Computer Science

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Computing Department


# Name
Subject Leader Computer Science Mr L Challenor
Computing Teachers Miss C Shea
Mrs C Gouli


Over the last decade there has been a major change in the curriculum introducing computer science as stand-alone subject. The subject is an important part of the modern digital age. As we prepare students for the ever changing technological environment, computer science helps students understand the pivotal role technology plays in the modern day world.

Parents are encouraged to discuss the project topics and explain how technology has continually changed over the decades.  Commenting on the use of computers in daily life and how important they are will help students to see Computer Science as a skill that they cannot do without.  They can also ensure students complete their electronic homework, which is on either Doddle or SAM Learning - information about homework is recorded on Show My Homework.

Computer science is a now a core subject in both Years 7 and 8; students in Grammar stream have at least one lesson per week, while the rest of the students learn computer science as part of the ICT curriculum. After the end of year 8, it is hoped that students pick the Computer Science GCSE when they select their options.

Students studying computer science will complete a number of different units ranging from Computational thinking and Algorithms to programming. They will get hands on experience at programming as well as learning how computers work and their impact on society.

When students reach year 9, they will start their GCSE preparation - see the Key Stage 4 section below.

Key Stage 3


The programme of study is split into a variety of different topics which link with all three strands.

Year 7 Term 1
Unit 1 - E-safety

Presentation skills
Audience & purpose
Information reliability
E-safety - fundamentals

Year 7 Term 2
Unit 2 - Hardware & Networks

Computer systems
Peripherals & storage devices
Networks presentations
File permissions & security

Year 7 Term 3
Unit 3 - Coding with Scratch

Game making
Sequencing instructions
Graphical imagery

Year 7 Term 4
Unit 4 - Coding with Python
Introduction to programming with Python
Programming basics
Year 7 Term 5
Unit 5 - Cryptography

Computing icons past & present
History of Cryptography
Vigenère, Ceaser & pig pen ciphers

Year 7 Term 6 
Unit 6 - Hour of Code
Block coding
Code sequences
Python output, debugging, variables and assignment for loops, iteration,
Year 8 - Term 1
Unit 1 - Information Systems
Spreadsheet key terms - cell, column, cell reference, formula
Formatting cells
Functions - SUM, AVERAGE
Creating formulae functions - MIN, MAX, Creating charts, conditional formatting
Filtering, IF statements, data validation
Year 8 Term 2
Unit 2 - Control Algorithms
System lifecycle
Control devices
Systems design and user-centred design
Year 8 Term 3
Unit 3 - Coding 1
Code sequences
Python output, debugging, testing
Python input, variables & assignment for loops
Year 8 Term 4
Unit 4 - Coding 2

For loops
White loops
Functions, lists

Year 8 Term 5
Unit 5 - Data representation

Using binary to represent whole numbers, boolean, logic gate
AND gate, OR gate, NOT gate
converting from binary to decimal, converting from decimal to binary, pixels
Bitmaps, resolution, Vectors
Character sets, ASCII, character codes

Year 8 Term 6
Unit 6 - Web design

Create a website
HTML basics
Further HTML
Publishing on the web
Blogs and wikis
Internet broadcasting

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4


YEARS 9-11


AQA computer science has been created specifically to get students working with real-world programming and to provide a good understanding of the fundamental principles of computer science.

The scheme of work includes computational thinking, looking at how computer programs are developed from algorithms and how students can create their own algorithms using abstraction and decomposition to solve real world problems. Other units cover the areas of programming and computer systems as well as specific skills like cyber security which are in high demand in industry.The units of work provide an academically challenging specification for students of all ability levels.

Students can also choose from a range of programming languages for their non-exam assessment,

The AQA Computer Science GCSE has built-in progression to further studies and is recognised as developing the skills that employers value.







3.1 Fundamentals of algorithms

3.2 Programming

3.3 Fundamentals of data representation

3.4 Computer systems

Component 1

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving


1 hour 30 minutes examination



Paper is out of 80 marks

50% of the GCSE



3.5 Fundamentals of computer networks

3.6 Fundamentals of cyber security

3.7 Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

Component 2

Paper 2: Written assessment




1 hour 30 minutes examination





Paper is out of 80 marks

50% of the GCSE


3.8  Aspects of software development      
3.9  Programming Project Component 3
Programming project
20 hours Coursework project Monitoring purposes only
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