Why do we teach Computer Science?
Computers are now a part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives at home and at work. Computational thinking is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.
Computer Science brings together the three strands of Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science that will equip young people with the functional skills, knowledge and understanding they will need for the rest of their lives.
Key Stage 3
In year 7 students study the three main strands of computing: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Students learn how computers work and how binary is used to represent all data. Students design and write programs to solve a variety of problems and take part in a global challenge. Students learn a range of ways to use technology safely, responsibly and securely and take part in the Safer Internet Day event.
In year 8 students will build on their Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy skills. They will develop their understanding of programming concepts as they move from a block-based to a text-based programming language. Students will also take part in a global challenge and the Safer Internet Day.
At the end of Key Stage 3 we aim to develop students who are confident and discerning users of technology and can select, use and combine applications.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 we offer a choice of GCSE courses in either ICT or Computer Science. Students can opt to take a GCSE in Computer Science or a Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA).
The Computer Science GCSE is relevant to the modern and changing world of computer science. It is designed to boost computing skills that are essential for the 21st century. Computer Science is a highly 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. Computational thinking will be important in helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so. Students will study cyber security, looking at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the weak points in secure systems. Students use their programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.
Computer science is recognised as a science, along with biology, chemistry and physics, and is therefore part of the English Baccalaureate.
The Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) has been designed to teach digital design skills and enable young people to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way. It aims to equip young people with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to design and make effective digital products for others to use, and to support future learning and exploit the creative digital industries.
The qualification has been developed to reflect the increasing use of creative digital computing in everyday life, with greater emphasis on creative design and development.
Key Stage 5
Students have the opportunity to study aspects of information technology and computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career. We offer the Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in IT which aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills of the principles of IT and Global Information Systems. Students will gain an insight into the IT sector as they investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale, and the importance of legal and security considerations.
Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in IT focus on the requirements that today’s universities and employers demand.
Students will also develop professional, personal and social skills through interaction with peers, stakeholders and clients, as well as theoretical knowledge and understanding to underpin these skills. These support the transferable skills required by universities and employers such as communication, problem solving, time management, research and analytical skills.