Department Background

‘We can see only a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done’ – Alan Turing

We are living in an age where technology is involved in every aspect of our lives. The study of Computer Science enables students to engage with technology on a different level, becoming creators rather than consumers and provides them with access to an ever-expanding sector of employment.

Head of Department: Ms J Catherall

Our goal is to enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the technology that they use every day.

The purpose of the computer science curriculum is:

  • To develop students’ understanding of programming by focussing on the core programming techniques and applying them across a range of programming languages. Students also practise using problem-solving skills to analyse computing tasks and enable them to develop their own solutions.
  • To encourage students to find out how the technology they use works by investigating the hardware components that make up computer systems and how these systems are linked together. We use the internet constantly but how many people know what the internet is or how it works?
  • To engage students in wider issues in computing and the impact of technology which includes learning to navigate the internet safely and how to behave appropriately online, cybercrime, the digital divide and the impact of technology on the environment.

Year 7 - 9

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to give students a broad introduction to Computer Science. Key programming skills are introduced in Year 7 and revisited in Year 8 and 9. Students are encouraged to use cloud-based technology in and out of school to research, communicate and collaborate.

Year 7

The history of computing, computer hardware, data representation, programming in Scratch, networking and the internet, online behaviour.

Year 8

Introduction to spreadsheets, programming in Python, web design and graphics, ethics and computing.

Year 9

In Year 9, students study computer science for two half-terms and focus on cybercrime and programming in Javascript.

Year 10 - 11

At GCSE, our students follow the AQA Computer Science specification. The GCSE is offered as an extra “twilight” option. The specification is divided into two main areas: computational thinking and problem solving, and computing concepts. Our goal is to provide students with the skills and techniques to solve problems and to apply the algorithms that they have developed through programming. In addition, students will be encouraged to reflect on the ubiquity of computing technology and the positive and negative impacts that this has on individuals and society.

KS4 KS4
Fundamentals of algorithms Cyber security
Programming Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)
Fundamentals of data representation Ethical, legals and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society
Computer systems
Fundamentals of computer networks

Activities and Recent Highlights

The Computer Science society is run by 6th formers and provides students with a chance to develop their programming skills and discuss new developments in computing.