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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 graphics and web design skills. 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 the safe use of computers and the internet by using the latest Esafety advice as well as providing opportunities for students to discuss the social, ethical and moral implications of the digital world.

Staff

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.

 

Enrichment

After school clubs are provided for talented and enthusiastic students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is also offered on a one-to-one basis for the students who need it, and at a time that suits them. Some of the support sessions and clubs offered are:

  • Computer Club 
  • Key Stage 4 Catch-Up

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 one 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 strives to develop students into independent users of ICT by the end of Year 9.  This has been particularly important recently with an increasing reliance on the use of electronic means of communication. In addition to providing the basic knowledge to undertake GCSEs in Computer Science or ICT, the Key Stage 3 curriculum also equips students to be successful in other GCSE subjects.

 

Key Stage 4:

AQA GCSE Computer Science

OCR Cambridge National in Creative Media

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 at the end of  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 National in 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 hour 15 minutes)

Unit RO82 – Creating Digital Graphics, 25% (Coursework)

plus 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

The AQA Computer Science A-level 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, Mathematics, Engineering or Science at university or alternatively taken up apprenticeships in Engineering and industry.

The A-level consists of two exam papers taken at the end of Year 13, together with the Programming Project which is undertaken throughout Year 13

  • Exam Paper 1: Knowledge and theory, on screen exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (40%)
  • Exam Paper 2: Theoretical knowledge, written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (40%)
  • Coursework Project: Programming project, completed in Year 13 (20%)
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