ICT and Computer Science

Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Computer Science provide students with insight and practical experience of the use of computers in modern society. Students are increasingly expected to have transferable skills and our departmental philosophy is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to explore, question and creatively utilise ICT in many different contexts.

We follow the recommendations of the new computer science curriculum that states that students:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problem
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

We aim to develop knowledge and understanding through ensuring that assessment instils a culture of continuous improvement and students are encouraged to evaluate next steps to guide progress and achievement. Students are introduced to a range of different software applications using both Windows PC’s and Apple Macs.

ICT is also an integral part of other subjects and computer rooms are an essential resource for research, revision, experimentation and multimedia. Many departments use the ICT rooms to support learning and enrich their curricula.

Key Stage 3

At Key stage 3 we follow a scheme of work tailored to meet the needs of students and have embedded elements of computer science theory into our units of work. We aim to give students skills that may be applied to real life situations and provide tasks of project based nature. We encourage independent learning through investigation and creativity. As a department we also ensure that students are educated in the area of e-safety and we run a number of lessons each year to ensure students become sensible and responsible users of ICT.

Year 7

Covers the following range of topics:

  • password protection and computer room safety
  • operating systems
  • using email effectively
  • misuse of ICT and e-safety
  • word processing and presentation skills
  • desktop publishing
  • image manipulation using a combination of software such as Publisher, Fireworks and Photoshop
  • spreadsheet basics and modelling
  • webpage creation using html
  • effective search techniques
  • practical programming using BBC Microbits

Year 8

Covers the following range of topics:

  • desktop publishing creating ID cards
  • e-safety
  • hardware and software
  • network topologies
  • spreadsheet data analysis
  • sorting and filtering
  • webpage creation using html and CSS
  • programming fundamentals using Python (algorithms that make use of variables, procedures, conditions, lists, loops and recursion)
  • Adobe Fireworks/Photoshop creative project

Year 9

Covers the following range of topics:

  • Databases (data structure, data types, queries, user interface and reports)
  • e-safety
  • spreadsheet including financial modelling, IF statements and conditional formatting
  • creative use of ICT (Photoshop)
  • Computer science fundamentals – processors and Moore’s law
  • app generation
  • binary representation
  • programming using Python

All students are assessed at regular intervals with a variety of methods including verbal feedback, formal online testing, peer assessment, practical assessment tasks and evaluative self-assessment. Students’ work is marked following the school assessment policy and students are encouraged to set their own targets for improvement.

Key Stage 4

Students have the chance to further their learning and are able to opt in to taking GCSE Computer Science at the end of Key Stage 3.  Details of the course can be found below:

GCSE Computer Science

Consisting of two papers, one focusing on the theory of Computer Science and one with a focus on programming and algorithms. Both papers have identical weighting and mark allocations. There is also a Non-Exam-Assessment (NEA). This is a practical project set by the exam board and supports the theory covered in paper 2.

Component 1: This component will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It is expected that learners will become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science.

Component 2: This component incorporates and builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Component 1, encouraging learners to apply this knowledge and understanding using computational thinking. Learners will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Learners will become familiar with computing related mathematics.

Component 3: Learners will need to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution to the problems identified in the task. They will then code their solutions in a suitable programming language. The solutions must be tested at each stage to ensure they solve the stated problem and learners must use a suitable test plan with appropriate test data. In Component 3 learners must think computationally to solve a task and while doing so create a report detailing the creation of their solution, explaining what they did and why they did it.

Updated February 2019