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.
- Introduction to Computer Science
- Modelling and data handling
- Programming using blocks
- Creating websites
- Programming using Micro:bit
- Text-based programming
- Using flowcharts to control real world simulations
- Digital competency-using applications
- Digital literacy
- Social media - connect with respect
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.
Assessment is 20% coursework comprising of a set project. This will be set by the exam board in year 11.
The remaining 80% of the course will be assessed through two examinations.
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.
Computer Science AS/A2
The Computer Science AS/A2 level qualification will be examined using OCR (H046 & H446). The course content will remain relevant to the modern and changing world of computing.
There will be a focus on developing programming skills and computational thinking as a discipline. Learners will develop skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.
The course will involve a significant mathematics focus which will be embedded into the course.
There is a clear progression to a wide range of university courses and is a useful qualification for a range of degree subjects.
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate
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:
- Unit 1: Fundamentals of IT (external examination)
- Unit 2: Global information (external examination)
- Unit 3: Cyber security (external examination)
- Unit 17: Internet of Everything (coursework portfolio)
- Unit 11: Systems Analysis & Design (coursework portfolio)
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.