Head of Department: TBC
A high-quality computing education equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. 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 programs, systems and a range of content. Computer Science also prepares students for the workplace and will enable them to participate effectively in the digital world.
At an early stage students are taught how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy. They are also taught how to recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns. These skills and techniques of staying safe can then be transferred to a wider areas of their lives. Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.
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).
The curriculum for Computing aims to ensure that all pupils;
- Can 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 problems
- 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
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education in Computer Science include:
- Using Computers to empower students in complete work in a more efficient manner. Praising them to allow students’ spiritual development, their sense of self and their will to achieve to develop.
- Students exploring moral issues relating to access when considering the use of large information systems that collect data about us. Using real life case studies issues such as whether it is morally right to have computer games with violence, and whether social divide is morally correct.
- Social education in Computer Science will actively get students to collaborate and share work allowing students to express themselves. It will also allow them to explore complex social interactions in society.
- Computer Science breaks barriers in many cultural aspects. This can be done through using technology to communicate with peers across the world by breaking down language barriers. Students can also research and challenge how differing cultures access and use the internet and what implications this has on the individual and the culture.
Studying computer science can you lead you to having a career in:
- Computer programming: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Job-Descriptions/Computer-Programmer.htm
- Software engineering: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/web-developer-job-description-salary-and-skills-2061841
- Website/app design/development: https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/app-developer/
- Computer game development: https://hiring.monster.com/employer-resources/job-description-templates/programmer-job-description-sample/
- Cybersecurity: https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/cyber-security-can-i-find-work/
and much more…..
Help and support
Every teacher in the ICT faculty is ready to support the progress of students in their classes. Support is offered through peer support in the classes, team teaching and intervention set up after school. Extra-curricular activities such as lunchtime robotics clubs and trips to Bletchley Park are offered to further engage the students with Computer Science.
GCSE Course Study Breakdown (Key Stage 4)
Exam Course Title:
GCSE Computer Science OCR J276 (9-1) (2016) Full Exam Specification (PDF)
Term 1: System Memory and Operating Systems
(i) Learners will focus on the unit 1.2 and 1.7 of the OCR Computer Science specification. These units are focused on system memory such as RAM, ROM, HDD and SSD.
(ii) Learners will look at how Operating Systems function and binary calculations.
Term 2: Computing Theory
Learners to develop understanding of computer systems and programming theory.
Term 3: Practical Project and Programming
(i) Practical applications in ICT, project. The topic will be based on a previous assessed topic – Westwood Hockey Club. Learners are expected to create a system that manages the businesses data functions, this will involve research, design, implementation and testing.
(ii) Learners will undertake a practical project in computer programming, following the full system lifecycle.
Term 1: Computer Science Theory (i)
Learners will develop their understanding of computer systems and develop core programming skills to equip them in completing their practical tasks. More than one programming language will be taught to ensure depth of programming knowledge is acquired.
Term 2: Computer Science Theory (ii)
Learners will develop their understanding of algorithms, programming concepts and computational thinking. It is expected that learners will draw on this underpinning content when completing the Programming Project component.
Term 3: Computing Programming
In preparation for their programming unit learners will undertake a programming project taking into consideration the full system lifecycle.
Term 1: Controlled Assessment
Learners are expected to demonstrate practical ability to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution to the stated problem 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: Computer Science Theory (i)
Learners will develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts.
Term 3: Computer Science Theory (ii)
In preparation for their exam, learners will evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and their use of computer technology/ICT in society.