Computer Science is offered to all students as a subject in its own right, and across the curriculum to pupils in subject areas where it is relevant and appropriate. The Information Technology aspects of computing forms a significant part of a student’s learning experience in school and its use as a learning tool and for the preparation of work is encouraged in all subjects.
Key Stage 3:
Students in Key Stage 3 have one period a week of computing. There is a strong emphasis on developing programming skills in response to the reforms to the education curriculum from September 2014 that focus on technology-related skills.
At Key Stage 3 students cover three distinct strands within computing, each of which is complementary to the others. Each component is essential in preparing students to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
Computer science is the scientific and practical study of computation: what can be computed, how to compute it, and how computation may be applied to the solution of problems.
Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems.
Understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, algorithms for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.
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 [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions.
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 [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal].
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.
Information technology is concerned with how computers and telecommunications equipment work, and how they may be applied to the storage, retrieval, transmission and manipulation of data.
Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.
Create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability.
Digital literacy is the ability to effectively, responsibly, safely and critically navigate, evaluate and create digital artefacts using a range of digital technologies.
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.
Key Stage 4:
GCSE – Computing (OCR Examination Board) is offered as a Key Stage 4 option. The course content is made up of the following 3 elements:
Computer systems – 40% of the final marks, examination paper taken at the end of Year 11
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 40% of the final marks, examination paper taken at the end of Year 11
Producing robust programs
Translators and facilities of languages
Programming project – 20% of the final marks, a series of programming tasks set by the examination board