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Headteacher: Mr T. McGuinness

Computer Science

The future is what you make it.

Computer Science will start to equip students with the knowledge and skills to help them make their way in an increasingly technologically dependent world.

“But I don’t want to work with computers when I leave school!” Computer Science is not just about working on computers, it is about Computational Thinking; learning how to solve problems, not necessarily with a computer. The aim of the department is to equip students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

Studying Computer Science at All Saints forms part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programme of subjects. The concepts we are studying in computer science have direct links and a positive impact on a range of other subjects from Mathematics to Humanities.

We subscribe to Google’s G-Suite for Education and this forms the platform for the programs and applications we use. Students will have access to laptops in the majority of lessons and learn how to use online communication, collaboration and submission to complete assignments. The major benefit of this system is that it is easily accessible outside of school on the majority of Internet-enabled devices - meaning there is no requirement to purchase specific software for students to complete tasks or homework.

Staff
  • Miss L Adam
Key Stage 3

Throughout the KS3 curriculum, there are opportunities for students to personalise their learning and choose additional tasks to enhance their abilities.

If-Then-Else Stories

The programme of study introduces the concept of online working and collaboratively using Google Classroom and Google Drive to create an interactive story. Students work in teams to develop a concept and create an electronic story using the algorithmic principle of selection.

This section uses the Applied Digital Skills program from Google, where students learn that the skills they have learned in class are applicable to real-life work situations.

Game Design

An introduction to computer programming using Scratch. Students will develop key programming skills including variables, selection and iteration to build a number of games. The Scratch programming language uses blocks of code that are assembled to create full programs - this can be directly linked to the text-based language Python, used at GCSE. This program uses the CS-First program of study from Google, where students are encouraged to track their own progress and challenge themselves to take on extra tasks.

Micro:Bits

Students use the BBC Micro:Bit computer to complete a physical computing challenge. This could be a simple sensor reading for the temperature to a more complicated directional compass. The application of programming skills to a physical piece of equipment shows students the real-time results of their efforts.

BBC Micro:Bits are small, handheld devices that come with pre-packaged sensors such as an accelerometer, thermometer and magnetic reading. An LED display can be programmed to show individual messages and it can be linked to various external sensors to create a full computer system.

App Creation

AppsforGood is an organisation dedicated to empowering citizens through technology. The course followed at All Saints gives students an insight into the development process of large-scale software, whilst working on a concept they create themselves.

Students will work in teams to design, create and present an ‘app’ idea to help the local community. There is the opportunity to pitch their idea to experts in the field of apps and enter a national competition where their final proposal could win funding for professional creation.

The aim of the course is to develop key understanding in problem-solving, computer system hardware and software and the wider application of computer science.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

We currently offer a GCSE in Computer Science at KS4, following the OCR 9-1 programme of study. The course is assessed via two 90 minute written examinations in the final year of study.

Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science. 50% of the final grade.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding of computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project. 50% of the final grade.

Programming Project

Whilst this is not an ‘examined’ piece of work, students are required to spend 20 hours on a programming project. The applied skills and knowledge relate directly to the concepts taught in Component 02. The programming language of the department is Python.

Additional Activities

UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge - in conjunction with The University of Oxford. All KS3 and KS4 Computer Science students have the opportunity to take part in this online challenge with the possibility of being invited to the second round at The University of Oxford. Each participating student receives a certificate of recognition.

Hour of Code - an international event for Computer Science Education Week. Students are encouraged to try computer programming with a series of short tasks.

iDEA - Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. iDEA is a programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Through a series of online challenges and events, you can win career and life-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry recognised awards that help you stand out from the crowd.

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