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IT and Computing


Key Stage 3

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. We cover a range of topics as detailed below. They have one lesson per week. We make use of a range of resources to provide an interesting and stimulating approach to learning about the use of technology, such as interactive content on the school online learning platform. We see ICT as a tool that we need to learn how to use effectively.

What do students learn in KS3?

Key Stage 4

Course Content

The GCSE Computer Science course provides students with an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and investigates what goes on “behind the scenes”. The course covers three units:

  • Component 01 - Computer Systems
    This component covers the physical elements of computer science and associated theory. It includes systems architecture, computer memory; computer storage; network topologies, protocols and layers; network security; systems software; moral, social, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.
  • Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
    This second component is focused on the core theory of computer science and the application of computer science principles. It includes translators and facilities of programming languages; algorithms; high and low level programming; computational logic; the representation of data in computer systems; number systems (binary and hexadecimal).
  • Component 03 – Programming Project
    The programming project covers analysis, design, coding and testing of a solution using a suitable programming language to solve a complex problem. The Programming Project develops students’ practical ability in the skills learnt in components 01 and 02 and although this unit does not count towards the final grade, it is a requirement of the course.

Students’ knowledge of components 01 and 02 will be assessed at the end of the course by two written examination papers. Each paper is worth 50% of the final mark. There is only one tier of entry which means that students can achieve a GCSE with grades ranging from 9 - 1.

Sixth Form

Course Content

The A level course has been designed in consultation with the British Computer Society, Computing at School (CAS) and top universities. The key features of the courses include:

  • Focus on programming and computational thinking as a discipline
  • Emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and algorithm comparison. Strong GCSE mathematical skills are a pre-requisite
  • Skills development in the solving of problems, designing systems and understanding of human and machine intelligence
  • Application of academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems
Course Structure
  • Computer Systems: Computer components, how they work and their uses; Software and methodologies used to develop software; Data types, data structures, Boolean algebra and algorithms; Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues
  • Algorithms and Programming: Elements of computational thinking; Problem solving and programming; Use and design of algorithms to describe problems; Standard algorithms
  • Programming Project: Analysis of a set problem; Design of the solution; Development of the solution and evaluation

Mathematical skills are embedded throughout the content of this course and assessed in the written papers where appropriate.

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