Computer Science

Key Stage 3

Computer Science has replaced Information & Communication Technology and is taught to all students in KS3.

Pupils will be introduced to the school network and e-mail system along with how to organise their user areas for use in other lessons.  They will be taught in mixed ability form groups and will look at a wide range of ideas and skills including how computers and computer systems work, analysing and solving problems as well as designing and developing simple computer programs using both graphical and text based environments.

Much of what we will be doing will be to enable students to develop their computational thinking ability which is a skill that is useful in all areas of life. We will also be looking at developing a range of artefacts using traditional digital technologies as well as enabling students to work securely and safely online.

Homework will be set on a regular basis and is likely to be either research or completing activities for following lessons.

Pupils will have the opportunity to attend a variety of clubs including coding, developing multimedia, using Raspberry Pi computers and robotics.

For more detailed information about what is studied each term in Years 7 to 9, please see the Parents’ Curriculum Guides in the Learning/Curriculum section of the school website.

 

Key Stage 4 

What will students learn?

The course will cover three components:

1.   Computer Systems
The first component is focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory. Systems architecture, memory and storage will be looked at, along with networks, topologies, security and aspects of social and legal concerns.

2.   Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
This component is focused on the core theory of computer science and the application of computer science principles including languages, algorithms, computational logic, high and low level programming as well as the representation of data.

3.   Programming Project
This is the non-exam assessment component where students will be challenged by a range of stimulating and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have previously learned. Programming techniques, design, development and efficiency will be looked at along with testing and evaluation.

How will students be taught?

The lessons will be a varied combination of both computer theory and learning coding concepts using the Python coding language. Students must be willing to extend their programming skills outside lessons using an online tutorial system.

The practical part of the course relies heavily on mathematical concepts and the confident use of logic and algebra. Students who are not expected to achieve a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics will find the course challenging.

 
How will students be assessed?

Coursework
The programming project will prepare students for the exam. This will take a maximum 20 hours of lesson time and will take place under supervised conditions. All of the skills necessary will be developed in previous lessons.

Written examinations
Component 1 and 2 are examined units and carry an equal weighting of 50% of the final marks. Both exams are for 1 hour 30 minutes. Component 1 is theory and component 2 is computational thinking.

 
Examination board & course type

OCR – GCSE

What can studying this subject lead to?

The course provides an excellent basis for entry into Computer Science at A level.

Teacher to contact for further information

Mr A Howard