Computer Science

Computer Science investigates how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Students are able to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and resourcefulness is encouraged. Students are expected to apply the principles they have learned to the understanding of real-world systems, and to the creation of purposeful products. In all key stages, students are also given opportunities to develop their ICT skills further using a range of software packages.

KS3 Curriculum

  • Year 7: Students are introduced to the school computer systems and build up fundamental skills needed for their school and working life.
  • Year 8: Students begin to access a more advanced curriculum developing more advanced programming skills.
  • Year 9: Students will be encouraged to have an appreciation of how much computers contribute to our society and wider world. This year will also fully prepare students for taking GCSE Computer Science in Year 10 if they wish to continue in the subject post-KS3.

The following units are covered in key stage 3:

Units covered in Key Stage 3
Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
  • E-safety
  • Unit 1 – Under the hood of a computer
  • Unit 2 – Thinking like a computer scientist
  • Unit 3 – Drawing and manipulating shapes using Scratch
  • Unit 4 – Creating an animation
  • Unit 5 – Back to the future
  • Unit 6 – Spreadsheets
  • Unit 7 – Databases
  • Unit 8 – Summer Project
  • E-Safety
  • Unit 1 – Operating systems
  • Unit 2 – The command line
  • Unit 3 – Binary
  • Unit 4 – Instruction set design
  • Unit 5 – Sorting Algorithms
  • Unit 6 – Python
  • Unit 7 – Ciphers
  • Unit 8 – IT Mini Project (Spreadsheets, Databases, DTP and Business Documents)
  • E-safety
  • Unit 1 – Computer Systems (Hardware, Software, Memory, Storage, Moral, Legal and Ethical issues)
  • Unit 2 – Python
  • Unit 3 – Logic
  • Unit 4 – Algorithms
  • Unit 5 – Data Representations
  • Unit 6 – Core IT Skills

KS4 Computer Science

Exam board: OCR

Course Content

This course gives students a real, in depth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing.

The course develops critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science, technology and medicine.

Below is a summary of the course details for GCSE Computer Science:

Component 1: Computer systems

  • Exam Based
  • 1hr 30mins
  • 40% of the GCSE

    In this unit, students will cover topics such as: Systems architecture, Memory, Storage, Wired and wireless networks, Network topologies, protocols and layers, Network security, System software , Moral, social, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Component 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

  • Exam Based
  • 1hr 30mins
  • 40% of the GCSE

    In this unit, students will cover topics such as: Translators and facilities of languages, Algorithms, High- and low-level programming, Computational logic, Data representation

Component 3: Programming project

  • Approx 20 hr project (controlled assessment) – completed in class time
  • 20 % of the GCSE

    Students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to use the following criteria effectively:

  • Programming techniques
  • Design
  • Development
  • Effectiveness and efficiency
  • Technical understanding
  • Testing, evaluation and conclusions

Skills required for success

  • Organising time – students must ensure that they are up to date with any work. This may mean completing their class work during break and lunch times!
  • Organising work – students must ensure their folder is organised and well presented so that it can be assessed and graded.
  • Work independently – students will be expected to work hard and work through problems by themselves.
  • Be creative but flexible – students will be expected to plan their work in detail for their client.   However, they must be prepared to change their plans to ensure it meets the needs of their client (even if they think they know best!).
  • Have a genuine interest – students should have a genuine interest in programming and the use of technology to solve and programme solutions to problems. This makes up the majority of the course.

Key Stage 5

Please click here for details