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Computing & ICT

Overview

All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 study Computing.  The curriculum is broad and balanced; it encompasses Computer Science and Information Technology. The main focus of Key Stage 3 is digital literacy, and our aim is to produce both expert users and programmers.

Each classroom is fully equipped with desktop PCs.  We also have a number of raspberry Pi computers, which are used extensively on the GCSE course, and BBC micro:bit computers for teaching programming at Key Stage 3.

Pupils who wish to continue their interest in the subject are able to take both GCSE and A level Computer Science (OCR J276 and H446 respectively).  This will enable them to progress to higher levels of study in the subject or to a professional career.

KS3 (Years 7-9)

Topics that are currently taught at Key Stage 3 include the following:-

  • Functional ICT Skills – presentations, DTP, spreadsheets, databases
  • Coding
    • Visual languages – BBC micro:bit Block Editor, Kodu, Crocodile ICT
    • Written languages – Python, HTML, SQL
  • Binary, binary logic and representation of data
  • Computational thinking, algorithms, flow charts and pseudocode
  • E Safety

KS4 (Years 10-11) - Computer Science

1. Why study Computer Science at GCSE?

Computer Science is relevant to the modern and changing world. It is a practical subject where learners can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. It is an intensely creative subject that involves invention and excitement. It promotes computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so.

2. What skills or knowledge do you need?

You will be taught one or more programming languages as part of the course.  Any prior knowledge of programming in any language would be a distinct advantage.  Interest and ability in problem solving is essential.

4. What further courses and careers can this lead to?

This course will be the best preparation for learners who want to go on to study Computer Science at AS and A Level and beyond. The qualification will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

3. What topics will you study?

Computer Systems - systems architecture; memory ; storage; wired and wireless networks; network topologies, protocols and layers; network security; system software; moral, social, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming - translators and facilities of languages; algorithms; high- and low-level programming; computational logic; data representation.

Programming Project - programming techniques; design; development; effectiveness and efficiency; technical understanding; testing, evaluation and conclusions.

5. How will you be assessed?

Computer Systems - The first component is an exam focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory.

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming - This component is focused on the core theory of computer science and the application of computer science principles.

Programming Project (non-exam assessment) - This component is the non-exam assessment where candidates will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Further information :  Dr P Cosgrove or see ocr.org.uk/gcsecomputerscience