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). Computational thinking and programming skills are developed through a spiral curriculum with techniques being revisited throughout the two-year course, building on previous knowledge and skills. Computer Systems theory is interleaved into the curriculum through Year 10 and Year 11. Knowledge is built in a sequential curriculum, accumulating with consideration of the ethical, legal, cultural, and environmental impact of technology. Year 10 focuses 2 lessons per fortnight on Programming and 1 lesson on Computer Systems. This is reversed in Year 11.
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. NEA is completed in Year 13, with development starting in Year 12.
Key concepts that underpin the subject area
Key Stage 4
Memory and Storage
Networks and Topologies
Wired and Wireless networks, protocols and layers
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology
Designing Creating and refining algorithms
Standard sorting and searching algorithms
Producing robust programs
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
Use of key online software such as notebook, Teams, Forms
Creativity and Engagement
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