Why Computer Science?
ICT has been dropped from the curriculum; we are now offering Computer Science. As technology is growing quickly, it has become a larger influence on our lives. Computer Science helps develop an understanding of computers and technology. It allows students to develop computational thinking, which will allow them to solve real-world problems by being able to design, build and test a fully-programmed solution to a problem.
The GCSE Computer Science course will also provide you with an essential foundation for any further courses including those specific to the use of computers and new technology such as A level, AS level, and many vocational and occupational courses.
Key Stage 3
Computer Science will be taught in to all Years in KS3. Starting in Year 7 the pupils will be given an introduction to what computer science is and how it will help them develop their computational thinking skills. The pupils in Year 7 will use the program Scratch to help develop their programing language so by the time they reach year 9 they can start to program in Python and be ready for the GCSE course. They will also be introduced to web design, app design and game design. We have many different facilities to help with computer science such as Raspberry Pis and Makey Makeys. All pupils within KS3 will have different projects they will focus on each term. All the skills learnt will allow the pupils to move onto the GCSE level of computer science.
At Key Stage 4
The school follows the Edexcel GCSE course. The course is based on 20% non-exam assessment, which is the controlled assessment and will take place in Year 11. The rest of the 80% will be a written assessment in form of two separate exams. Throughout Year 10 all the syllabus will be covered and by the end of Year 10 the pupils will be ready for their assessments in Year 11. The pupils will be given many different activates to help build their knowledge further and they will also be able to complete a mock controlled assessment at the end of Year 10, which will allow them to have a better understanding of the controlled assessment process for the coming Year.
The subject content of the specification combines knowledge and understanding of the principles of Computer Science with practical problem solving and programming skills.
1. Problem solving – Development of computational thinking skills
2. Programming - Designing, reading, writing and debugging computer programs
3. Data representation - Binary representation of data, data compression, encryption and relational databases
4. Computer systems - Hardware and software components of a computer system
5. Communication and the internet - key principles behind the organisation of computer networks
6. The bigger picture - Awareness of the influence of computing technology
Paper 1: Written assessment
Principles of Computer Science
Written exam: 1 hour 40 minutes
40% of GCSE
All topics included
Paper 2: Written assessment
Application of Computational Thinking
Written exam: 2 hour
40% of GCSE
Focuses mainly on topic 1 and 2, but may also draw on content from the other four topics
The controlled assessment (Non-Examined Assessment) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, including the development of a computer program along with the computer programming code. The code itself has to be designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development. The course is assessed by both a final exam and coursework assignments.
Report: Totaling 20 hours of work
20% of GCSE
The programming language that will be used is Python
What careers can this lead to?
This will enable students to move on to GCE Computer Science with a clear knowledge and understanding of the subject.
It also develops transferable skills for progression to higher education – students will develop ‘underpinning’ concepts which are useful in many subjects, for example mathematics, science and engineering.
Pupils will study AQA specification.