Computing

Head of Faculty

Mrs Joanna Joslin

Introduction

Computing is part of the Design and Computer Technology department. At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which students are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation.

Building on this core, computing equips students to apply information technology to create products and solutions. A computing education also ensures that students become digitally literate, able to use and express themselves through information and communication technology at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Key Stage 3

Students in Year 7 will be equipped with the basic computer skills they need throughout school and then start to develop more specialist computing abilities. Knowledge and skills will be taught through projects where students develop and produce digital products such as presentations, 3D games using Kodu and image manipulation.

In Years 8 and 9 students develop their computer science ability and are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed. This includes text based coding using Python and robotic arms. An exciting new project will also see students use a block based language to control and manipulate a robot head. Students also learn how to design, develop and create digital products such as websites.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Computer Science builds upon the fundamental computing concepts covered in Key Stage 3 and encourages students to achieve a GCSE qualification in Computer Science. Students cover 3 modules within the course, the first module is Computer systems theory where students learn the theoretical reasoning behind computer systems and the way in which they are designed, and this culminates in an exam at the end of Year 11. The second unit is based around computational thinking and problem solving which is also assessed using a formal exam. The remaining unit of study is non exam assessment; it involves analyzing, designing and developing coded solutions to a range of written problems using Python.

Alongside learning how to program in the language of Python and how to build or dismantle computers, students also become profound problem solvers and learn to think in a logical manner. The key to success is thinking about all of the different possible ways to solve a problem & then producing an appropriate solution.

Key Stage 5

A level Computer Science
The A level Computer Science course is designed to cater for those students are seriously considering a career in the industry or related sector. It looks at very similar topics covered during the GCSE but with a more in depth focus on how computers function. This course is assessed in three parts, the first two of which are formal written exam covering computer hardware, computational logic, security, networking and much more. The final section of the course is focused on practical programming skills and requires students to identify a real life client which they can assist in solving a problem. Students must demonstrate all of their programming skills in this piece of work.

All assessment is conducted in the final year of the course and to ensure the best possible chance of success, students are taught in small units of study throughout the two years to ensure they can use subject knowledge in practical solutions.