Computer Science

  • Our students experience Computer Science through a series of engaging and challenging project-based units.
  • Creativity and computational thinking underpin our Computer Science: we have developed a broad and balanced curriculum in years 7 to 9 that enables our learners to develop their skills in these areas.
  • Programming is a key part of our curriculum, but not its sole component. The new curriculum enables learners to explore digital creativity and takes them on a journey through the fundamental concepts of computing.
  • Technology enhanced learning (TEL) and Digital literacy play a key role in the modern school: our curriculum helps students become confident and creative with their use of technology in all their subjects.
  • We monitor and assess learner’s progression through our curriculum using a bespoke progression map and regular digital assessments supported by a constant feedback dialogue between staff and student.

Curriculum

Our curriculum has the following six strands:

Algorithms and Computational Thinking

  • Algorithmic thinking is a way of getting to a solution through a clear definition of the steps. It is needed when similar problems have to be solved over and over again. Learning algorithms for doing multiplication or division is an example; If simple rules are followed precisely, by a computer or a person, the solution to any multiplication can be found. Algorithmic thinking is the ability to think in terms of sequences and rules as a way of solving problems or understanding situations. It is a core skill that our students develop when they learn to write their own computer programs.
  • Computational thinking skills help students solve problems through logical reasoning; it enables students to access our subject content and equips them for the study of this subject at GCSE. They relate to thinking skills and problem solving across the whole curriculum and through life in general. We learn to:
    • think algorithmically
    • think in terms of decomposition
    • think in generalisations, identifying and making use of patterns
    • think in abstractions, focusing on just the important details
    • and think in terms of evaluation.

Programming & Development

  • Through a series of projects that promote resilience, creative computing, teamwork and problem solving students are taught the fundamentals of programming in block and text-based languages.
  • They solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures and design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions.
  • They tinker and experiment, create new programs, test and fix those programs and learn about physical computing with hardware such as the bbc:microbit.

Data and data representation

  • Students understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; they understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.
  • They are able to select and use appropriate software to work with different types of data.

Hardware and processing

  • Students learn to see computer systems as made up of parts each with different functions. They can make the distinction between hardware and software and understand how computers store and process instructions.
  • They learn how computers use sensors and actuators through experiencing this with hands-on programming. They develop an understanding of the input, process, output model and apply it to design their own algorithms.

Communication and Networks

  • Students are taught about important security issues. They learn to protect themselves personally online and move on to understanding how networks and the internet are kept safe and secure.
  • Students are taught basic web design and development using modern technologies.

Computer Science in Society

  • Students reflect on the legal, ethical and environmental impact of technology on society and the individual.
  • They learn to document and reflect on their work in a professional way and to give constructive feedback to others.