Computer Science

The Computer Science department is headed by Mr Adcock, along with Dr Hedges, Mrs Pino and Mr Carr. We teach in dedicated Computing labs which are all equipped with one computer per student and interactive projectors. The department makes extensive use of its Virtual Learning Environment; all lessons are available electronically online, both from school and home. We have a great tradition of coding in school and have a group of very dedicated students who assist in the running of extra-curricular clubs, teaching students how to create their own games.

Key Stage 3

Year 7:

Students have one computing lesson per week in their form groups. Topics that are covered throughout the year include:

  • Topic 1: Introduction to the school network, Google Apps for Education, Computing literacy & eSafety.
  • Topic 2: Computing & Network Hardware and Web Development.
  • Topic 3: Programming & The BBC micro:bit.
     

Year 8:

Students have one computing lesson per week in their form groups. Topics that are covered throughout the year include:

  • Topic 1: Python Programming & Gamebooks.
  • Topic 2: Encryption & Codebreaking.
  • Topic 3: Python Programming Challenges.

 

Key Stage 4:

Students start their GCSE options at the beginning of Year 9; students can elect to study AQA GCSE Computer Science. GCSE Computer Science helps students to think about how technology is created. It allows them to understand how people work together with computers to develop world changing programmes like Facebook, Spotify and eBay. Students will also develop the skills that colleges, universities and employers are looking for – and they’ll prove valuable for the rest of the student’s life. GCSE Computer Science goes well with lots of other subjects, especially the sciences, fashion, textiles, music, maths and art and design.

GCSE Computer Science

Exam Board and Specification: AQA 8520

This GCSE course consists of 3 units

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving – (1 hr 30 min) written exam taken in the summer of Year 11.

The syllabus for this exam is computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing, applied computing and the following theoretical units; Fundamentals of algorithms, Programming, Fundamentals of data representation and Computer systems.

Paper 2: Computing Systems – (1 hr 30 min) written exam taken in the summer of Year 11.

The syllabus for this exam is; Fundamentals of data representation, Computer systems, Fundamentals of computer networks, Fundamentals of cyber security and Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy.

To access the qualification’s syllabus, click here

A Level Computer Science:

Exam Board and Specification: OCR H446 (from 2015)

Note: Students will not sit an AS exam. They will be assessed at the end of year 12 by an internal exam.

The course consists of 2 written exam papers and one coursework project:

Component 01 - COMPUTER SYSTEMS:

This component is a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types. The course covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Component 02 - ALGORITHMS AND PROGRAMMING:

SECTION A

Traditional questions concerning computational thinking:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Programming and problem solving
  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • Algorithm design and efficiency
  • Standard algorithms

SECTION B

There will be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.

Component 03 - PROGRAMMING PROJECT:

Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. Students analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

 

Click here for more details of this course.