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Computer Science

"Computers are such a huge part of our everyday lives; they are all around us. From electronic control units in cars to self-scan checkouts at the supermarket, computers are shaping and changing the world around us and their influence is only going to grow. We all carry a mobile computing device in our pockets, they keep us connected to our social networks and the world around us - we'd be lost without them!

We are all great "consumers" of technology and give little thought to how computers do what they do - to most of us it's magic! What I enjoy most about my job is teaching our students about computer systems & architecture and how to control computers through programming, getting the computer to do what we want. The best part is that, fundamentally, it's all really very simple logic and not magic at all."

(Mr Mckune - Subject Lead)

Subject Overview

Our Computing Programme of Study offers students an opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the fast-moving digital world around us. The diverse range of topics taught at Key Stage 3 ensures that we provide full coverage of the Computing National Curriculum and not only provides an insight into how digital systems work but also gives students the opportunity to demonstrate creativity through the development of their own digital content.

At the core of Computing is Computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. We believe that computer Science is not just about programming but the notion of Computational Thinking; a set of problem-solving and logical-reasoning tools that our students begin to develop throughout the Key Stage 3 programme of study. Analysing problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving these problems – including designing, writing and debugging programs – prepares our students for further study of the subject at GCSE.

During Key Stage 3, students should expect to have four x 50 minute Computing lessons per fortnightly cycle. In Year 9, students are given an opportunity to continue with the subject at GCSE or alternatively can opt to study BTEC Tech Award in Digital IT. Students progressing to the Computer Science GCSE will follow a set program covering topics set by the OCR (9-1) GCSE in Computer Science (J276).

Facilities

We have five ICT suites, including two newly refurbished rooms, within the Computing department, in which all students will have access to their own workstations. Each room has 30+ student PCs, an excellent choice of software packages and high-speed internet access.

Extra- Curricular Opportunities

GCSE Computer Science intervention (“The Download”) takes place at the following times:

  • Monday after school (15:30 - 16:30) in C05, C21 & C22 for Year 11 GCSE students
  • Tuesday lunchtime (12:45 - 13:25) and after school (15:30 – 16:15) in C05 for Year 10 GCSE students

The expectation is that all students will be in attendance.

Students are encouraged to develop their enthusiasm for Computing by registering online to partake in a number of online activities to further extend their learning. Sites such as Code Warriors, Code.org, Code Combat and Codecademy have provided students with access to several exciting resources which encourages their engagement with the subject.

We also run a popular and successful Coding Club and EV3 Lego Mindstorms club after-school each Wednesday which provides our students with access to our fantastic new STEAM Lab; complete with top of the range computers and software (not available in other computer suites), a large touch-screen monitor, robotic kits and 3D printer!

Each year we take part in a number of national and international Computing-related competitions, including UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge, Oxford Computing Challenge and we host our own CS5ox Puzzle Day in relation with Harvard University in the United States. We have also provided several Computing-related field trips; students have attended PyCon, Liverpool Makefest, Manchester MOSI and, through our STE@M provision, have represented the School and Region in a number of activities including the EEP Tomorrow’s Engineers Lego Robotics and BBC Micro:Bit Faraday challenges.