Computer Science

 

About Curriculum Area

Currently there is a shortage of people with the right Computer Science expertise in the UK. Computer science is not just good for the economy, it is fun and it gives young people huge opportunities in life.

Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. Pupils apply the academic principles to the understanding of real-world systems, and to the creation of purposeful artifacts. This combination of principles, practice, and invention makes it an extraordinarily useful and a hugely creative subject, filled with excitement, “it works!”

Introduction

The course gives students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works.

Students will be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology.  However, this course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find fascinating.

The course provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment. The increasing importance of information technologies means there is growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area.

Students who’ve taken a GCSE in Computing and who then progress to study the subject at A Level or university will have an advantage over their colleagues who are picking up the subject at these levels.

The course develops critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and applied in day-to-day life.

In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

Teaching Staff

Mr Wayne Gregory

Facilities

IT and Computing are taught in 2 brand new, purpose built computer suites. In addition to this outstanding learning environment, students benefit from access to new computers with a very high specification.

Approach to Learning

Computer Science offers a hugely rewarding learning experience to students. Gaining an in-depth understanding of how computers work is academically challenging, but students are supported by OCR’s interactive and adaptive Cogbooks learning on-line learning platform. Students can prepare for lessons and review work on-line. Lessons are supported by short video clips and adaptive learning, where more help is provided if needed, and also more challenging work where  appropriate. There is also a GCSE Learn Online App, with all course content and videos easily accessible on your phone.

There are lots of opportunities for collaborative work in the programming components of the course.

Students can choose from a range of practical investigation projects, offering opportunities for independent learning.

Year 7

New September 2015

BBC mciro:bit is a  is a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology.

The BBC micro:bit has been designed to encourage children to move away from seeing laptops and tablets as ‘devices you can do things on’ to ‘devices you can use to make other things happen’. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free.

The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own.

Each element of the BBC micro:bit is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website (available later in the summer at microbit.co.uk) that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile. Students’  personal areas on the website will allow them to save and test their creations in a simulator before they are transferred to their micro:bit, and the available tools scale to be as complex as their ideas, imagination and skills require.

Visit the website http://www.microbit.co.uk/

Year 7 work on a series of projects. These include:

Office documents:

Students learn what is meant by the ‘cloud’ and its advantages over local documents. Students learn how to share documents and work collaboratively.

On-line safety.

Students learn how to be safe on line, and understand the importance of acting appropriately.

Programming with a visual program.

Students develop their coding skills with Scratch, a visual programming language. With Scratch, students program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share their creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Computing leaflet – Year 11 outline

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