Computer science is taught as a discrete subject to students in years 7, 8 and 9. The lessons are designed to equip students with an advanced computing knowledge and skills base. Lessons will encourage creativity and a hands-on approach to exploring technologies, allowing students to understand the pace of change in the digital world. It is expected that by the time the students graduate from key stage 3, they are able to use the skills and knowledge learned to support both Computer Science and ICT at examination level in key stage 4. These transferrable skills will also support students in other academic studies.
Topics covered in KS3 include:
Hardware – this is where students are introduced to theoretical concepts in relation to the physical components of a computer system. Students are introduced to computer architecture where they learn about internal and external computer components;
Software - this is where students learn about the purpose of software components and the role of software in relation to the usefulness of technology around us;
Data Representation – students will look at the binary and decimal number system, investigating how they relate to each other
Introduction to computer programming – where students are introduced to programming concepts, such as algorithms, whilst creating their own programmes using suitable software.
Students in Year 7 work towards gaining a broad range of functional computer skills, such as email and Word Processing; as well gaining as a basic understanding of Computer Science key concepts, including Micro Python, using Micro Bits to combine digital and physical computing.
Students in year 8 are encouraged to explore physical computing with a range of different activities ranging from “3D Coding”- creating and 3D Printing their designs, and Mini Robotics, using Micro Bits. Students also gain knowledge of a range of more advance skills across a variety of software, including Word Processing and Power Point.
All students will leave Year 9 with a basic grasp of Computer Science and IT skills, culminating in the ECDL.
ECDL ICT - This is an internationally recognised set of tests which test students' IT skills in word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), presentation (PowerPoint) and productivity (Word and Excel). Skill competence is assessed by a 50-60 minute computer based exam.
GCSE Computing - This option subject really gives students the opportunity to expand their IT skills. They will examine hardware and new software, develop sophisticated databases and gain an appreciation of algorithms. Students will complete 2 separate exams and a range of programming projects. Click here for more information on this course.
BTEC Level 3 in IT - this course centres on all students demonstrating IT skills, often in a real world context. Students will put together a portfolio of work around units in Social Media, Data Management and Core IT systems.