Computer Science and ICT
“Every girl deserves to take part in creating the technology that will change our world, and change who runs it.” Malala Yousafzai
The department believes that all students need to be ICT literate to successfully navigate the modern world. We want them to move away from using technology as an entertainment medium and allow them to develop the skills to harness its creative and business related capabilities. With modern day innovations stemming from Computer Science we also endeavour to give them an understanding of this challenging discipline through a range of programming and problem solving activities. Our aim is not just to prepare them for today’s world but gives them the skills required to adapt to the needs of tomorrow.
What we expect from our students
We expect our students to come to lessons with a positive attitude and be prepared to persevere when presented with challenges. They are encouraged to develop their own competency at a computer but also develop collaborative relationships with each other to deepen their knowledge and skills. They will be expected to keep their files organised and take responsibility for their learning and e-safety inside and outside of lessons.
Key Stage 3
Web designers, programmers and game developers are just some of the roles students will find themselves filling during their ICT lessons in KS3.
Each year multiple software packages are used resulting in students having a vast array of experience using the industry standard Microsoft and Adobe Suites alongside the increasingly popular Gamemaker and Python applications.
Students are encouraged to be creative whilst also developing their fundamental ICT skills including file organisation and e-safety as well as logical thinking and problem solving.
In Year 7 students develop their desk top publishing skills by designing a newsletter. Their problem solving skills are then put to the test through a variety of programming tasks including writing instructions in Python. They continue expanding their understanding of ICT in the workplace by developing a spreadsheet to monitor and analyse their touch typing skills.
Year 8 sees students building on their design skills by creating a website for their own business. Their spreadsheet skills are extended with a wider range of complex functions and formulae along with features such as conditional formatting and validation. The end of the year sees them competing in a Dragons Den style task where groups must devise, brand and create a healthy food product using software of their choosing.
Year 9 centres around game design where each student gets to develop their own unique computer game using Gamemaker. This pushes their creativity as they make decisions on their characters, level design, sounds and methods of game play. Their problem solving skills are tested to the limit as they try out their game and ensure their events trigger the right actions. The students follow the full game development cycle by creating packaging and online adverts. As students start thinking about their KS4 options we offer a taster of Computer Science topics including binary and cyber security.
Our ultimate aim is to develop each individual’s confidence at a computer and ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to work independently beyond the confines of a classroom
Key Stage 4: OCR iMedia
The UK is a world leader in the creative digital industries, such as in the creation of visual effects for films and computer games. There is growing recognition that there is a need to build on and improve the UK’s capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area.
iMedia has been designed to engage and enthuse people with an interest in creative computing and to teach digital design skills. The aim is to enable young people to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way.
It is focused on web and multimedia design skills and is ideal for those that are interested in continuing to develop their computer skills but who are also creative.
It is assessed by written examination and coursework, which are designed to bring together the knowledge, skills and understanding the students have learnt.
The course is divided into four units:
Unit 1: Pre-production skills
Assessed by 1 hour 15 minute written exam.
25% of final grade.
This unit will enable you to understand pre-production skills used in the creative and digital media sector. You will develop an understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process.
Units 2 – 4
Assessed by coursework.
Each one is 25% of final grade.
Unit 2: Creating digital graphics
This unit will focus on producing a digital graphic for a client for a specific purpose using a number of graphics applications.
Unit 3: Creating a multipage website
This unit will enable you to demonstrate your creativity by combining components to create a functional, easy to use and well-designed website. You will interpret a client brief and to use planning and preparation techniques to develop the website.
Unit 4: Creating a digital animation
This unit enables you to understand the basics of digital animation.
You will be able to:
- plan a digital animation according to a client brief
- use animation software
- create the animation and store, export and review it.
Key Stage 4: GCSE Computer Science
Computer Science is a fast paced, stimulating field that incorporates many different disciplines including mathematics, programming and linguistics. It will sharpen students problem solving skills and creativity as well as deepen their understanding of how technology works; far beyond the average computer user.
Although it is sometimes thought of as a newer science, ‘Computer Science’ is the driving force behind the world we live in today. Whereas many jobs are thought to become obsolete in the next two decades, jobs requiring high level technical skills will be on the increase. Students that pursue a career in computer science put themselves in a position to truly change the future.
Method of Assessment
The course is divided into 3 units:
01: Computer Systems
Assessed by 1 hour 30 minute written exam.
50% of final grade.
This unit focus on how technology works, including:
- Systems Architecture
- Memory & Storage
- Network Topologies, Protocols and Layers
- System Security
- Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environment Concerns
02: Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming
Assessed by 1 hour 30 minute written exam.
50% of final grade.
This unit focuses on problem solving and programming, including:
- Programming Techniques
- Producing Robust Programs
- Computational Logic
- Translators and Facilities of Languages
03: Programming Project
This part of the course does not currently go towards final grade.
Students spend 20 hours designing, coding and testing a system that fulfils a specific purpose. Past projects have included card games, dice games and data handling systems
OCR GCSE Computer Science, S Robson and PM Heathcote, ISBN 978-1-910523-08-7
Key Stage 5: A Level Computer Science
Computer Science is a fast paced, stimulating field that incorporates many different disciplines including mathematics, programming, engineering and linguistics.
A-Level Computer Science will open up your mind to the world of computational thinking. How do computers process such complex tasks? How can a machine replicate events in the real world efficiently? Where is the limit on what can be computed?
The specification covers the inner workings of computers and networks and how results of processing can aid a range of industries. You will learn how to decompose problems to make them more manageable as well as the problem solving techniques of abstraction, heuristics and pipelining. You will experience software development from a grass root level by designing and creating your own program in JAVA. The course will answer questions you may already have about technology and present a multitude of new ones.
Technology is a key building block of the modern world and will continue to revolutionise society. If you want to be a part of future innovations that shape the way we live, this is the course for you.
Description of Course
The aims of the course are to give students the opportunity to develop:
- an understanding of and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
- the ability to analyse problems in computational terms – including writing programs
- the capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
- mathematical skills
- the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.
Computer Science is an ideal subject for inquisitive students with a strong interest in technology in particular. You will need to be able to work independently as well as part of a group and have the patience to solve complex logical problems.
The course has a number of complex topics and it is expected that students have achieved at least GCSE grade 6 in Computer Science or ICT.
Additionally students will need at least grade 6 in Mathematics (in order to deal with the logical aspect of programming) and a grade 5 in English
Contact Name: Miss K Kelly
Educational Progression and Career Opportunities
Although Computer Science is an ideal introduction to those wishing to study the subject at degree level, the course will allow candidates to develop a range of transferable skills such as the ability to problem solve, think creatively, innovatively, analytically and logically as well as program bespoke applications. These are the skills that drive innovation across areas including the sciences, engineering, business, entertainment and education. No matter what field you want to enter, having a background in Computer Science will give you that competitive edge and the potential to make a positive difference within your chosen career.