Computer Science and ICT
Computer Science and ICT
The department is characterised by approachable, conscientious staff who always make students the focal point of their energy and commitment. The curriculum offers the best of both Computer Science and ICT; enabling students to create documents and use spreadsheets and databases effectively whilst offering students with a creative edge the opportunity to develop their image and animation skill set. A key focus of the curriculum is the development of problem-solving and programming skills through the use of various programming platforms and languages. The department also takes a lead role in promoting safe use of computers and the internet using the latest available Esafety material including videos and literature as well as providing opportunities for students to discuss the social, ethical and moral implications of the digital world.
The department is led by Mr C Elliott with two further members of staff. The school boasts six dedicated computer rooms and the department works closely with the Network Manager who provides an effective, reliable computer network service across the school.
After school clubs are provided for talented and keen students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is also offered on a one to one basis for the students that need it, and at a time that suits them. Some of the support sessions and clubs offered are:
- Programming Club after school on a Thursday
- GCSE Programming Catch-Up on Friday after school
This year saw a number of our GCSE Computer Science students entering the Cyber Discovery Challenge, with many progressing to the second round and demonstrating outstanding problem solving skills.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all students receive a 1 hour timetabled lesson per week in mixed ability classes. The curriculum is taught through a series of units covering both Computer Science and ICT. The tasks enable the students to develop their ICT skills, acquire a basic knowledge of computer components and networks as well as an opportunity to develop their problem solving and programming skills.
All students are expected to use ICT appropriately in other subjects and the department strive to make all students independent users of ICT by the end of Year 9. In addition to providing the basic knowledge to undertake GCSEs in Computer Science or ICT the KS3 curriculum also enables students to apply their skills in their chosen GCSE subjects.
Key Stage 4:
AQA GCSE Computer Science
AQA Tech Award in IT
The school offers two courses at KS4
AQA: Computer Science GCSE and OCR: Creative iMedia.
The AQA Computer Science GCSE consists of two exam papers which are completed under controlled conditions in Year 11.
Exam Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving (50%)
Exam Paper 2: Theoretical knowledge (50%)
Students learn the fundamental concepts in programming as well as a specific language in which to write solutions to given problems. They also gain theoretical knowledge of topics such as hardware, networking, algorithms and databases.
OCR Cambridge Nationals Creative Media
The Creative iMedia qualification consists of a single exam paper and three units of practical work conducted during lesson time.
Unit ~RO81 – pre-production skills, 25% (Exam I hur 15 minutes)
Unit RO82 – Creating Digital Graphics, 25% (Coursework)
+two further optional units (25% each)
The course is aimed at enabling students to recognise and create effective media solutions that are a key part of our working lives today. Students learn to use various applications to manipulate date, graphics and video, whilst also understanding the legal implications of presenting information in the public domain.
Key Stage 5:
AQA A-level Computer Science
AQA Level 3 Tech-Level in IT
A-level Computer Science with AQA suits able students who enjoy solving problems and who have a strong mathematical bias. The emphasis is on computational thinking which is about developing logical skills needed to solve problems and write code. In the past students taking this course have continued their education studying Computing, Maths, Engineering or Science at university or alternatively taken up apprenticeships in Engineering and industry.
Level 3 Tech-Level in IT provided by AQA is for the students who would prefer a vocational work-related course. You will study four units over 2 years, two of which will be examined.
- Unit 1 – Fundamental principles of computing (External Examination)
- Unit 2 – Communication Technologies (External Examination)
- Unit 3 – Developing & maintaining computer networks (Internally assessed)
- Unit 4 – Supporting end users (Internally assessed)
Four completed units are equivalent to one ‘A’ Level with equivalent UCAS points. Students achieve a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*
This course suits students planning to go on to further education or looking for a future in computing and business.