ICT and Computer Science

All students study ICT at Key Stage 3 and will learn topics such as podcasting, introduction to programming, animation, e- safety and more. At Key Stage 4, some students choose GCSE Computer Science and others follow the vocational BTEC Extended certificate in IT (2010). At Key Stage 5, the school currently offers the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in ICT and Diploma and A Level Computer Science.

Key Stage 3

Within ICT Key Stage 3, students follow a wide programme of study that includes a variety of different units, including: internet safety, modelling, animation, scratch, computer programming, web design, audio and video.

Students are assessed in accordance with the National Curriculum on their problem solving skills, planning, programming skills and ability to use software. An important assessment strand is the evidence of students assessing their own work and making improvements. Students are therefore assessed through the practical tasks and practical tests as well as a number of written tests.

Key Stage 4

The school currently offers two different courses for Key Stage 4: the first course offered is the GCSE in Computer Science; the second course offered is a BTEC Double in Computer Science.

GCSE Computer Science 

Content Overview

Assessment Overview

Computer systems:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

40% of total GCSE

(01)
80 marks
1 hour and 30 minutes
Written paper (no calculators allowed)

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming:

  • Algorithms*
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

40% of total GCSE

(02)
80 marks
1 hour and 30 minutes
Written paper
(no calculators allowed)

Programming project**:

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions

20% of total GCSE

(03/04)
40 marks
Totalling 20 hours
Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)

Key Stage 5

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in ICT

This is the equivalent of one A Level and students should have 5 GCSE grades A*-C before progressing onto this course. Students who successfully complete this qualification will be well equipped to move onto degree courses and HNDs in related computer studies and business. The units that are covered are:  

Unit 1

Communication and Employability skills for IT

The aim of this unit is to ensure that students understand both the personal attributes valued by employers and the principles of communicating effectively, whist developing effective communication skills and addressing their own personal development needs. Students will develop and then deliver a given presentation to the class on a set topic. This will allow them to demonstrate how effective their communication skills are.

Unit 2

 

Computer systems

The aim of this unit is to enable students to understand the components of computer systems and develop the skills needed to recommend appropriate systems for business purposes and set up and maintain computer systems. Students will set up a standalone computer system - installing appropriate hardware and software components.

Unit 17

Project planning with IT

The aim of this unit is to ensure students understand the processes and tools used for project management and are able to plan a project, follow the plan and review the project management process. This unit will be delivered alongside unit 28 and the website will become the actual project.

Unit 28

Website production

The aim of this unit is to enable a student to understand web architecture and the factors that affect its performance and to be able to design and create interactive websites. Students will produce their own interactive website for a given need and purpose. 

Unit 30

Digital graphics

This unit aims to enable students to understand different types of digital graphics images and file formats and to be able to create, edit, modify and manipulate digital images of various types and complexity.

Unit 31

Computer animation

The aim of this unit is to ensure students understand types of animation and their uses and develop the knowledge and skills required to use software techniques to design and implement different types of animation. Students are given a brief and produce an animation which meets the requirements of this.

BTEC Double

Unit 40

Computer Game Design
The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of the underlying principles of game design. Learners will examine visual style and gameplay present in games by undertaking structured gameplay. They will generate game design ideas and learn about and prepare initial formal documentation to communicate these ideas.

Unit 42

Spreadsheet Modelling
To enable learners to use complex spreadsheet modelling in order to support organisational activities such as credit control, sales forecasting and stock analysis.

Unit  43

Multimedia design
The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand how multimedia is used in business and to be able to create multimedia products to meet business needs.

Unit 3

Information Systems
The aim of this unit is to ensure learners understand how organisations use information and the surrounding use of information, know about information systems and develop the skills necessary to produce management information.

Unit 18

Database Design
The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the features of relational databases and to develop the skills necessary to design, create, populate and test a relational database incorporating advanced features.

Unit 8

E-Commerce
The aim of this unit is to ensure that learners know the technologies involved in e-commerce, understand the impact of e-commerce on organisations and on society, and that they are able to plan e-commerce strategies.

 

A Level Computer Science

Content Overview

Assessment Overview

Computer systems:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

40% of total A Level

(01)
140 marks
2 hours and 30 minutes
Written paper (no calculators allowed)

Algorithms and programming:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms

40% of total A Level

(02*)
140 marks
2 hours and 30 minutes
Written paper (no calculators allowed)

Programming project**:

The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

20% of total A Level

03* – Repository
or
04* – Postal
or
80 – Carry forward
(2018 onwards)*
70 marks
Non-exam assessment