At Key Stage 3, computing is taught over two lessons per fortnight. 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.
Key Stage 3
Computing consists of two broad topic areas: ICT and computing.
ICT topics covered in Year 7 include: staying safe online, creating presentations and other products. Computing topics relate to how computers work and are programmed. Year 7 study the history of computers including computer pioneers and writing computer programs using Scratch and the BBC Microbit.
ICT topics covered in Year 8 include: staying safe online and creating digital products. 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 and learn how to code in Python.
Computing topics in Year 9 include areas such as the hardware of a computer, and programming using Python. These topic areas allowed the students to make an informed decision on opting to take GCSE Computing.
The ICT topics covered during the year include spreadsheets, desktop publishing, word processing, e-safety and image creation and manipulation.
Key Stage 4
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. The school will put students in for the GCSE examination in Computer Science offered by the OCR examinations board.
This specification in computer science 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 techniques;
- Apply the skills and methodologies they have learnt to solve various problems using a variety of techniques including coding in Python 3;
- Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the appropriate use of various technologies, being aware of the the implications and effects of their use on a variety of stakeholders;
- 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.