Computer Science

Aims

Ensure that all pupils are computer literate and have the opportunity to reach their potential in using the Computing facilities, not only in discrete Computer Science lessons, but across the whole curriculum.


Staff and facilities

The department is staffed by two full time teachers. There are two main computer suites which are part of the school wide network. Each suite has a set of large-screen computers, interactive whiteboard and colour printing facilities. Headphones, graphics tablets and BBC MicroBit computers are also available in each suite.


Subject time per 10-day cycle

  • 1st and 2nd Year – two lessons plus homework
  • 3rd Year (optional) – three lessons plus homework
  • GCSE (optional) – five lessons plus homework and Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)

Class sizes

First and Second Year Computer Science is taught in form groups of around 25 pupils. In the 3rd year and GCSE groups are usually kept to the maximum size of approximately 20 pupils.


Computer Science in the Lower School

In the first two years pupils learn how to use many of the latest software applications used in business and will develop skills in all areas of ICT & Computer Science including graphics, office applications, programming and online safety. In the 3rd year there is more of an emphasis on pure Computer Science and pupils focus on their programming skills along with cryptography, environmental impact of computers and the digital divide. Pupils have their own e-mail address and access to the internet, through our filtered line, to carry out research for their work in school.


Computer Science further up the school

If pupils choose the GCSE Computer Science they will be involved in developing a comprehensive understanding of how computers and networks operate. Mathematical ability plays a huge part in this course, as does programming competence. Pupils learn about the ethics and laws governing computer use as well as cyber security and how binary numbers are used to represent sound and images. They are expected to show their level of ability by completing a complex programming task (NEA). This helps to demonstrate their skills as a resilient problem solver.


Can I do my homework at school?

Yes, whenever the Computer suites are open. Pupils can also access the school network from home using the Citrix gateway or OneDrive. This means that work started in school can be continued at home and vice versa. Pupils are also encouraged to use Citrix or OneDrive when working from home as it means their work is stored on our servers that are backed up each night. This removes the need for transporting important files on USB pen drives.


When can I use the computer?

Pupils have access to the computers whenever a member of staff is present. This means that break and lunch times can be used for consolidation, catch-up and exam preparation.


Clubs

Animation club meets in CR2 one lunchtime per week and covers many aspects of computer animation using software and modelling clay.


Games

Our policy is that the network is provided for educational purposes only. Pupils are not allowed to play computer games on the school computers unless it is part of a class activity specified by a teacher.


Resources

Although pupils can access email and the school network via the internet, they are also able to access learning resources via SGS Online. This is our virtual learning environment and this should be the first place to look for revision material and lesson notes. The school has also adopted ClickView which is a means of delivering video and audio content to pupils through the internet.