School Curriculum - Computing

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

Our aim is to provide a strong background in Computing so that anybody considering a future career with a digital element, will be well served. All students in the first two years follow a Computing course that includes both ICT and Computer Science.

 

Information and Communication Technology

 

ICT is aimed at providing students with the skills to manipulate and generate digital media files of all kinds.

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

  • 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
  • online safety
  • the BBC Micro:Bit
  • programming in Python
  • the binary number system
  • computational thinking and algorithms

 

 

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 and 30 minutes) covering computer systems worth 40% of the total GCSE
  • written paper (1 hour and 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 to opportunity to design and build a robot to compete in the VEX Robotics National Competition.

IT facilities throughout the school are open widely and extensively for pupil use.