Computing and IT
At Key Stage 3, computing is taught over two lessons per fortnight in mixed ability groups. The subject is broken down into three strands, computing itself which is how computers work including programming, IT topics which focus on how to use software tools to produce digital products and the final strand, e-safety, which deals with using the internet and other digital technology safely and responsibly.
Computing is an increasingly popular option subject at Key Stage 4. We offer the OCR Computer Science GCSE which develops and extends the students' programming and computational thinking skills introduced at Key Stage 3. As a part of this course we offer a trip to the National Computing Museum at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.
Students can continue their study of computing and computer science at Key Stage 5 with A level Computer Science.
For more information about each key stage, please click on each of the sections below.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)
Computing consists of two broad topic areas: ICT and computing.
ICT topics covered in Year 7 include: staying safe online, using google documents to create presentations and using other programmes to create products. Computing topics relate to how computers work and are programmed. Year 7 study the history of computers including codebreaking at Bletchley Park and writing computer programs using Robomind and Scratch.
ICT topics covered in Year 8 include: staying safe online and creating digital products using google drive. Computing topics relate to how computers work and are programmed. In Year 8 students have covered the representation of numbers, sound and images in binary.
Computing topics in Year 9 include areas such as the hardware of a computer, and programming using Python, BBC Basic or Scratch. These topic areas allowed the students to make an informed decision on opting to take GCSE Computing. Most students also take part in a national competition that will test their ability to think logically; this also lends itself to the study of computing at GCSE level.
The ICT topics covered during the year include spreadsheets, desktop publishing, word processing, google docs, e-safety and video creation and editing.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)
GCSE Computing encourages students to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. This will help prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
This specification in computing enables learners to:
Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies understanding how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts;
Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skill and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming;
Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies;
Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts;
Develop computer programs to solve problems;
Develop the skills to work collaboratively;
Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of, and issues related to, the use of computer technology in society.
Computer science A level
Computer science is the study of how computers work and how they are programmed. During this course you will learn the Python programming language.
Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It is an intensely practical subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the world through a digital outlook.
This qualification is aimed to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of the essentials of IT and cyber security. It will give you an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure on a global scale, and the importance of legal and security considerations. Designed in collaboration with industry experts the qualifications focus on the requirements that today’s employers demand.
For more information about this subject at KS5, please click here to view the relevant subject leaflet at the bottom of the page.