Computer Science at SCHS prepares students with a wide range of skills and knowledge, to be creative and use computational thinking in dealing with an ever changing digital world. They will be taught how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. They will learn the concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. Students will be able to analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. They will evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems and become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of Information and Communication technology.
Lessons are delivered in one of 4 modern, dedicated, air conditioned suites by specialist teachers. Each room has a minimum of 29 PCs with high-speed network access, broadband internet and a vast range of generic and industry standard software applications.
At Key Stage 3, all students have a single 1-hour lesson per week covering the Computing Programme of Study. In Year 7 students have an additional hour of ICT skills to aid learning across the school in other areas of the curriculum.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to study for one of 3 courses: GCSE Computer Science, or Level 2 CIDA, which have all proven to be very popular and engaging courses, with high success rates in the final public examinations.
Raising standards of achievement and developing interests beyond the curriculum will continue to be a core theme within the Computer Science department.
At Key Stage 3, pupils are encouraged to think for themselves, work independently and evaluate and refine their work.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 pupils follow a modular Scheme of Work, which covers relevant sections of the new Programmes of Study. It involves all aspects of Computing, ICT and Digital Literacy and is a good foundation for the development of skills, knowledge and understanding.
Module 1: Computing Introduction
Module 2: Computational thinking
Module 3: Computer programming using Scratch
Module 4: Secondary storage
Module 5: Computer programming using Python
Year 7 ICT Skills
Additionally students complete a course in ICT skills to learn about on-line safety, use of ICT applications and develop digital literacy to support the whole school curriculum.
Module 1: E-mail and on-line safety
Module 2: Spreadsheets
Module 3: Digital Literacy project
Module 4: Databases
Module 5: Project using digital applications.
Module 5 will involve tasks around : Research + Investigation work, Computer Graphics, Digital Posters, Video adverts, Website creation and animated Banners
In Year 8, students build on the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 7 and additional learn new areas of computer systems theory.
Module 1: Microbits
Module 2: Computer systems
Module 3: Python Programming
Module 4: Computer Networks
In Year 9 students continue to prepare for Key Stage 4 by developing deeper understanding of the key principles of computer science and extend their skills base in computational thinking and programming.
Module 1: Data Representation
Module 2: Ethical, Legal, Moral and environmental Issues
Module 3: Advanced Python programming /Scratch
Module 4: Back to the Future
Module 5: Project work
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to opt to study for GCSE Computer Science.
GCSE Computer Science (9-1)
This demanding course is aimed at students interested in how computers work, understanding computer technologies and those wanting to develop their computer programming skills. Experience shows students with excellent mathematical abilities and a high level of computational thinking, problem solving and programming skills succeed in this qualification. Students who can study independently and learn new concepts, revise thoroughly for written exams and recall information will be successful.
This GCSE provides students with the opportunity to:
- Develop their own understanding of computer systems
- Develop computer programs to solve problems
- Use algorithms and logic in computer programs
- Understand how computer programs/solutions affect the lives of individuals, organisations and society
- Develop their abilities to think independently, creatively and logically in a range of computing contexts
Unit 1: Computer Systems – 50%
External written examination (1 hour 30 minutes)
In this unit, students will be assessed on their knowledge of computer systems. The topics include computer components, memory and storage, types of networks, topologies, protocols, system security, types of software, computer legislation, and ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.
Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 50%
External written/practical examination (1 hour 30 minutes)
In this unit, students will demonstrate their understanding of programming techniques, algorithms, logic, and data representation, translators and programming languages.
Unit 3: Programming project – Controlled assessment
Students will complete programming tasks to demonstrate their practical abilities. All tasks are open-ended and can be approached in different ways. Evidence will also include written analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation sections. All work must be carried out in class time.