Our department’s aim is to develop students' skills and abilities in the diverse subjects of Computer Science and ICT. We cover a wide range of practical ICT skills from creating websites to using graphical editing software such as Photoshop. We combine ICT with Computer Science to cover topics such as the theory of computing, programming and the history of computers in society. The skills, knowledge and problem solving skills which we develop provide students with the ability to succeed in all areas of the curriculum and the wider digital world. The Computer Science and ICT department consists of enthusiastic teachers dedicated to the subject and who have spent considerable time working in the ICT industry.
|Mr A Holmes||Subject Leader Computer Science and ICT, Deputy Head of Sixth Form|
|Mrs A Knowles||Teacher of ICT and Computer Science|
One of our aims in KS3 is to develop students’ basic programming, problem solving and logical thinking skills. We teach theory of computing, the aim being to prepare students for the possibility of taking computing at GCSE and then at A level. Students will learn basic programming skills in languages such as Python and Visual Basic and will also use graphical programming languages such as Scratch and Kodu. We will also introduce students to technology such as the BBC Microbit and Raspberry Pi computers. In KS3 students will also develop their skills in ICT studying topics such as photo editing, e-safety, spreadsheets and web development.
At KS4 students may choose to do one of two courses with our department – these are OCR GCSE Computer Science or Pearson BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Creative Media Production.
OCR GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Computer Science is not the same as ICT! Computer Science is about learning the theory of computers, how to program them, how they work, how games are created, how software is produced. GCSE Computer Science will offer students the opportunity to acquire and apply creative and technical skills. They will gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts around creating software applications. They will develop an understanding of the use of algorithms and be able to create computer programs to solve problems. In short, they will learn how to adapt from being an ‘end-user’ of computer systems, to someone who is able to create those same systems.
BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Creative Media Production
The creative media sector is a dynamic, growing and rewarding sector to work in, with new opportunities arising continually. The UK’s creative industries as a whole are now worth over £84 billion per year to the UK economy. This course gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on three areas of equal importance, which cover the:
- knowledge that underpins the effective use of skills, processes and attitudes, including production processes and techniques
- development of key skills that prove students aptitude in creative media production such as investigating and developing ideas through pre-production, production and post-production of media products
- processes which underpin effective ways of working in creative media production, such as responding to briefs, planning, generating ideas and responding to feedback
In Years 12 and 13, students study OCR A Level Computer Science. This course is academic in content and allows students to develop their knowledge of the theory of computing with a firm emphasis on learning to program. Computer Science at A Level inspires and challenges students to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills they acquire. The qualification is focused on programming and will build on the GCSE Computer Science qualification and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline. Computational thinking is at the core of this specification. The A Level consists of three components, two of which will be externally marked question papers making up 80% of the qualification. The other 20% will be the coursework project, which places emphasis on coding and programming with a simple assessment model and marking criteria.
USEFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES
How many lessons does the school provide at KS3?
Two periods a fortnight.
How many lessons does the school provide at KS4?
Five periods a fortnight.