Computer Science. Computer Science gets students working with real-world, practical programming techniques providing a good understanding of what makes technology work. This new GCSE course is assessed through 2 written papers, addressing Computer systems and Computational thinking, algorithms & programming, and a piece of Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) comprising a programming project. The NEA comprises 20% off the overall marks with each written paper being 40%.


Key Stage 5 (Computer Science only)

At KS5, students can continue their studies with AQA A-level Computing. Computing is listed as a “Useful A-Level Qualification” in no fewer than 20 degree disciplines, including Engineering, Science, Social Sciences and Medicine. It has a high practical programming element and is only suitable for students with some prior programming experience and mathematical aptitude. This course is assessed through two examinations, one written (40%) and one computer based (40%), and a piece of NEA (20%).