Contact: Miss K Wrightson – Head of Computer Science
In KS3 computing, we aim to consolidate, build upon and expand on skills & knowledge taught at primary school. Pupils will recap computer literacy skills from primary school such as sending emails, making folders, saving work, touch typing and the use of teams. Students then move onto learning about the safe use of computers, use of various software (database, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, sound, flowchart), looking at theoretical topics (AI, machine learning, cyber security) and programming (scratch, small basic, HTML, CSS, python).
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Our 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.
- Students study a new programming language each year of KS3, starting with Scratch and Small Basic in year 7, Small Basic and Python in year 8, and HTML, CSS and Python in year 9.
- 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.
- Students study computer crime, hacking, cyber security and e-safety to learn about being responsible users. We study various software packages to allow students to become competent and confident in their computing skills. Students will study graphics and sound to develop creative skills.
Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Using computers safelyScratch Spreadsheets First steps: Small Basic Understanding computers Computational thinking Small BasicGraphics Intro to Python Sound Database development Flowol - flowcharts NetworksAI and machine learning Python next steps HTML Computer Crime and cyber security Graphic design
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
GCSE Computing Science – Inspiring and Challenging! Technology is advancing, Computer Science is constantly changing and Computer Science qualifications will keep you ahead of the game! Anyone that enjoys programming and working with the “nuts and bolts” of a computer will enjoy this course. The Computer Science course is designed to teach concepts and develop techniques that have long-term value and support progression to higher education and beyond, as well as giving students a hugely engaging and stimulating experience of Computer Science.
Exam Board: OCRSyllabus: J277 Unit 1: Computer Systems 50% Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming 50% Unit 3: Programming Project 0%
GCSE Computer Science is made up of three sections:
Unit 1: Computer Systems - Written Paper – 1½ hours – 50% of GCSEThis component will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. Students will become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues associated with Computer Science.
Unit 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming – Written Paper – 1½ - 50% of GCSEStudents will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Students will also become familiar with computing related mathematics.
Unit 3: Programming Project - 0% of GCSEThis is a project where students will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they learn during the course. Students will develop programming and research skills, and understand how to design, develop, test and evaluate their own software creations.
BTEC Digital Information Technology
Exam Board: Pearson
BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology is a practical introduction to life and work in the industry, students can explore the sector while: developing technical skills and techniques, planning a digital solution for a given brief and developing an understanding of what cyber security is and the importance of legal and ethical considerations when using modern technologies. The course has two internally assessed components and one that's externally assessed. These components build on each other to motivate students by helping them put what they’ve learned into practice and grow in confidence.
Component 1: Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques (internally assessed)
Learners will develop their understanding of what makes an effective user interface and how to effectively manage a project. They will use this understanding to plan, design and create a user interface.
Component 2: Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data (internally assessed)
Learners will understand the characteristics of data and information and how they help organisations in decision making. They will use data manipulation methods to create a dashboard to present and draw conclusions from information.
Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices (externally assessed).
Learners will explore how organisations use digital systems and the wider implications associated with their use.
GCSE Computer Science: Many of the students who enjoyed studying GCSE Computer Science have gone on to study A Level Computer Science or gone into Web Design. Employers and apprenticeships will value the discipline of this GCSE qualification as it encourages critical thinking, technical and problem-solving skills.
BTEC Digital Information Technology: During the course, students can assess whether the digital industry aligns with their expectations, by providing them with an insight into the skills and knowledge they'll need to succeed in this sector. After completing the course, students can continue on to further vocational study with a BTEC National in IT or Computing at Level 3. They could also progress to a Computer Science AS or A-Level, as well as apprenticeships or traineeships. Students will gain transferable skills during their studies such as self-reflection, communication, teamwork and problem solving, which will support their current and future progression.
GCSE Computer Science: Future careers include, database administrator, games developer, information systems manager, IT consultant, multimedia programmer, systems analyst & developer and web designer & developer. You will never look back and think that you have never used the skills you learnt in computer science, as computing skills became more important in the job market. The technology field is one of the fastest-growing and highest-paid industries, IT industries account for a large proportion of available jobs in the County Durham and Teesside area.
BTEC Digital Information Technology: IT Project Management, Technical Support, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing, Infrastructure Engineer, Software Development Technician, Graphic Designer, Digital Artist, Technical Support, Data Analyst, Software Developer