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Computer Science

Computer Science provides students the skills they will need in the new technological era and an understanding around the ever-changing technological world. Through computing education, students will be completing challenging and engaging topics.

Students will be able to apply and practice many skills, including programming (in Scratch and Python and others of their choice), maths skills in data representation and use multimedia to learn creative technology skills and IT practical skills to become tech ‘savvy’. They are encouraged to solve problems, using computational thinking. This means that before a problem can be tackled, it must first have been through stages of computational thinking, including abstraction, decomposition and algorithmic thinking.  

Our curriculum aims to ensure that students develop computational thinking skills and computer science knowledge including computing architecture, hardware and software, and apply their skills and learner attributes through the specific disciplines of computer architecture, hardware, software, binary, logic and computer programming. 

Our big ideas or Core Concepts, through which all aspects of science can be linked to or explained by are:  

The Core Concepts

  • Programming fundamentals, using; sequence, selection, iteration, conditions and variables 
  • Computational thinking, providing them with problem-solving skills, thus enabling students to; decompose problems, abstract information, understand and create algorithms 
  • Understand logic and Boolean logic  
  • What is a computer and how do its constituent parts function together, from the system's architecture to networks and systems software 
  • Numbers systems, what is binary, denary and how computers store and process data 
  • Throughout KS3 students will learn E-safety, relevant to their age group. As well they will learn ICT skills and be competent in MSOffice products, creating and designing projects. 

key stage 3

Year 7 

Scratch programming  

  • Learning the fundamentals of programming through the use of blocks in Scratch 
  • To be able to explain and use variables and how they are used in computer programming 
  • To understand and use sequence, selection and iteration in their programs 
  • Hardware and Software 
  • To understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. 
  • To understand the purpose and role of the CPU 

Number systems 

  • Introduction to number systems and understand how numbers can be represented in binary (Base2) and to be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers  

Year 8 

Scratch programming  

  • To build on the fundamentals from year 7 in introducing scratch programming. 
  • Students will learn what is an algorithm and create algorithms  
  • They will learn about subroutines and create their own subroutines 
  • Learn to create and use lists and understanding iteration (loops) 

Hardware and Software using Microbits 

  • To learn about data and how it’s used with hardware and software 
  • Students will develop their understanding of sensors through unplugged activities and by writing algorithms using repetition and selection 

Computer Architecture 

  • To learn about the Von Neumann architecture and understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system 

Year 9 

Python programming  

  • To build on students' fundamental knowledge of programming and program in Python, a text based language. This language is used in many organisations, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Netflix. 
  • Students will learn the fundamentals including print, input, iteration, data types and expand on their variable knowledge from years 7 & 8. 
  • To learn how to think logically using algorithms and solve problems 

Computer systems 

  • To expand on knowledge from the Von Neumann architecture in year 8 and learn how the fetch-decode-execute cycle works and the CPU registers 
  • What are registers and how to they store and process data and information 

Website design 

  • Students will develop a business concept and design a mood board for their ideas 
  • Students will learn HTML website code and develop a website for their business 

key stage 4

OCR GCSE Computer Science 

This three-unit course covers both computing theory and programming skills. It is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. The course builds on computing skills developed in Key Stage 3; it will include programming fundamentals, computational thinking, logic, computer architecture, hardware and software, networks and number systems.  Students will expand their knowledge in computer science and develop their analytical and problem-solving skills. As well, apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.  

Paper 1

  • Systems architecture
  • Memory and storage
  • Data representation
  • Computer networks
  • Systems security
  • Systems software
  • Ethical, legal, environmental, cultural impacts in computer science

Paper 2

  • Algorithms
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Producing robust programs (testing)
  • Boolean logic
  • Programming languages and the IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

Topic 3 - Practical Programming 

All students will be given the opportunity to undertake programming task(s), either to a specification or to solve a problem (or problems), during their course of study. Students may draw on some of the content in both components when engaged in Practical Programming.

key stage 5

OCR A Level Computer Science (H446)

A Level Computer Science will help students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project, in a programming language of their choice. The A Level course will develop students' technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

The course is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. The course focuses on programming and builds on GCSE Computer Science learning. It emphasises the importance of computational thinking as a discipline. It has an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.

Paper 1:

  • Computer systems
  • Computer software
  • Software development
  • Exchanging data (databases)
  • Data types
  • Data structures
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Paper 2:

  • Computational thinking
  • Programming and problem-solving
  • Algorithms


Students will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem.