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 1 E-Safety

In the first unit of study, students explore a range of legal, ethical and moral issues surrounding the use of ICT and staying safe when using digital devices and the Internet.

Business & Multimedia Design

In Year 8, students make big decisions regarding their courses of study at Key Stage 4. In this unit, students are given the opportunity to sample the types of topics and activities that will be taught in Business Studies and ICT at Key Stage 4. The purpose of this is to help students make an informed decision about whether a course in our department is suitable for them.

Autumn term 2
Spring term 1 Data Representation

Students are given the opportunity to think like a computer in their second unit of study. They look at how units, numbers, characters, images and sound are represented by a computer using binary and how we, as humans, can interpret them.

Hardware & Software

In their second unit of study, students will focus on how computers use hardware and software to operate and the tools they provide us to support our day-to-day lives. This Computer Science unit focus on what the different types of hardware are and how they operate as well as the different types of software and how they communicate with the computer hardware.

Spring term 2
Summer term 1 Game Development

In their final unit of study, students are given the opportunity to express their adventurous side by programming their very own adventure game using Scratch. They will learn a range of programming techniques and stages of game development before putting their new skills to use, developing their very own game.

Artificial Intelligence

The final unit of study for our Key Stage 3 students gives them the opportunity to develop their very own artificial intelligence system using the Python programming language. They will also be given the opportunity to experiment with a range of programming tools and devices such as BBC Microbits, Raspberry Pi’s and Spheros.

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.

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

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

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