Subject Computer Science
Members of staff Stephanie Lagay, Dean Wild, Anna Ridley, Sinead Watson, Lorraine Elliott
Subject overview

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum has been developed in line with the national curriculum to provide our young people with a broad range of knowledge spanning our three subjects: Computer Science, ICT and Business Studies.

Computer Science at Key Stage 4 provides students with a wide range of problem solving skills and computer science knowledge, allowing them to become more logical thinkers.

Key Stage 3
Content Year 7 Year 8
Autumn term Students will first study e-safety and an introduction to Computer Science. The purpose of this unit is to introduce new students to the subject and to provide them with the necessary skills to competently and confidently use a computer system to support their learning, including the ability to identify a range of e-safety issues, methods of prevention and how to report issues.

Students will then learn about hardware and software. The purpose of this unit is to provide students with core foundations of knowledge that can be built upon in each of the subsequent units. The topics delivered within this module will give students and understanding of the computer system and how components work alongside software to provide an interface for programming and production.

Students returning to school in Year 8 will study E-Safety to refresh their thinking and to discuss any emerging concerns within the college or surrounding area. The purpose of these sessions is to make students refocus their attention on the potential dangers of the internet and how to be a good digital citizen.

They will then follow a Business unit. In this unit of work, students will be introduced to ‘Business’ to help them make an informed choice for Year 9 options. Students will learn about why businesses need staff and the process they must go through to select the very best individual for the job. They will then investigate how businesses organise staff and about the role of the main departments within a business. Students will develop Excel skills to calculate the pay for staff in a fictitious business and enter personnel data into a database for these staff. Queries will be run to establish key information and forms and reports produced. The unit concludes with the reason why this information is necessary to store and the measures a business might implement to keep this safe and secure.

Spring term Students will then move onto Scratch Programming. This is the first of two programming projects that students will complete during their Key Stage 3 journey. Students will explore the concepts of algorithms and block based programming. They will analyse, design, develop, test and evaluate a programming project for a specified purpose. Students will need to use appropriate hardware and software to produce their project, use a range of digital literacy skills and use the internet safely to find sources of information. Students will study Data Representation. In this unit students will learn how computers are able to process electrical signals and convert them into meaningful instructions through the use of binary. They will study the base 2 number system and learn to use it mathematically to convert between binary and decimal/denary and also add binary numbers together. They will go on to discover how computers are able to represent images, sound and characters using binary and the purpose of logic within a computer.
Summer term The final unit in Year 7 is iMedia. In this unit pupils will learn the fundamentals of graphic design. They will research existing graphics, investigating target audiences and purposes. They will use this new learning to design, create and evaluate a games cover for a specific need. Students will complete a project on Micro Python Programming. This unit gives students the opportunity to apply their computational logic to a text-based programming language using the BBC microbit. They will study the tools and features of the microbit before producing a solution to a problem by analysing the task, designing a solution, developing and implementing the solution and testing it the outcomes to ensure it meets the success criteria. They will evaluate their product and their workmanship throughout the process.
Key Stage 4
Content Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Autumn term 1 Systems Architecture
Students learn about how computers are built and how they work.
Data Representation
Students learn about digital units and how to perform calculations using these. They also learn about images, characters, binary and hex.

Computational Logic
Students learn about truth tables and how to complete these.

Translators and Facilities of Languages
Students learn about the different generations of languages, the need for translators and the different types, and the function of an IDE.

 

Non-Examined Assessment (project set by exam board)
Autumn term 2 Memory
Students learn about the different memory types such as RAM and ROM, and how they allow a computer to operate.

Storage
Students learn about how data is stored and retrieved in a computer.

 

Algorithms
Students learn about abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, searching, sorting, flowcharts and pseudocode.
Non-Examined Assessment
Spring term 1 Storage

Wired and Wireless Networks
Students learn about wired and wireless networks and how they are used to connect people, organisations and communities.

 

Producing Robust Programs
Students learn how to program, including defensive design, using comments, testing, identifying errors and debugging.

Programming Techniques
Students learn how to program, including using variables, constants, operators, inputs, outputs, sequence, selection, iteration, string manipulation, arrays, functions and validation.
Revision of Unit 1 and Unit 2
Spring term 2 Network topologies, protocols and layers
Students learn about different topologies, methods of connection and protocols and how these factors can affect the performance of a network.

Systems security
Students learn about threats and types of attack on networks, and how to identify and prevent against vulnerabilities.
Programming Techniques Revision of Unit 1 and Unit 2
Summer term 1 Systems software
Students learn about the purpose and functionality of systems software, including operating systems and utility software.

Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Students learn about stakeholders, ethical issues in Computing, legislations and open source and proprietary software.
Mock Non-Examined Assessment
Students complete a mock non-examined assessment under controlled conditions in preparation for their exam board set problem in Year 11. Students will be given a problem to solve which they will design, code and implement a solution for.
Revision of Unit 1 and Unit 2
Summer term 2 Recaps and revision Recaps and revision Final Exams
Revision links for GCSE course

bit.do/cslessons
bit.do/csmemrise
bit.do/cs1video
bit.do/cs2video
bit.do/cs6aday
bit.do/csquizzes

How can parents support their child’s progress in this subject?

Home learning tasks are set regularly and parents are encourage to support their children with these.

Parents can support by ensuring your child revisits subject matter taught in class on a regular basis. Weekly revision (independent of set homework) should be taking place. Ensuring this happens could make a significant impact on your child’s examination performance.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Additional support provided weekly for GCSE students

Computing Club – Wednesday afternoon 3:30pm-4:30pm