Computer Science

Head of Department: Mr R Chagger -

A high-quality computing education equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science and 3D Design, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is Computer Science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programmes, systems and a range of content.

Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate: able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, Information and Communication Technology - at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. We provide learners the opportunity to experience a highly challenging Computing Curriculum at both Key Stages 3 and 4. Our specialist teaching staff have put together an extensive scheme of work with relevant assessment tools, based on the progression pathway designed by ‘Computing at School’ (CAS). 

Exam Course Title: 
                 (i) GCSE Computer Science OCR J276 (9-1) (2016) Full Exam Specification (PDF)

Year 11 only (2017-2018)
(Year 11 continue their Computing and ICT courses, while Years 9 and 10 study the new Computer Science course)
                 (i) GCSE Computing - OCR J275  Full Exam Specification (PDF)
                (ii) GCSE ICT - OCR J461  Full Exam Specification (PDF)

GCSE Course Study Breakdown (Key Stage 4)

Year 9

   Term 1:
ICT in context (Unit B063). ICT and innovation in five businesses.  The businesses will include an art gallery, a fashion retailer, a theatre, a dentist and a manufacturing company.

   Term 2: ICT and modern living (Unit B061). Students focus on monitoring; measurement and control technology; using ICT systems; legal, social ethical and environmental issues when using ICT.

   Term 3: Practical applications in ICT (Unit B062). This topic will be based on a previously assessed topic, Westwood Hockey Club.  Students create a system that manages the Club’s data functions; this will involve research, design, implementation and testing.

Year 10

   Term 1:

(i) GCSE ICT - unit B062 coursework. Students create a flexible solution to manage records and the finances for a small business.  Prior to creating the system, students work with others to research existing solutions, design a solution, implement their design and, finally, test the design.

(ii) GCSE Computing - unit J276/01 theory. Students develop their understanding of computer systems and develop the core programming skills required for their practical tasks.  More than one programming language will be taught to ensure a depth of programming knowledge.

   Term 2/3:

(i) GCSE ICT - unit B063, ICT in context. Students will analyse the fundamentals of a given business/organisation and how the use of ICT is at the core of everyday functions.  Depending on the organisation, a vast amount of research may be required.

(ii) GCSE Computing - unit J276/02 theory.  Students develop their understanding of algorithms, programming concepts and computation thinking.  It is expected that students will draw on this underpinning content when completing the Programming Project component later on.

Year 11

     Term 1:
(i) GCSE ICT - unit B064 coursework. 
Students develop a multimedia solution with appropriate elements such as sound and video clips, animation and graphics, taking into consideration the full system lifecycle.

(ii) GCSE Computing - unit A453 coursework.  Students demonstrate practical ability to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution to the stated problem and then code their solutions in a suitable programming language. The solutions must be tested at each stage to ensure they solve the stated problem, using a suitable test plan with appropriate test data.

     Term 2:
GCSE ICT - unit B061/B064, GCSE Computing unit A451
. Students develop their understanding of current emerging technologies and how they work.  They then apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts.

     Term 3:
GCSE ICT - unit B061/B063, GCSE Computing unit A451
.  In preparation for their exams, students evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and use of computer technology/ICT in society.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

Year 7

     Term 1:
RM Unify – office 365, e-safety and digital literacy

An insight into using the school IT platform and develop a thorough awareness of e-safety. Digital literacy involves learners using Microsoft applications to support learning in other subjects.  

   Term 2:
PC basic and Algorithms

A look ‘under the hood’ of computer systems and developing an understanding of the key components that can be found. The second half involves looking at the importance of using algorithms when tackling a problem to breakdown tasks into smaller steps.

   Term 3:
Python and an integrated multi-media project

Learners will be introduced to textual programming using Python and will also create a website, combining a range of multi-media components.

Year 8

   Term 1:
Handling data

(i) An introduction to how databases work and an insight into relational databases.
(ii) Using spreadsheets to monitor, track and calculate data for a small business and planning a road trip.

   Term 2:
Binary, Python programming and digital images

Data representation in graphics, binary and programming in a textual language. Learners will be able to carry out basic binary calculations and create simple programs using a range of techniques.

   Term 3:
Integrated multi-media project and HTML and JavaScript

An opportunity to create a range of multi-media elements such as images, audio, video which are then used for a website which will include using mark-up language.

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