Curriculum - Computer Science
Intent (based on the National Curriculum)
Our curriculum for computer science 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
Through learning computing at key stage 3 students will be taught how to:
- design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
- understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem
- use 2 or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
- understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal]
- understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
- understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits
- undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users
- create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
- understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns
At key stage 4 RET schools follow the OCR specification for computing and, in addition, THS follows the OCR creative I media qualification. At Key Stage 5 BFS and THS follow OCR A level specification for computer science.
Links to Key Stage 2
Pupils in Key Stage 2 should be able to do the following. However, experience says that the coverage varies from school to school. Therefore, we aim to quickly ensure all students are up-to-speed in Year 7. Some feeder schools do this very well. Others do not.
- design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
- use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- understand computer networks, including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
- use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
- select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
Relationship to the wider Key Stage 3 Curriculum
- English language: spelling, grammar, punctuation, written analysis, written investigation.
- Mathematics: numeracy, ratio and percentage, graphical interpretation and problem solving.
- Science: electricity, magnetism, light and waves.
- DT: control systems
- History: Alan Turing
- PSHE: online safety
Links to KS4
The key stage 3 curriculum is coherent with the offer for all students who will have the opportunity to:
- develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology
- develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills
- understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns
The key stage 3 curriculum is also coherent with the GCSE specification which focuses on:
- Computer systems
- Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
- Programming Project
- BFS Coding club, iDEA, Bebras, Cyber Discovery and Cyber Start, SubSea UK, AWS Get IT app competition, Unlock Cyber, Cyber First, Software developers come in to support A level.
- KSH Coding club
- THS iDEA, AWS Get IT app competition, Lego club (programming)