Computer Science

Computer Science

Aims

  • To ensure that all pupils develop confidence in using computers
  • To ensure that all pupils know how to safe online
  • To ensure that pupils become IT literate
  • To develop logical and problem solving skills that they can apply, not only to Computer Science, but to many other subjects with particular reference to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.
  • To introduce pupils to programming in the Python language and then extending their understanding so that they are able to build simple applications.
  • To develop an interest in the subject

Curriculum

Years 7 – 8
In Years 7-9, all pupils are taught the same course, following the National Curriculum. Pupils are allocated a dedicated three lessons over the two week timetable throughout both years. The subject is taught in form groups and is therefore mixed ability with differentiated tasks that will ensure all pupils have access to the material and the more able pupils are stretched and can demonstrate their additional knowledge. Pupils who are already adept programmers are set more challenging tasks that are designed to be GCSE level. The pupils look at the following topics;

  • e-safety (staying safe online)
  • Algorithms (sequencing instructions)
  • Scratch programming (iteration, selection)
  • Python programming (simple programs and using the Python turtle library)
  • html scripting (basic tags)
  • Understanding how a computer works
  • Input/output devices
  • Networks (how computers communicate with each other)
  • Data Representation (binary)

Years 9 – 11 (GCSE)

Pupils can choose to opt for Computer Science at the end of Year 8. They then follow the 9-1 OCR GCSE specification (J276). Each pupil takes the same two exams at the end of year 11 and is each is worth 40% of their overall mark.

The first exam is entitled ‘Computer Systems’ and covers:

  • Systems Architecture, Memory. Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks, Network topologies, protocols & layers
  • System security & system software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

The second exam is entitled ‘Computational thinking, algorithms and programming’ and covers:

  • Algorithms & Data Representation
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages

There is also a controlled assessment piece worth 20% and this is completed in class time and is allocated 20 hours to complete. It covers:

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis, Design, Testing, Evaluation & Conclusions
  • Development


Facilities and Resources

There are 4 dedicated IT labs throughout senior school. IT2 & IT3 are dedicated primarily to Computer Science. Each suite has 28 computers running Windows OS. As well as the usual Microsoft Office package, pupils have access to many different applications including (but not limited to) Scratch, Python 3.4, Blender 3D, Kodu, Monkey, SmallBasic and SonicPi. We also have a class set of Raspberry Pi’s and BBC Microbits. There are a number of older PCs available to take apart which is a project normally undertaken at GCSE level.

Extra Curricular

The department runs after school catch up clubs for Year 11 & 13 on most nights of the week. There is a dedicated lunchtime code club that runs once a week. There are also lunchtime Minecraft and homework clubs which run most other lunchtimes.

Mr Henry Sanderson
Subject Leader Computer Science