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Computer Science

The Curriculum Purpose 

Computer Science is a subject that is in high demand as digital technologies and innovations become embedded in everyday life, from using smart phones to online learning to “The Internet of Things”.  We aim to develop students understanding of computer systems and programming techniques and equip them with the skills to participate in an ever-changing world. Computer Science is taught at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. 

In Key Stage 4 students will follow the GCSE curriculum, focussing on Computer Systems and Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming.  The curriculum focuses on building programming techniques through applying the principles of PRIMM (Predict-Run-Investigate-Modify-Make).  Skills are developed through use a spiral curriculum with techniques being revisited throughout the year.  Computer Systems are introduced in year 2, knowledge in built in a sequential curriculum, accumulating with consideration of the ethical, legal, cultural, and environmental impact of technology.  Programming and problem solving are revisited throughout year 2 to further embed competence through practice.   

In Key Stage 5 Students follow the A level curriculum.  The curriculum is cyclical giving students opportunities to revisit content from previous topics.  Building problem solving and programming techniques are essential for success in A level. Student are given ample opportunities to complete practical programming tasks to develop their skills as well as learning new programming paradigms such as OOP.  Theoretical knowledge of fundamentals of computer networks, software development, database, computer systems, web technologies are developed over the course.  

 

Key concepts that underpin the subject area 

Key Stage 4

Systems Architecture

Memory and Storage

Data Storage

Networks and Topologies

Wired and Wireless networks, protocols and layers

Network Security

Systems Software

Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Computational Thinking

Designing Creating and refining algorithms

Standard sorting and searching algorithms

Programming fundamentals

Producing robust programs

Boolean Logic

Programming Languages and the integrated development environment

Key Stage 5

The characteristics of contemporary processors, inputs, output and storage devices

Software Development- systems software, applications generation, software development, types programming languages

Exchanging data – compression, encryption and hashing, Databases, networks, web technologies

Data types, Data Structures, Boolean Algebra

Computing related legislation and Moral and ethical issues

Elements of Computational thinking

Problem techniques and computational methods

Algorithms for data structures and sorting and searching

 

Key Features of Learning

A great deal of Computer Science knowledge is procedural and composite by nature.  In Key Stage 4, students will develop skills in programming using a text-based programming language.  They will understand core features of computer systems and the impact of technology.  In Key Stage 5, students will build on knowledge and develop in depth understanding of theoretical content, developing their independence and ability to apply this knowledge to a variety of scenarios. 

Students are taught in computer suites and have access to a variety of software.  There are two teachers in Computer Science department.

 

What will you see in Computer Science lessons

Key vocabulary being used and explained

Problem solving

Practical programming

Independent Learning

Use of key online software such as notebook, Teams, Forms

Creativity and Engagement

High expectations

Clear routines

 

What will you see in Computer Science books

We are focussing on reducing printing and waste, so all students work is saved into their online notebook – OneNote.  Pages are created by teacher and distributed to students which allows for adaptive teaching. Students are encouraged to organise work into OneDrive. 

 

What formative assessment will you see in Computer Science

Students complete formal assessments at the end of each half term.  These will contain exam questions on all topics covered during the half term, as long with questions from previous topics.

In all key stages students are also assess using these methods

Targeted and specific individual verbal feedback

Questioning that is carefully scaffolded and targeted to support pupil progress

Opportunities for discussion

Online resources for building knowledge and understanding

Low stakes quizzes

 

What extra-curricular is available from the Computer Science

First Tech challenge Robotics Club

Coding Clubs

Bebras challenge

Documents

Page Downloads Date  
Long Term planning document Computer Science KS4 05th Jul 2022 Download
Long Term planning document Computer Science KS5 05th Jul 2022 Download