Computer Science & ICT KS3-5

Madam F. Cole – Head of Department

Curriculum Overview

Computer Science and ICT develop pupils with a wide range of skills which are sought after in all types industry.  Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, design and technology and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. Studying Computer Science allows pupils to learn the principles of information and computation thinking, understand how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through a range of programming languages.

Pupils studying information technology will understand computer systems and develop IT skills in a range of applications. Pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

We currently offer Computer Science at GCSE, AS, and A-Level. In addition all students in Key Stage 3 have one lesson in Computer Science per week.

Aims

At Sacred Heart our Computer Science courses aim to ensure that all pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation so that pupils can analyse problems in computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.

Resources and Facilities

We have two dedicated computer suites for the Computer Science department. In addition there are ICT facilities for students to use throughout the school, including the library, sixth form common room, and an ICT suite in the sixth form block.

 

Year 7 Curriculum
  • E-safety
  • Data representation
  • Algorithms
  • Flowcharts
  • HTML
  • Programming in Scratch
  • Spreadsheet and database skills

 

Year 8 Curriculum
  • Data representation and binary
  • Algorithms
  • Flowcharts
  • Programming with the BBC Micro:bit computer
  • Spreadsheet and database skills
  • Understanding a sense of audience and purpose through the creation of a range of publications
  • E-safety

 

Year 9 Curriculum
  • Data representation and binary
  • Algorithms
  • Flowcharts
  • Programming Python
  • Trends in computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • E-safety

Assessment

In addition to the formal ranking exams that students sit twice a year classroom teachers also conduct informal assessments within lessons to gauge each student’s performance.

Homework

Homework will be set every two weeks (on average) which will challenge and support the skills learned within the lessons.

How to Support your Child’s Learning

The best way to support your child is to allow them to practise the skills they learn in Computer Science at home. Practicing at home will encourage independent learning and allow students to get a “head start” among their peers. Please understand that students should not come to class expecting to play games.

 

GCSE Computer Science (Year 10 and 11)

The new specification splits the subject 80% theory exam and 20% project.

The following topics will be learned for the theory exam (80%):

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Programming project (20%)

  • Algorithms
  • Flow charts
  • Computer programming (Python)
  • Testing

 

AS and A-Level Computer Science (Year 12 and 13)

AS Computer Science Topics – Assessment is conducted by two exams (each worth 50%)

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Programming
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues
  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms

A-Level Computer Science Topics – Assessment is conducted by two exams (each worth 40%), and a programming project (worth 20%).

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues
  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms