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 extend their understanding so that they can build simple applications.
  • To develop an interest in the subject

CURRICULUM

Years 7 – 8
In Years 7-8, 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:

Year 7

  • e-safety (staying safe online)
  • Introduction to algorithms (sequencing instructions)
  • Scratch programming (iteration, selection)
  • Python programming (simple programs and using the Python turtle library)
  • Understanding how a computer works
  • Input/output devices
  • Network topologies
  • Data Representation (binary)

Year 8

  • e-safety (cyberbullying)
  • More advanced algorithms (iteration & selection)
  • Advanced Scratch programming (project based)
  • Python programming (sequence, selection, iteration)
  • Storage Devices
  • CPU and the FDE cycle
  • Networks (how computers communicate with each other)
  • Data Representation (binary addition)
  • Introduction to Databases

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 (J277). Each pupil takes the same two exams at the end of year 11 and is each is worth 50% of their overall mark.

Year 9

  • Programming fundamentals
  • Building robust programs in Python
  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory and Storage
  • Systems Software

Year 10

  • Computer Networks, connections & protocols
  • Network Security
  • Systems Software
  • Procedural & Functional Programming
  • Boolean Logic

Year 11

  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology
  • Complex Algorithms
  • Project based programming
  • Different programming languages
  • Integrated Development Environment
  • Analysis, Design, Testing, Evaluation & Conclusions

You can download the OCR specification from: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j277-from-2020/

FACILITIES & RESOURCES

There are 4 dedicated IT labs throughout secondary 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 3.9, Blender 3D, Kodu, MonkeyX, SmallBasic, and SonicPi. We also have a class set of Raspberry Pi’s and BBC Microbits. Pupils get the opportunity to use many online applications throughout their education.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR

The department runs after school catch up clubs for Years 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 that run most other lunchtimes for individual year groups.

For more information contact:

Mr. HM Sanderson

Subject Lead of Computer Science

hsanderson@qegsblackburn.com