In Computer Science students combine practical and computer-based skills with creative thinking to design and develop systems that meet a range of needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological and software developments.

Students learn about the impact of computers on our lives, how to apply key computer science skills to situations and understand how computational thinking is used in every-day activities. Students also develop an understanding of the ethical, cultural, legal and social impacts of computer usage.

Department aims:

  • Encourage and develop an understanding in Computer Science in students’ everyday lives and an awareness of its advantages and limitations.
  • Develop students’ Computer Science and Information Communication Technology capability so that they understand the importance of information, how to select and prepare it.
  • Develop skills in using hardware, peripherals and software.
  • Develop students’ ability to apply ICT capability across the curriculum and support their use of language and communication.
  • Explore attitudes towards ICT/Computer Science and the impact it has on day-to-day activities and to also evaluate the developing areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data.
  • Develop good health and safety attitudes and practice.
  • Game design and development.
  • Developing their problem-solving skills.
  • Alternative thinking to solve a problem.

Students are encouraged to be creative in the development of solutions, explaining the processes involved.  Making the subject relevant to the experiences of the students is important in developing their understanding and interest.  All teachers in Computer Science are specialists in the subject area and continually further their own professional development. New technologies are investigated and used to further develop the learning of students.

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Key stage 3 in Computer Science

The KS3 curriculum has moved its focus from traditional ICT to a Computer Science based curriculum, with the intent to engage and prepare students for Computer Science courses at KS4 and KS5. This is in response to the need for more qualified programmers in the computing industry.

In KS3 students are introduced to the concept of Computer Science through a variety of small projects covering the origins of computer science, problem solving, key concepts of computational thinking, binary and programming using graphical languages.

Year 7 study:

  • E-safety and personal safety while online
  • Introduction to file explorer
  • Reading and sending emails
  • Understand computational logic and programming concept
  • Work with planning algorithms using flow-chart
  • Plan, design and create a program using a visual programming software
  • Plan, design and develop a website using a textual language

Year 8 study:

  • Computer systems - Students learn about input, output and storage devices.
  • Different types of computer network and topologies - Advantages and disadvantages of creating a network
  • Data representation in binary - Focusing on numbers, colours, characters, binary arithmetic.

Key stage 4 in Computer Science

OCR Computer Science assists in developing an understanding of current and emerging technologies, how they work and how to apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts. It gives students the technical skills and understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning computer scientists, who are able to make informed decisions about its use while being aware of the implications of different technologies. The course encourages students to acquire and apply technical skills, knowledge and understanding to a range of contexts, specifically in developing computer programs to solve problems. The course studied is OCR Computer Science (J276).

Examinations:

  • Two written papers
  • Computer systems (50% of the course)
  • Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (50% of the course)

Programming Project:

  • The programming project covers 20 hours of programming techniques, analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation and conclusions.
  • This is completed over a 20 hour period and consolidates the learning of the practical aspects of the course.

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Key stage 5 in Computer Science

In response to the nation’s increasing demands for programmers, Year 12 students are offered the opportunity to study Computer Science.  Widely considered as the fourth science, Computer Science will develop skills in programming, problem solving and analytical thinking. This qualification provides students with a range of transferable skills in areas such as maths, science and design and technology.

The OCR Computer Science course H446 at A level offers students’ knowledge and skills in:

  • Data structures
  • Problem solving
  • Theory of computation
  • Data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Communication and networking
  • Object oriented programming
  • Complex data structure
  • Students create a project of their choice using valuable skills they learn doing the course. This could further be developed into something in which an app company might be interested.

Assessment - exams test a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science.

  • 2 written exams: 2 hours  30 minutes - 40% each of A-level
  • non-exam assessment that assesses student's ability to solve or investigate a practical problem.

Enrichment

  • Students may use computers every lunchtime
  • We enter students for coding completion/workshop in Hackney
  • Staff regularly run additional GCSE support sessions.
  • Creative days – understanding how ICT can be incorporated to build wider skills.
  • Web design and app development
  • Turning a range of coding programs into real-life application using micro bits.
  • Young Bafta for game design and game development
  • Hour of coding
  • Discussion on ethics of the future technology
  • Effect of ICT on environment

Career and future pathways

HE – Computer engineer, forensics, cyber security, web and app design, game design. Networking, artificial intelligence, robotics, software engineering, animation.

Internships and apprenticeships in the industry.

Jobs – developers, designers, analysts, testers, game developers, web designers, network manager, cyber security, database manager, teacher, software engineer, ethical hacker, content creator, freelance programmer.

Computer Science can lead to many other exciting fields as the subject is ever changing. This brings in the challenge and excitement as it opens the doors to many other possibilities.