Course Leader Mr S Murray
What is Computer Science?
Computer Science is the study of computers and computing concepts. It includes both hardware and software, as well as networking and the Internet.
Our vision is to inspire and equip students to develop problem solving skills and use computational thinking to understand the daily change in computer technology.
Why do we study Computer Science?
A high-quality computing education equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate – able to express and develop their ideas through information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Our students will:
- learn by actively participating in all lessons to build confidence in using computational thinking, with a positive attitude and trying their best at all times
- be introduced to core principles of computer science and develop skills in problem solving and computational thinking
- further develop programming skills using high-level textual programming languages
- develop an understanding of computer science methods in the real world – decomposing and modelling aspects of real-world situations, and as a result be able to design, build and test a fully-programmed solution to a problem
- innovative about technology and the digital world
- apply computational thinking in context, which is evidenced through examined assessment and a programming project at key stage 4
- develop knowledge and understanding of how technology can be used to help proactively with current issues that impact on modern society
- be ready to move on to level 3 studies in Computing with a clear knowledge and understanding of the subject
- develop transferable skills for progression to higher education. In particular, they will develop ‘underpinning’ concepts, which are useful in many subjects, for example mathematics, science, engineering
What do we study?
The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. Pupils study the design, development and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts. Because computers solve problems to serve people, there is a significant human side to computer science as well.
To view a full summary of our KS3 and KS4 Computer Science curriculum please click here
To view information about A-level Computer Science at the Green School Sixth Form please click here
Students in year 7 begin computer science by learning How to Use Computers Safely, Effectively and Responsibly in order to prepare them adequately for the computing principles they will later encounter. Students move on to learning about Computer Crime and Cyber Security to reinforce the knowledge necessary for them to remain safe online in the modern world. At the end of year 7 students are introduced to programming using Scratch to develop programming skills and application of logical thinking to computing before they encounter programming languages later in the course. Year 8 students begin with learning about using spreadsheets to build on their understanding of using computers and logic in contexts applicable to common real-world scenarios. They then move on to computational thinking to build on the use of logic and algorithms in computing before they start programming using Python. Python is the language used in the Edexcel GCSE course so this gives students a basic introduction to prepare them for GCSE should they elect to take their studies further. In Year 9 students further refine their programming skills using Python before moving on to study Networks to build on their understanding of how computers communicate. Students in year 9 begin learning a second programming language when they progress to learning HTML and its use in web development to support their programming skills with a very different application. Students begin learning how to manipulate sound using computers to support students choosing to take computing further to GCSE where they encounter some of the principles developed at KS3. Students in year 9 also focus on Understanding Computers to gain an idea into the unseen workings of computers and learn how the different components work together to produce a complex computer. Students complete their key stage 3 journey by studying AI and Machine Learning, demonstrating how computers can be used for specific applications in the modern world.
How do we study Computer Science?
The Computer Science curriculum is studied in a variety of practical and theoretical topics, which are based on the new Key Stage 3 programme of study. This enables pupils, should they wish to take the subject further, to be confident to progress to optional GCSE Key Stage 4 Computer Science. Homework is set weekly for all students, which may consist of consolidation or of new learning.
Presentation of Work
Students work on Google classroom. Each student also has an exercise book to take notes and revise. Student books should be neat and legible.. Each unit will start with a unit checklist for self- assessment and each end of unit has a feed forward sheet to allow for student reflection. When the work is produced in Google classroom, students are expected to respond to the teacher’s comments. When students are completing feed forward they must use green pen to feedback, when writing by hand.
Challenging home learning is set in line with the school policy. Home learning will be appropriate for the Key Stage of the student. Home learning consolidates learning, deepens understanding and prepares students for the work to come.
Students have a responsibility to complete all home learning tasks set to the best of their ability and to hand in tasks on time via Google Classroom.
Co - curricular activities
Computer Science club is available to all students. It aims to broaden their subject knowledge using various coding activities e.g. Repl.it
Assessment throughout the year includes:
- formative assessment in lessons through discussion and plenaries
- completion of unit worksheets
- summative assessment takes place at the end of a topic where strengths and improvements are identified and students respond to this feedforward
Careers Leading on from Computer Science
With new technological innovations driving up the demand for skilled scientists, computer pros are among the most in-demand job applicants.
Top 10 careers in Computer Science: Software Developer, Database Administrator , Hardware Engineer, Computer Systems Analyst, Network Architect, Web Developer, Information Security Analyst, Computer and Information Research Scientists, Computer Systems Managers, IT Project Manager.
To view more information about our school Careers programme please click here.
How parents/carers can support their children
Parents can support students by providing a calm and quiet learning environment. Parents can also question and test students on key terms and topics used.
Encourage your child to join a coding club.
Ensure that your child completes home learning and checks Google classroom for any work set.
- But How Do It Know? by J Clark Scott
- Python Basics Level 1 (Cambridge University) by Chris Roffey
- Python Next Steps Level 2 (Cambridge University) by Chris Roffey
- Python Building BIG apps Level 3' (Cambridge University) by Chris Roffey