Computer Science

What does this subject involve?

Computer systems affect most of the things that we do, and are an essential part of modern life. We are still inventing new ways of using computers and this area is growing all the time. Computing is mainly about solving problems and using logic to show the steps you need to take. This is similar to the logic and problem solving skills you use in Maths. There are 3 units: Computer Systems, Computational Thinking and the Programming Project. It is assessed in 2 written exam papers at the end of Year 11 which are worth 40% each, and the practical exam which is worth 20%.

Why should I choose this subject?

This is a rapidly growing subject, and a desirable skill in the future jobs market. But as well as opening up lots of opportunities in Computing, it will also give you skills and attributes to help you in any future subjects and careers. This course will enable you to:

What skills will I need to succeed in this subject?

Where could this subject take me in the future?

You can go on to study Computing A Level at several of the local 6th forms, and it will also enable you to study A Level ICT. There are a growing number of university courses including a degree in Computer Science, game design, web design, programming and ICT.

Career opportunities are growing all the time, and computing jobs will continue to evolve during the time you are doing the course. Some of the main UK based jobs are in software design, game design and in online security. But it could take you a lot further than that!

Who can I talk to for more information?

Mrs Pilkington, Mrs Ashiq and Mr Day.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will students learn about in Computing this year?

During Year 7 students will cover a range of units:

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will mainly be work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the ICT rooms during some breaks and lunchtimes to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork.

How will students be assessed in Computing?

Students will have half termly assessments based on that unit. These will include a piece of practical work which students will work towards completing during the half term. The criteria for these will be used each lesson to ensure students know and understand what they are aiming to achieve. They will also have some extended writing assessments which will focus on their evaluation skills.

How can parents support their child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computing and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Pivot and Scratch.

You can also support your child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic.

Year 8

What will students learn about in Computing this year?

During Year 8 students will cover a range of units:

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will mainly be work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the ICT rooms during some breaks and lunchtimes to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork.

How will students be assessed in Computing?

Students will have half termly assessments based on that unit. These will include a piece of practical work which students will work towards completing during the half term. The criteria for these will be used each lesson to ensure students know and understand what they are aiming to achieve. They will also have some extended writing assessments which will focus on their evaluation skills.

How can parents support their child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computing and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Audacity and Python3. Parents can also support their child by asking them about what they have been learning and encourage them to complete extra research around each topic.

Key Stage 4

What will students learn?

Building on what they have covered in Year 7 and 8 students will learn how to design and write computer applications using the fundamental concepts. Students will also learn:

The GCSE Computer Science course consists of three units:

During Year 9 students will develop the skills and understanding of programming and computer systems. This will support them moving on to complete their Programming Project during Year 10. They will then work towards the two written exams at the end of Year 11.

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to reinforce or extend their learning from the lesson and prepare them for the following lesson. This will include work that they need to complete on the computer. For students who do not have a computer at home, they can access to PCs at school during lunchtime in the library and afterschool at homework club. We believe in students being responsible and independent, so over the week they need to seek support if they have any problems with completing homework tasks. As a department we also open up the computer rooms afterschool to allow students who need support to complete homework or outstanding classwork. During Year 10 and 11 homework will focus on exam preparation with a series of practice questions. This will help students to apply what they have learnt to exam questions, and improve their understanding of the final exams.

How will students be assessed in GCSE Computer Science?

Students progress will be continually assessed in lessons and through marking of their work. This will be against the Practical Project criteria during Year 10. This will enable us to monitor the grade a student is working towards. Students will be given regular feedback on their classwork, and will be assessed through a series of mock exams.

How can parents support their child’s learning at home?

We ensure PC access is available for all students in school, but access at home will benefit the students both in Computer Science and their other subjects. We encourage parents to support their child at home with access to ICT and the internet. Programmes which will be most beneficial are Microsoft Office, Scratch and Python. Parents can also purchase a Raspberry Pi for a low cost computer they can use at home.

We ask parents to ensure they complete all homework. This will be recorded in their planner and will include when it is due in. Parents can also support their child by asking them about what they have been learning and encouraging them to complete extra research around each topic. From the start of Year 11 we ask parents to ensure students are allocating enough time to revision for their exam.

What can students move onto with Computer Science?

GCSE Computer Science will allow students to continue onto A-Level Computing or Computer Science, A-Level ICT and Level 3 BTEC ICT. Beyond this students can progress to degree level courses in the areas of ICT and Computing. Whilst this specification is not specifically mapped to any particular industry standard IT qualifications it will provide a sound preparatory basis of study for them. In addition the course provides the knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding.