Course Overview: Computing

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science, and Design and Technology; providing insights into both natural and artificial systems. Computing will ensure that pupils 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. Underpinning all of this, pupils find out how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely.

Year 7

Students will learn about the responsible use of computers, develop their understanding of computer hardware and how binary works, construct a range of computer games that include a range of objects and characters and finally create flowcharts to control and model a range of computer-based mimics.

Year 8

Students will learn about local and wide areas networks and how encryption works, write a series of programs to control a very simple computer called a micro:bit, create a financial model to track the sales of tickets and finally write a series of programs that create images and animations.

Year 9

Students will use the programming language Python to create a range of text-based programs, learn about computer crime and cybersecurity and how to protect yourself when online, practice a range of different photo editing and image manipulation techniques and finally design and create a website.

Course Overview: Computer Science

This course provides students with a real, in-depth understanding of how technology works. It will provide an insight into components that make up a system, and how they communicate with one another. Students will learn how to apply the fundamental principles and Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. Students will also gain experience of designing, writing and debugging programs.

Course Components

Computer Systems (Written Paper) (50% of total GCSE)

This component focuses on the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory. Students will study the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and software. They will also become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Written Paper) (50% of total GCSE)

This component focuses on the core theories embedded into computer science and the application of computer science principles. Students will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Students will also study computing related mathematics including exponentiation and modulus.

Programming Project (Formal Requirement)

This component is a formal requirement that requires students to design a coded solution for a series of tasks supplied by the examination board. It is designed to consolidate the learning across the specification through practical activity. Students will create suitable algorithms, which will provide a solution for each task before coding them in a suitable programming language. They will create a test plan complete with test data to ensure coded solutions solve the problem. Previous tasks include the development of a speed camera system and a stock control program.

Course Information

Course Name: Computer Science
Qualification Type: GCSE
Awarding Body: OCR
Specification Code: J276

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After school clubs are provided for students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is available on a one to one basis where necessary. Some of the support sessions, clubs and activities offered include:

  • Drop in sessions – after school Tuesday and Thursday
  • UK Bebras Computational Challenge
  • All computers suites are available to students after school
  • Independent study – all resources are available on the schools VLE