Computer Science is an exciting and diverse subject that has many practical applications in a modern digital society. From computer system design to programming, the department aims to develop learners’ knowledge about how computers work. The subject is not limited to those who want to specialise in computing. Subjects in many different areas of the school incorporate computing within their discipline: biologists write programs to simulate ecosystems; economists use systems to predict changes to world financial markets; artists render 3D models using physical real-world principles.
The school has recently invested many thousands of pounds in new computers for the ICT suites, new laptops to allow for flexible use of the network and computer facilities and a new server to ensure fast and efficient service. We are aware of the need for our pupils to know about the possible implications of using ICT, and we want them to become responsible, discerning users of software, knowing when and how to apply their skills. We also want to ensure they question how computers perform these tasks. Many future job roles will need confident ICT users that understand what is going on behind the scenes.
All pupils at Key Stage 3 study the subject, learning about how computers work and how programs can be developed. The subject is delivered in such a way as to not only educate learners about Computer Science but develop practical ICT skills at the same time. These same skills are useful in many other subjects throughout the school.
At Key Stage 4 pupils can select either GCSE Computer Science or ICT. Computer Science focuses on how computers work and writing simple programs. ICT looks at how computers are practically used by people in their work and day-to-day lives. Both are equally important disciplines that suit different learners. Pupils should select options that interest them. Both subjects are very useful in many different careers and serve to demonstrate a certain digital literacy.
At Key Stage 5 pupils can select A-level Computer Science. This is an extension of the GCSE course where students learn in more detail about problem solving through programming. The course also covers topics such as computer hardware and networking.