ICT and Computer Science are fundamental components of teaching at Gordon’s School and is taught as a compulsory subject to all students in Years 7-9 one lesson per week. Our aim is to also equip students with the ability to use technological tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange, and present information responsibly.
By following a progressive and innovative ICT and Computer Science programme of study, students will develop the expertise and confidence to use ICT skills and Computer Science concepts across a broad range of activities. Subject content includes digital literacy, touch typing and basic computer programming (using Scratch and BBC Micro:Bits) in Year 7. Web design, Python Programming, Database Design and creation and video production in Year 8. In Year 9 Theoretical and practical aspects of how computers work, app creation, advanced Python programming and animation.
At the end of Key Stage 3 it is intended that all students acquire a number of transferrable skills in a broad range of software, to use both in ICT lessons and across the curriculum.
GCSE Computer Science offered to students as an option at Key Stage 4 (Eduqas Syllabus). The specification has been designed to give an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer science. Students will:
- develop a solution of their own design to a problem, giving them the freedom to learn about something which interests them
- learn trusted methodologies which match industry practice
- understand the fundamentals of programming
- gain an insight into security which will include aspects of cybersecurity, ethics and legislation
GCSE Computer Science will enable students to showcase both logical discipline and imaginative creativity through the design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs. It encourages students to develop an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems.
GCSE Computer Science comprises three different assessments: two written exams and one Controlled Assessment. One written exam tests a pupil’s knowledge of theoretical subjects within computer science, the other is an on screen exam testing computational thinking and programming techniques, while the Controlled Assessment tests a student’s practical programming knowledge.
Students will use a wide range of software to create a number of documents and publications relating to both the theory and the Controlled Assessment. Students will learn coding from a basic level upwards, looking at several different types of code and how a computer uses/ interprets them; essentially, learning how a computer works. The theoretical elements of programming will be covered in the computational thinking component of the course, this will cover; problem solving, algorithms and programming constructs whilst learning different programming languages (Python, Greenfoot, assembly language and HTML). Students will consider, organisation and structure of data, different hardware components, operating systems, security and data management.
At Key Stage 5 the AQA A-level Computer Science specification is delivered. Computer Science is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, that can look at the natural world through a digital prism. The course will give you the opportunity to learn computational thinking, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.
Unit 1: In Year 12 this unit focuses on programming using standard programming concepts such as definite and indefinite iteration with conditions, use of arithmetic, relational and Boolean operations. Students will also program using a procedural- oriented method. Students will also develop their knowledge of the theoretical side of computer science ranging from fundamentals of programming, to the theory of computation (abstraction, decomposition, composition and automation).
In Year 13 this unit will also include the fundamentals of algorithms and the skills learnt whilst studying the systematic approach to problem solving
Unit 2: This unit focuses on fundamentals of data representation such as natural, rational, irrational, real and ordinal numbers plus different number systems used by computers to represent data. Fundamentals of computer systems includes hardware, software and programming languages as well as computer organisation and architecture and consequences of uses of computing.
For Year 13 this unit also includes fundamentals of databases, big data and the fundamentals of functional programming
Unit 3: Non-Exam Assessment – The computing practical project (Year 13 only): The non-exam assessment assesses a student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, when creating the project, a student will analyse, design, create and test a program to solve a problem, this could be a website with dynamic content and a database back-end, a mobile app, an application for artificial intelligence, a computer game or something completely different.
GCSE grade 6 in Computer Science if studied, or a GCSE grade 6 in Mathematics is required.