Computer Science and Information Technologies

Intent – what are we trying to achieve through our curriculum?

Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work. It looks at how they are designed and programmed and applied in human society. The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. Computer scientists are in very high demand in all walks of life. Everything today from the breakfast on your plate to the holiday you take is controlled by computer systems. Everything about computer science is relevant to everybody’s life.

Pupils study computer science and IT for one period per week at KS3 and then at KS4 they can follow one of two pathways. They can opt for either GCSE Computer Science and/or IT.

Computer science is essential knowledge that gives pupils the cultural capital to succeed in their lives in a modern society.


Implementation – how is our curriculum being delivered?

Algorithms – these are the instructions that provide the solutions to the problems in computer science.

Programming – taking the algorithm solutions and turning that into code that the computer can work with.

Hardware – this looks at the computer as a machine and how it works.

Networks – how do computers share data with each other.

Computers in society – How has the computer changed the world? How do we as humans live in a digital world? How do we advise our pupils about how to stay safe in a digital world?

Information technology – using computer software to present and model information.


Impact – what difference is our curriculum making?

Computer Science is present in almost every industry and part of life and therefore enhances the majority of other subjects available on the curriculum. Algorithmic and computational thinking are key problem-solving skills and the fundamentals can be applied to any situation, especially where a system in required to solve a problem. Studying GCSE Computer Science will allow progression to A level and university providing a further stepping on to a multitude of careers which may include; Cyber Crime and protection, social media manager using creativity online, Online shopping and e-commerce, computer games development or robotics of the future. The list really is endless, providing a platform into many different areas.

Digital Information Technologies equips students with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed to work in the digital world, Internet of Everything, data manipulation, human-computer interface (HCI) and augmented reality.


Curriculum Overview

The curriculum overview for Computing and IT

The curriculum overview provides a high level guide to the subject matter taught


Key Stage 4 Pathways

At KS4 there are two pathways that pupils can opt for these are GCSE Computer Science and/or Information Technologies


GCSE Computer Science (Edexcel)

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science consists of two externally-examined papers.

Paper 1 is a written examination and Paper 2 is a practical onscreen assessment.

Paper 1 content (50%)

This paper will assess Topics 1 to 5.

● Topic 1: Computational thinking – understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to follow, amend and write algorithms; ability to construct truth tables.

● Topic 2: Data – understanding of binary, data representation, data storage and compression.

● Topic 3: Computers – understanding of hardware and software components of computer systems and characteristics of programming languages.

● Topic 4: Networks – understanding of computer networks and network security.

● Topic 5: Issues and impact – awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, and the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues


Paper 1 Assessment overview

This paper consists of five compulsory questions, each one focused on one of the topic areas. The questions consist of multiple-choice, short-, medium- and extended-open response, tabular and diagrammatic items


Paper 2 content (50%)

This paper will assess Topic 6: Problem solving with programming. The main focus of this paper is

● understanding what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work in relation to creating programs

● understanding how to decompose and analyse problems

● ability to read, write, refine and evaluate programs.


Paper 2 Assessment overview

This practical paper requires students to design, write, test and refine programs in order to solve problems. Students will complete this assessment onscreen using their Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of choice.

They will be provided with:

● coding files ● a hard copy of the question paper

● Programming Language Subset (PLS) – as an insert in the question paper and in electronic format.

Students should then answer the questions onscreen using Python 3. This assessment consists of six compulsory questions


Information Technologies (OCR Nationals)

This course is made up of 3 topics of study.

R050: IT in the digital world

In this unit, students will learn the theoretical knowledge and understanding to apply design tools for applications, principles of human computer interfaces and the use of data and testing in different contexts when creating IT solutions or products.

Students will understand the uses of Internet of Everything and the application of this in everyday life, cyber-security and legislations related to the use of IT systems, and the different types of digital communications software, devices, and distribution channels

R060: Data manipulation using spreadsheets

In this unit, students will learn the skills to be able to plan and design a spreadsheet solution to meet client requirements. They will be able to use a range of tools and techniques to create a spreadsheet solution based on their design, which they will test.

Students will be able to evaluate their solution based on the user requirements.

R070: Using augmented reality to present information

In this unit, students will learn the purpose, use and types of augmented reality (AR) in different contexts and how they are used on different digital devices. They will develop the skills to be able to design and create an AR model prototype, using a range of tools and techniques.

Students will also be able to test and review their AR model prototype.


The Curriculum Team:

Mr C. Blackburn (Curriculum Leader)

Mr P. Chohan

Mr S. Hussain