Close

Computer Science

Back to Subjects Menu

Computer Science (Computing) is computers and computer systems. Students will be learning how computers work, are designed, constructed, and used which in turn will help students pursue rewarding professions that emphasise multiple skill sets.

The core study of computing encompasses programming languages, data structures, algorithms and with the underlying science of information and computation.  The influence of computing has been profound in shaping the world in which we now live. The use of technology is almost universal among UK businesses, and increasingly businesses are adopting strategic technologies to deliver new opportunities.

The professional, scientific and technical sector has shown the largest increase of all broad industry groups between 2012 and 2013, with a particularly large increase for this sector in London.  Telecommunications has been the fastest growing part of the information economy sector; growing at 5.7 per cent per annum during the period from 2000 to 2013.

There are approximately 1.3 million people working in technology specialist roles in the UK, and technology specialist employment is consistently increasing, growing by 6% (71,000) from 2013 to 2014 alone.  The UK is ranked second in the world for technological readiness by the World Economic Forum.

Ongoing developments in the sector include the government commitment of £1.2 billion to extend superfast broadband to 95% of UK premises by 2017.

Computer Science is one of the 3 strands of Computing, the others being IT and Digital literacy. The other 2 strands are covered within Computing/Computer Science lessons, or as part of the wider school Curriculum.

Our lessons are busy but fun!  You will learn loads of new skills, combining the theory with lots of practical tasks and challenges. So there will be lots of practical work on the computers, skills building, learning to programme, doing the projects and conducting tests and experiments for your research. But there will also be quite a bit of extra reading and exercises to get your thinking skills sharp. We recommend Computer Science students spend 1-2 hours programming per week, outside of timetabled lessons.

What can Computer Skills lead to?

It is no exaggeration to say the world runs on computers. They are everywhere: in homes, schools and offices but not just in the way you think. They are also embedded in all sorts of machines. Computers control airplanes, chemical plants, send rockets to space, control the central heating and make sure your car runs efficiently. As new things are developed, the world needs more and more people to research new ways of using computers to do the things they want. GCSE Computer Science (Computing) is a great foundation for going on to do Computing BTEC Level 3.

A BTEC in Computing is a great foundation for going on to study Computer Science at University. And that can open up a lot of possibilities! But you don't have to want to go on to be a computer scientist to do this course, you might just be curious about learning a bit more.  The skills you learn will be of enormous benefit in lots of your other subjects. Nicholas Negroponte - a famous man whose One Laptop per Child project is trying to get computers to children in the developing world once said, Computer programming is a powerful tool for children to learn learning, that is, to learn the skills of thinking and problem-solving. Children who engage in programming transfer that kind of learning to other things.

Skills involved:

  • Computational thinking, abstraction, decomposition, pattern recognition and drawing algorithms
  • Problem solving, planning & developing solutions
  • Applying logic and working through problems step by step in a logical manner
  • Research using the resources available in lessons
  • Collaboration and teamwork

KEY STAGE 3

Year 7 - Lessons form part of the Design Technology Carousel
Year 8 - Computer Science 2 hours per fortnight
Year 9 - Computer Science 2 hours per fortnight

WHAT WILL THE KS3 SYLLABUS COVER?

  • Project-based approach
  • Investigative learning
  • Designing and developing simple games
  • Variables
  • Algorithms
  • Debugging
  • Bitmaps and graphics
  • Consideration of app toys
  • Presentation of information

HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD AT HOME?

  • Please remind them to bring their headphones to school.
  • Provide access to a computer and secure access to the internet at home.
  • www.software4students.com Register your child on this website to purchase genuine software applications at hugely discounted prices.
  • www.teach-ict.com Large variety of video tutorials available illustrating the use of popular applications to complete everyday tasks, and to support the work covered in lessons.
  • Encourage use of Engadget UK and BBC Click to improve awareness of what is going on in the world of Computer Science.

KEY STAGE 4 - GCSE

OCR GCSE COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSE J277 (Year 10) & J276 (Year 11)

  Component 1   Component 2
1.1 Systems Architecture 2.1 Algorithms
1.2 Memory & Storage 2.2 Programming Fundamentals
1.3 Computer Networks 2.3 Producing Robust Programmes
1.4 Network Security 2.4 Boolean Logic
1.5 Systems Software 2.5 Programming languages and IDEs
1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology 2.6 Algorithms

Further Information:

Students studying for the GCSE in Computer Science (J277) will have to rely much more on their programming skills as the Component 2 exam paper sat in the summer of Year 11 now contains a section wholly focussed on programming - writing answers in code.

STUDENTS WILL LEARN:

  • To develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work.
  • How algorithms are used in computer programmes.
  • How to become independent and discerning users of IT.
  • Acquisition and Application of creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts.
  • How to develop computer programmes to solve problems.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programmes/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.

UNIT 1: COMPUTER SYSTEMS

(Examination in Year 11, 90 minutes, 50% of GCSE)

This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based topics include:

  • System Architecture
  • Memory & Storage
  • Computer Networks
  • Network Security
  • Systems Software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural & environmental impacts of digital technology

UNIT 2: COMPUTATIONAL THINKING, ALGORITHMS & PROGRAMMING

(Examination in Year 11, 90 minutes, 50% of GCSE)

  • Algorithms
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Producing Robust Programmes
  • Boolean Logic
  • Programming languages and IDEs

This component incorporates and builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in unit 1, encouraging students to apply what they have learned using computational thinking. Students will be introduced to algorithms, programming and problem-solving. It is expected that students will use the skills gained in this unit to complete a variety of programming tasks.

PRACTICAL PROGRAMMING

Students will 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).

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP SUPPORT MY CHILD?

  • Encourage learning a programming language like Python 3 - Free Download
  • Encourage use of Engadget and BBC Click to enhance knowledge of the application of technology in the real world.
  • Encourage the use of resources shared and provided to facilitate learning: senecalearning.com
  • Talk through logical problem solving techniques and strategies that don't involve the use of computers. This is to build resilience in students necessary when programming as their solutions to problems might not work at the first time of asking, so finding alternative approaches is an important skill.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Subject Leader Mr J Fielden                    
  Mr C Belony
  Mr J McGinnity
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×