Kirkham Grammar School

Independent Co-Educational Day and Boarding School

    Computing

    Kirkham Grammar School Main Content Area

    School Curriculum

    Under the umbrella of Computing come the subjects of ICT and Computer Science. We offer both subjects within the curriculum for different age groups.

     

    Information & Communication Technology

    Our aim is to provide a strong background in ICT so that anybody considering a future career in business or management will be well served.

     

    All students in the first two years follow an ICT course as part of the school’s Enrichment Programme.

     

    By the end of the Second Year students will have knowledge and an understanding of:

    • the concepts of ICT
    • using the computer and managing files
    • word processing
    • spreadsheets
    • presentations

    Computer Science

     

    Introduction

    Computer Science is a discipline that spans theory and practice.

    Nowadays, practically everyone is a computer user, and many people are computer programmers. Understanding how a computer works allows us to use them more meaningfully.

    Computer Science qualifications nurture computational thinking and help students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

    We aim to provide courses that encourage students to become adept at modelling and analysing problems. They develop the skills to design solutions and verify that they are correct through precision, creativity, and careful reasoning.

    Computer Science has a wide range of specialties for students to develop into such as computer architecture, software systems, graphics, artificial intelligence, computational science, and software engineering.

    Lower School

    All students in the first two years follow a basic Computer Science course as part of the school’s Enrichment Programme.

    By the end of the Second Year students will have knowledge and an understanding of:

    • Kodu Game Lab and game design
    • the components that make up digital systems and how they communicate with one another
    • programming in Scratch
    • digital graphics
    • online safety
    • the BBC Micro:Bit
    • basic website design using HTML
    • programming in Python

     

    All students in the Third Year follow a Computer Science course to expand their knowledge of programming techniques and the theory behind how a computer works.

     

    By the end of the Third Year students will have knowledge and an understanding of:

    • data representation in the computing environment
    • their digital footprint
    • more advanced programming techniques in Python
    • a range of computational thinking and digital skills through participation in the     Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award

    Middle School

     

    GCSE Computer Science (9-1 Specification) is offered as a GCSE option.

     

    This course will encourage students to:

    • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
    • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
    • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
    • understand the components that make up digital systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
    • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
    • apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science
    • design, develop and code a programming project to simulate professional software development

     

    The GCSE will be assessed in two parts:

    • written paper (1 hour 30 minutes) covering computer systems worth 40% of the total GCSE
    • written paper (1 hour 30 minutes) covering computational thinking, algorithms and programming worth 40% of the total GCSE

    Sixth Form

     

    A-level Computer Science comprises of three units as follows:

     

    Unit 1 – Computer Systems – Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A-level)

    Theoretical knowledge of Computer Science to include the following areas:

    • data types, representation and structures
    • computer systems and architecture
    • software and software development
    • exchanging data
    • web technologies
    • legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

     

    Unit 2 – Algorithms & Programming – Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A-level)

    Scenario based knowledge to include the following areas:

    • elements of computational thinking
    • problem solving and programming
    • algorithms

     

    Unit 3 – Programming Project (20% of A-level)

    A practical project to include the following areas:

    • analysis of a problem
    • design of the solution
    • implementation of the solution
    • evaluation

    Extra-Curricular

    The Computing department run a Coding Club every week where Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to stretch their interest into other areas, such as robotics.  Key Stage 4 students are offered the opportunity to design and build a robot to compete in the VEX Robotics National Competition.

     

    IT facilities throughout the school are widely available for pupil use.

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    Computing