Computer Science

The “Information Age” is upon us and is evolving rapidly.  Most of our students will already not remember a time when the internet did not exist  and to them the idea of working without a mobile communication device is unthinkable.

The ‘cloud-based’ work and learning community is now a reality we must all contend with. E-learning and the global network has removed geographic learning and working boundaries and means a high level of computer proficiency is a must for all young people leaving school. 

With E-assessment, video-conferencing and online discussions now also common place in most university courses it is our aim to ensure learning is cultivated in a similar environment to help support learning and teaching in the classroom and at home.

All students are afforded equal access to a range of computer suites across the school day and during after-school support sessions.  Equality of access is of paramount importance if we are to use ICT to enhance student learning and through our after-school clubs we aim to encourage our students to become independent learners who are able to effectively harness the technologies made available to them to support learning in all subject areas.

The college has three dedicated computing suites which can be booked for use by teachers of all subject areas.  In addition, the IT department has a number of laptop labs which are dedicated resources used only by students studying IT or Computing from Key Stage 3 to A-level while additional suites are also available for use in the Design and Technology, Music and Art Departments.  Most recently the college has also purchased 20 Raspberry Pi computers for use within the Key Stage 3 curriculum.


Courses Offered

While we firmly believe it is important that our students are highly skilled in the use of a wide range of industry standard ICT applications we also aspire towards the development of an interest in hardware structure and software development from an early stage in our curriculum.  Students in Key Stage 3 all complete CCEA Accreditation Scheme in ICT through work completed in a range of subjects across their first three years at the college.  Dedicated IT lessons are used initially to support the development of the skills required by students in order to successful complete these tasks.  As pupils progress through Key Stage 3 their IT experience is further enhanced through the use of emerging technologies in a pragmatic learning environment.

Key Stage 3

Self-paced and multimedia rich learning is common place in our Key stage 3 dedicated IT curriculum.  The scheme of work we have implemented has been enhanced to ensure each pupil has a breadth of experience in a wide range of industry standard applications, computer game development, programming techniques, website development, mobile phone app development and emerging technologies such as the Raspberry Pi.

While students are encouraged to work independently through the use of multimedia packages and internet resources the focus within the department is always to ensure online safety and the security of pupils personal details.  At the outset of each academic year a short induction course ensures pupils are aware of online dangers, how to keep themselves safe online and the actions they should take if they are concerned with someone else’s behaviour online.  Parents are also encouraged to read the school’s Internet acceptable use policy.

Year 8

The introduction of a scenario based project encourages students to step into the shoes of a pop band promoter as they complete the following tasks:-

  • Design avatars to represent their band members
  • Develop business related documents to promote their band and enter them for a Star Struck TV competition
  • Produce a backing track for their band
  • Careat a Storyboard and a short movie to introduce their band
  • Develop a database to manage details of their bands fan club
  • Create a spreadsheet to help them manage their bands finances
  • Produce a newsletter for members of the bands fan club

The focus in each task is to ensure that documents produced are always fit for purpose and their audience.

Year 9

Students are encouraged to view how IT is used in a variety of real world contexts.  These include:-

  • IT in the context of the environment
  • Online collaboration and video-conferencing
  • Weather forecasting and data collection, analysis and presentation
  • IT in the context of an enterprise
  • Comic strip production and detailed storyboard production
  • Advert and jingle production
  • Online survey production
  • Creating your own blog

Year 10

Students are introduced to the skills required for further study of ICT or Computing at GCSE level through an introduction to:-

  • Computer game development, programming and animation using Gamemaker
  • Website development using web authoring tools
  • Mobile phone app development
  • Raspberry pi projects
  • Raspberry Pi architecture
  • Singing Jelly Babies – make your jelly baby sweets sing with a Raspberry pi
  • Networking with Raspberry Pi’s
  • Animating with Raspberry Pi’s

For Computer Science course content, please click here !