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Computer Science and IT

A warm welcome from the Computer Science and IT Department.

KS3 is where Computer Science is taught as its own subject for the first time.  It falls under the Technology umbrella with Food Technology and Design Technology. Students in Year 7 and 8 receive 12 weeks of Computer Science each Year. 

Therefore, the key principles focused on are: 

  • Sequence 

  • Selection 

  • Iteration 

  • E Safety 

In Year 7, this will be focused on by learning HTML and CSS. This is the simplest scripting language to learn, as there are no syntax errors. If code is written incorrectly, it just does not work. Students get an understanding of a text-based input that produces a visual output in the form of a website. 

This transitions nicely into Year 8 where students begin to use Scratch, a visual programming tool. They will begin to look at entry-level GCSE problems and solve them visually. Scratch is based like a jigsaw puzzle; therefore, if the blocks do not fit they cannot be used. This allows students to make much more complex programs than they could in HTML. 

Students now have the option to choose GCSE Computer Science or BTEC IT. The KS3 curriculum is based on Computer Science, however, student will also use many IT skills such as: 

  • Word Processing 

  • Data Entry 

  • Presentation skills 

  • File management 

GCSE Computer Science consists of two examination Units. Unit 1 is Computer Theory; most of these concepts will be new to students, as Computer Theory not covered in detail at KS3. This also helps if students join the school during KS4 as they can gain the knowledge alongside the other students. Unit 2 is the Algorithms and Programming; students will now be able to translate the visual algorithms from KS3 into text-based algorithms in Python. 

Cambridge Nationals IT consists of 3 units. 60% coursework and 40% exam. Unit R050: IT in the digital world, Unit R060: Data manipulation using spreadsheets, Unit R070: Using Augmented Reality to present information Unit R060: Data manipulation using spreadsheets, 60% coursework and 40% exam. Students will be able to take the basic techniques learned from using IT at KS3 and apply them to real problems, for example creating user-friendly interfaces and simulating how business would use and manage data.