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Computer Science

KS5 (Sixth Form)


Key Stage 3 students at Gordon's have one compulsory lesson per week in one of our dedicated computing suites. Students use Microsoft Teams, OneNote and the Office suite in order to prepare them for modern online world, including further education and the workplace. The department also uses online tools for tasks such as diagram creation, image manipulation and of course coding.

The school bases its KS3 curriculum on the National Curriculum document and National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) resources.

A high-quality computing education equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.

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.

Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate –able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.


The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all students:

Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.

Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems

Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems

Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

At the end of KS3, students are ready to start GCSE Computing, or have been given a good grounding in digital literacy, information and communications technologies and Computer science. They have been equipped with a range of 21st century skills that should enable them to independently use Computer systems to find solutions to problems and tackle whatever they go on to study. 






At Key Stage 4 we study OCR J277 GCSE Computer Science : 

Our GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

Course Content Overview

Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

Practical programming

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02 (section B).


There are two exam elements to the assessment:





Computer systems (01)


1 hour 30 mins


Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02)


1 hour 30 mins




Students use Microsoft Teams, OneNote and the Office suite in order to prepare them for modern online world, including further education and the workplace. The department also uses online tools for tasks such as diagram creation, image manipulation and of course coding.

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, SQL and assembly language). Students will consider the organisation and structure of data, theoretical principles of different hardware components, networks, systems software, threats and prevention of threats.





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.

Course details

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.

Entry Criteria

GCSE grade 6 in Computer Science if studied, or a GCSE grade 6 in Mathematics is required.