Computer Science

  • Keystage 3 - STAR Curriculum

    Taught within the Star Curriculum

  • Year 8 - National Curriculum

    Main topics students study:

    • Scratch - game authoring.
    • Spreadsheets – macro coding.

    Main skills students develop:

    • Planning
    • Programming and testing in two different languages.
  • KS4 - GCSE

    Main topics students study:

      Living in a digital world (40% of total GCSE).
    • Topic 1: Personal digital devices.
    • Topic 2: Connectivity.
    • Topic 3: Operating online.
    • Topic 4: Online goods and services.
    • Topic 5: Online communities.
    • Topic 6: Issues.

      Using digital tools (60% of total GCSE).
    • Topic 1: Research and information gathering.
    • Topic 2: Modelling.
    • Topic 3: Digital publishing.
    • Topic 4: Evaluating outcomes.
    • Topic 5: Working efficiently and safely.

    Main skills students develop:

    Living in a digital world

      Topic 1
    • Mobile phones.
    • Personal Computers (Portable, Desktop).
    • Cameras and Camcorders.
    • Games Consoles.
    • Home Entertainment Systems.
    • Media Players.
    • Navigation Aids.

      Topic 2
    • Digital Communications
      • Device to Device (Cable, Wireless).
      • Broadcast (TV, Radio, GPS).
    • Digital Data
      • Information
      • Communcation (Email, Voice, Video).
      • Applications (Gaming, Peripheral Connections).

      Topic 3
    • Worldwide Web.
    • Identification and Authentication.
    • Online Accounts.
    • Personal Spaces.
    • Profiling (Public and Private).
    • Data Protection.

      Topic 4
    • Online 'Shops'/Physical Goods.
    • Booking systems for travel, leisure and entertainment.
    • Banking and other financial services.
    • Education and training.
    • Gaming.
    • News and other information services.
    • Auctions.
    • ‘On demand’, streaming entertainment services.

      Topic 5
    • Social Networking.
    • Online Work Spaces.
    • Virtual Learning Environments.
    • User-Generated Reference Sites and Social Book marking.

      Topic 6
    • Security.
    • Privacy.
    • Health and Safety.
    • Legal and Ethical.
    • Environmental.

    Using Digital Tools (60% of total GCSE).

    Topic 1: Research and Information Gathering
    Students learn how to:

      1.1 Differentiate between data and information
    • Understand the characteristics of data and information.
    • Understand how data and information can be organised and structured to facilitate effective use.
    • Understand that information can be represented in different forms.
    • Identify the data and information requirements of a task.
    • Understand the need for accuracy.

      1.2 Use secondary sources
    • Select appropriate sources of information, eg online databases, websites and email.
    • Use appropriate search techniques to locate information.
    • Select relevant information by making informal judgements about its quality, relevance and fitness for purpose.
    • Recognise copyright and other constraints on the use of information.

      1.3 Use primary sources
    • Create original images and other assets.
    • Create original text and other information.
    • Create survey data.

      1.4 Use databases
    • Understand how data can be structured eg single table, linked table.
    • Enter and edit records.
    • Search for valid and meaningful information for a specified purpose.
    • Sort records using single and multiple fields in ascending and descending order.
    • Use reports to present information clearly.

    Topic 2: Modelling
    Students need to learn how to:

      2.1 Adapt and enhance spreadsheet models
    • Gather and validate data for use in a model.
    • Enter and organise numerical data.
    • Manipulate, process, and analyse numerical data.
    • Format numerical data and other information.
    • Use formulae, functions and variables.
    • Use validation techniques.
    • Enhance clarity and presentation.

      2.2 Use models to explore ideas
    • Ask ‘what if’ questions.
    • Model different scenarios.
    • Try out alternatives and explore ideas.
    • Create and develop charts and graphs to display numerical data.
    • Verify results (accuracy, plausibility).
    • Interpret results and make recommendations based upon them.

    Topic 3: Digital publishing
    Students need to learn how to:

      3.1 Design digital products which are fit for purpose and audience
    • Investigate requirements.
    • Analyse stages of a complex ICT task.
    • Use design tools (storyboarding, structure charts, flowcharts, templates).
    • Justify design decisions.
    • Make use of feedback from test users.

      3.2 Prepare and organise different types of digital content
    • Text
    • Number
    • Sound
    • Images
    • Video
    • Animation

      3.3 Develop digital products which are fit for purpose
    • Combine different types of digital content.
    • Use accepted layouts and conventions.
    • Apply editing, formatting and layout techniques.
    • Maximise clarity and enhance presentation.
    • Create a user interface.
    • Use automated features.
    • Sequence instructions.
    • Test for functionality and usability.

    Topic 4: Evaluating Outcomes
    Students need to learn how to:

      4.1 Review outcomes
    • Compare with requirements.
    • Identify strengths and weaknesses.
    • Suggest possible improvements.
    • Make modifications to improve the outcomes.

      4.2 Work collaboratively to:
    • Choose suitable test users.
    • Respond appropriately to feedback from others.
    • Give constructive feedback to others.
    • Use collaborative tools.

      4.3 Self-review
    • Review own performance.
    • Identify strengths and weaknesses.
    • Evaluate the selection, use and effectiveness of ICT tools and facilities used.

    Topic 5: Working effectively and safely
    Students need to learn how to:

      5.1 Manage files
    • Save work regularly and keep information secure.
    • Use sensible filenames and formats.
    • Create and manage files and folder structures.
    • Retrieve work efficiently.

      5.2 Manage themselves and their work
    • Plan and manage work efficiently.
    • Select appropriate ICT tools and techniques.
    • Customise settings.
    • Use available sources of help.
    • Use software templates and wizards.
    • Adopt safe, secure and responsive practice when using ICT.
    • Communicate and exchange information safely, responsibly and securely.
    • Organise electronic messages, attachments and contacts.

      5.3 Quality assure what they produce
    • Work accurately.
    • Spell check.
    • Proofread.
    • Seek the views of others.

      5.4 Know about and adhere to legislation and codes of practice
    • Acknowledge sources.
    • Respect copyright.
    • Protect confidentiality.
  • Year 9-11 - Computing J275

    Main topics students study:

    • Computer systems and programming.
    • Practical investigation.
    • Programming project.

    Main skills students develop:

    Computer systems and programming

    Candidates will develop a mental model of a computer system which comprises hardware and software and in which:

    • Data is input and converted into the computer’s internal representation by input devices.
    • The data is processed.
    • The results of the processing are converted from the computer’s internal representation and output by an output device.
    • The data may be stored for later use or transmitted to another computer system while it is still in the computer’s internal representation.

    Practical Investigation

    Candidates will be expected to produce a report which will then be assessed under the four headings:

    • Practical activity.
    • Effectiveness and efficiency of the solution.
    • Technical understanding.
    • Testing, evaluation, judgements and conclusions.

    Programming project

    Candidates will need to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution to the stated problem then code their solutions in a suitable programming language. The solutions must be tested at each stage to ensure they solve the stated problem using a suitable test plan with appropriate test data.

    The code must be suitably annotated to describe the process. Test results should be annotated to show how these relate to the code, the test plan and the original problem.

    Candidates will need to provide an evaluation of their solution based on the test evidence.