We live in a world where computer science and ICT are fundamental to most activities, education, and employment. Computer science gives learners a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works.
ICT is an exciting and innovative way to provide lifelong learners with global access to information, learning, and support. It is a fusion of computer-based technology and communication. The social, moral, ethical, legal, and safe use of ICT are integral parts of the curriculum at all key stages.
Computer science provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas where these skills are applied to technical problems, including engineering, financial, science, medicine, and resource management. Throughout our schemes of work, students are encouraged to develop their collaborative, creative, and logical problem-solving skills. Development of critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills is promoted through the study of computer programming, giving learners a fun and interesting way to develop skills which can be transferred to other subjects and applied in day-to-day life.
As a department, we aim to prepare students to be confident and competent users of technology, developing the skills to use computers in a variety of contexts, including problem solving and learning independently.
At Key Stage 3 students experience one period each week of discrete Computer Science taught in tutor groups.
Learners undertake a broad and balanced curriculum where they learn to support enquiry through; accessing, selecting, organising and interpreting of information and data. The course covers binary and hexadecimal number systems, Boolean logic and basic programming constructs. Students learn to use ICT safely, imaginatively and to create new understandings.
The Computer Science course is a full GCSE course examined through OCR. The course counts towards the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) measure. This is an optional subject and is graded 1-9. The course code for the GCSE is OCR J276.
Students will be taught the fundamental concepts of Computer Science and to develop their programming and logical thinking skills. Programming skills will be developed through using a range of languages, including Small Basic, Visual Basic and Python.
The course contains a programming coursework project set by the exam board in Year 11. This will take 20 hours to complete.
Final assessment for the course will be made through two paper-based externally set examinations. Each of these examinations contributes towards 50% of the final grade.
The first of these examinations will be focuses on ‘Computer Systems’, where learners will be assessed on systems architecture, memory, storage, network topologies and protocols, system security, software and the moral, legal, cultural and environmental concerns regarding computer science.
The second examination will focus on computational thinking and algorithms. The test principally assesses the learner’s ability to write, correct and improve algorithms.
Both examinations will take place at the end of year 11.
In Sixth Form, students are able to choose to study a Vocational Technical Certificate at both AS and A2 level; a course that will open doors to both academic and career based pathways.
The vocational route at key stage 5 involves the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in year 12 and the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in IT in year 13.
The course contains the following units:
All external examinations will take place in May/June.
Every unit achieved will be graded as pass, merit or distinction. A learner must get at least a pass for every unit to be awarded the qualification they have entered for.
The aim of the course is to develop a broad range of ICT skills, knowledge and understanding of components, functions, applications of information systems within a range of organisations. Students develop an understanding of the main principals of solving problems using ICT and develop the skills necessary to apply this understanding.
Achievement of this qualification can support progression to study in a Higher Education institution either on relevant IT degrees such as Computing and Technology or Business IT or support progression on to other degree courses. The course will be a useful preparation for a range of higher level apprenticeships.
At the heart of The White Horse Federation is a belief in using collaboration to provide a first-class education to a wide range of children. This means that every child understands what they are capable of, and can collectively strive for excellence.