Computing & IT

Key Stage Three: ICT

General information:

We live in a forever changing digital world where it has become a necessity to be constantly connected. Computer technology is constantly changing, individuals increasingly need to develop their knowledge in the fields of IT, computing and digital literacy. The Computer Science and IT department delivers a wide range of projects at KS3 that all incorporate different areas of the Computing and IT programme of study. All topic areas we teach at KS3 are recommended by the Department for Education (DFE) in their National Curriculum guidance for Computing and IT.

The department deliver a wide range of different online safety lessons through various projects, as well as inviting outside agencies to come in and give talks to our students. We also run various assemblies throughout the academic year to ensure our students are reminded and understand how to behave responsibly and within the law when using the internet and digital devices.

The high quality projects delivered at KS3 allow the students to use computational thinking and understand how creativity changes the world. The students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Various projects allow the students to become digitally literate to be able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in our digital world. The essential topics covered at KS3 greatly prepare our students for further study of Computer Science at KS4.

Key Stage 3 Outline: 

The Computer Science Department’s KS3 curriculum covers all of the national curriculum guidance that has been set out by the Department For Education. This is a good foundation for preparing student's for further study at GCSE. 

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Year 7 Induction and E-Safety 1 Creating a brand Future Technology Scratch Cryptography Independent Learning Project
Year 8 Digital Detectives Problem Solving Murder Database Understanding Computers Band Manager Independent Learning Project
Year 9 E-Safety 2 Python 1 Control How the Web Works Website Design Preparing for GCSE Website Design Preparing for GCSE


Key Stage Four: ICT

GCSE Computer Science (AQA) – Old Specification from September 2015 – May 2017 (End)

GCSE Computer Science helps you think about how technology is created. It allows you to understand how people work together with computers to develop world changing programs. The course consists of three units and is equivalent to one GCSE. The chosen programming language used throughout this course is Python.

The course consists of three units. Two practical assessments where students are required to develop a computer program based on a task provided by the examination board and a written examination. The chosen programming language used throughout this course is Python. Please see the table below to see how the GCSE is assessed.

Paper 1: Written Examination

Paper 2: Written Assessment

Non-Exam assessment (NEA)

1 hour 30 minutes

1 hour 30 minutes

20 hours of work

What’s assessed?

Computational thinking,
Problem solving, Code tracing, Applied computing, Algorithms, programming, data representation and computer systems.

Data representation, computer systems and computer networks, cyber security, ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society - including issues of privacy.  

The NEA assesses a student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem.

40% of GCSE

40% of GCSE

20% of GCSE

A mix of multiple choice, short answers and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills.

The task is a development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem.


Year 10

Year 11



Programming / NEA


Data representation

Programming / NEA


Computational Thinking / Problem solving

Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society -


Programming / Computer Systems



Programming / Computer Networks

Revision / Examination


Programming / Cyber Security


Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) – Multimedia DA202 - Until May 2017

CiDA promotes the creative use of digital applications, helping learners make the move from consumers to producers of digital contents. Students use modern software applications to create exciting digital products in real world contexts and showcase them in an e-portfolio.  The course consists of two units and is equivalent to one GCSE.

Unit 1: Developing web products

Unit 2: Multimedia

Project management and the systems life cycle, Designing and creating products that are viewed in a web browser and are suitable for a given purpose and audience, HTML code and simple Java programs and
Testing and Evaluation

Designing and creating digital assets such as video, animation images and audio. Developing a multimedia product for a given scenario. Prototyping and testing
Product Review.

Practical computer-based examination 25%

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) 75%


Year 10

Year 11


Designs /  for a given scenario and collect, edit and create digital assets

Review of the finished prototype


Designs /  for a given scenario and collect, edit and create digital assets

E-portfolio / Exam preparation


Designs /  for a given scenario and collect, edit and create digital assets

E-portfolio / Exam preparation


Creating the prototype / testing

E-portfolio / Exam preparation


Creating the prototype / testing

Revision / Exam


Improvements to the prototype based on test buddy feedback


KS5 Outline

A-Level Computer Science (AQA) New Specification from September 2015

Students choosing A-Level Computer Science will be well-prepared to take on the challenges of the modern world. A world in which the impact of computing will continue to increase. The need for problem-solvers being able to meet these challenges head-on is paramount.


Subject Content:  

1. Programming

Imperative procedural-oriented, OOP, recursive techniques

2. Data structures

Arrays, lists, dictionaries, hash tables, queue, graph, tree, stack, vector, fields, records, files (text & binary)

3. Algorithms

Traversal, search, sort, optimisation

4. Theory of computation

Abstraction, automation, FSM with and without output, language hierarchy, complexity, Turing machines

5. Data representation

Number systems/bases, information coding systems, encryption

6. Computer systems

Logic gates, Boolean algebra, program translator types, classification of programming languages, system software

7. Computer organisation and architecture 

Machine code/assembly language, CPU, internal components of computer, external hardware devices (limited range)

8. Consequences of uses of computing

Software and their algorithms embed moral & cultural values, issue of scale brings potential for great good but also ability to cause great harm, challenges facing legislators

9. Communication and networking

Communication methods/basics, network topology, wireless, the Internet, TCP/IP, CRUD applications and REST, JSON, JavaScript

10. Databases

Data modelling, relational database, SQL, client server databases

11. Big Data

Volume/velocity/variety, fact-based model, distributed processing and functional programming

12. Fundamentals of functional programming

Function type, first-class object, function application, partial function application, composition of functions, map, filter, reduce, lists

13. Systematic approach to problem solving

Skills needed for Paper 1 and NEA

14. NEA

The computing practical project


  What's Assesed? Assesed Questions
Paper 1 This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from subject content 1-4 above and the skills required from section 13 above.

On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A-level
Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an Electronic Answer Document provided by the examination board. Preliminary Material, a Skeleton Program and, where appropriate, test data, for use in the exam.
Paper 2 This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions from subject content 5-12 above.
Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
40% of A-level
Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.
Non-Examination Assessment The non-exam assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, as shown in section 13 above. 75 Marks  


Year 12

Year 13


Fundamentals of programming

Data Structures


Data Representation &
Systematic approach to problem solving (On going)

Algorithms / Big data


Problem solving and theory of computation


Computer Systems / Communicating and networking


Hardware and software



Computer organisation and architecture

Consequences of uses of computing


NEA (Ongoing through Y13)



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