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Welcome to the Computer Science Department

Our Department Vision

Intent

To develop confident learners that are:

  • Confident users of technology.
  • Digitally literate individuals: ready to use industry standard software and able to learn new tools as they are developed.
  • Understands the fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Cybercrime aware and able to advise family members.
  • Computational thinkers: a mastery approach to develop resilience in learners by nurturing logical problem solving skills.
  • Critical developers: Able to apply the systems lifecycle to develop a solution: Plan, Analyse, Design, Implement, Test and Evaluate, Repeat
  • Understand how computer programs are developed and able to read and write code.
  • Aware of cross curricular links to other subject areas and industries. Understands the impact of technology to almost every industry and is aware of how many sectors are now underpinned by technology.

Impact

The Computer Science Curriculum will:

  • Develop lifelong learners confident in their use of technology, digitally literate and aware of the online dangers that they will constantly face the more they interact with online platforms. 
  • Follow a mastery approach to embed students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of fundamental Computing concepts so that students are able to progress to KS4 and KS5 Computing. 
  • Ensure the KS3 curriculum is appealing to students so that there is an appetite to continue studying Computing as a pathway at KS4 and 5.
  • Develop lifelong skills so that all learners are able to protect themselves and the organisations they will work with as adults (as well as advising their families) about the dangers of cybercrime.
  • is taught in a practical way that crosses over with multiple curriculum areas so that learners can see a tangible link between Computing and their other subject areas.

Curriculum

Aims and Expectations

Our Computer Science Key Stage 3 curriculum is a mixture of Computer Science and discrete Digital Literacy skills to ensure students develop essential skills for the future. In Year 7 we introduce students to the fundamentals of computing such as computational thinking skills and algorithmic thinking whilst at the same time discreetly teaching digital literacy skills.  In Year 8 students become confident programmers and problem solvers understanding the practical applications of Computing in the ever-evolving world around us, students learn about artificial intelligence, ethics, human computer interaction, privacy and security.  The project based curriculum has been specifically developed to appeal to the school’s specific context and encourages competitive team work to simulate a real world scenario in each project. 

Every Computer Scientist is assigned a house team that is specific to this subject area.  The teams are based around trail blazer Computing pioneers for the subject area, picked specifically to inspire students and enable them to develop a greater appreciation on the wider impact Computing has in society.

At KS4 we offer students two distinct pathways; BTEC Digital Information Technology and OCR GCSE Computer Science, with a healthy number of pupils signing up each year. The Computer Science department is keen to looking to expand next year to offer either Level 3 BTEC IT or A Level OCR Computer Science next academic year.

Software used to support Computer Science teaching includes the Adobe Creative Suite (web-design -including JavaScript programming, animation and graphics), Microsoft Office (data manipulation and digital literacy), MIT App Inventor, Python (including TKinker and Turtle), Scratch (Game development and machine-learning).

Extra-Curricular

During the academic year we will be running a series of cyber security related competitions run by the National Cyber Security Centre.  

Girls Competition 2022

The CyberFirst Girls Competition provides a fun but challenging environment to inspire the next generation of young women to consider a career in cyber security.  The competition is a team event, with each one made up of 4 students in Year 8.

In previous years Year 9 and 10 students have taken part in the Cyber Discovery challenges as part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.  As soon as new competitions are launched students will be given the opportunities to learn first-hand about the world of cyber security and cybercrime.

Careers & Employment

Most businesses rely on computers to function effectively, studying Computing therefore would support students in any future career that they choose. There are various opportunities within the major organisations in sectors such as;  aerospace and defence, agricultural, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public and third sectors, retail and telecommunications. Students can also find opportunities with a range of small to medium-sized enterprises. Another option could be that by studying Computer Science a student would be able to set up their own business, providing IT services such as web design and consultancy.

Recommended Reading

  • Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
  • Computational fairy tales by Jeremy Kubica
  • How To Talk To Robots: A Girls’ Guide To a Future Dominated by AI Hardcover by Tabitha Goldstaub
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • Ready Player One: A Novel By Ernest Cline