About the Department

The department is staffed by 3 specialist teachers who deliver Computer Science and ICT lessons from KS3 to KS5. The classrooms are fully equipped with both up-to-date Windows PCs and also Raspberry Pi computers and microcontrollers used to teach students the basics in programming.

Key Stage 3

Computer Science and ICT

In Year 7, students learn the fundamentals of ICT and how to use computers effectively and safely. Topics include E-Safety, graphic design skills using Photoshop, how to use a variety of Office programs, and finally beginning to learn the basics of programming using the BBC micro:bit microcontroller.

In Year 8, students develop their knowledge of Computer Science and the basic principles of how modern technology works. The year begins with theory unit which covers topics such as the binary number system, the hardware and components of computers systems, basic networking technologies, and the difference between open and closed source software.

From here students develop the computer programming skills introduced at the end of Year 7. The aim is to cover the key concepts of Computer Science in a practical and hands on way, by using the physical computing abilities of the Raspberry Pi. Students will learn about concepts such as sequencing, selection and iteration, by connecting the Raspberry Pi computers to LEDs, motors and buttons to bring their programs to life. The unit will also incorporate the concept of creating music through code by using Sonic Pi, and introduce the idea of using APIs by writing programs to control and manipulate the game of Minecraft.

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Key Stage 4

Optional. 3 hours per week in Y9 and 4 hours per week in Y10.

GCSE Computer Science

We deliver the new 9-1 specification OCR GCSE Computer Science at KS4. This course encourages and understand of fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation. The course also requires students to learn skills to allow them to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs. To succeed in this course, it is essential that students be able to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.

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BTEC Information and Creative Technology

Replacing the now discontinued GCSE ICT, students will now be studying Edexcel’s BTEC ICT. This course is equivalent to a GCSE.

This course consists of four units, each of which is worth 25% of the overall grade.

Unit 1: The Online World

This is the externally assessed theory exam. In this unit students will:

  • investigate online services and online communication
  • investigate components of the internet and how digital devices exchange and store information
  • investigate issues with operating online

Unit 3: A Digital Portfolio

This is an internally assessed practical unit. In this unit students will:

  • design a digital portfolio
  • create and test a digital portfolio
  • review the digital portfolio.

Unit 6: Creating Digital Graphics

This is an internally assessed practical unit. In this unit students will:

  • understand the applications and features of digital graphic products
  • design digital graphic products
  • create, test and review digital graphic products.

Unit 9: Spreadsheet Development

This is an internally assessed practical unit. In this unit students will:

  • understand the uses of spreadsheets and the features available in spreadsheet software packages
  • design a spreadsheet
  • develop and test a spreadsheet
  • review the finished spreadsheet.

Enrichments

There are a range of enrichment opportunities running each week in the department.

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