Department Overview

The Computing Department is led by Mr Martin, he is supported by ICT Colleagues, Mr Wilkinson and Ms Hewitt. In Computing, students follow a range of courses throughout Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

The Department focuses on the Computing Progression Pathways which is underpinned by the National Curriculum. Students are expected to analyse, design, problem solve and develop computational thinking skills. Also students need to be aware of E-safety issues and how they can protect themselves.

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Our Aims

  • Develop and maintain students' interest in using Computing.
  • Students to develop competence in a range of Computing skills.
  • Students develop independent learning and confidence through the use of Computing.
  • To be able to select and present information effectively.
  • To develop transferable skills that can be applied to problem solving.

Accomodation and Resources

The Computing Department is mainly based in four purposed built suites, with at least 30 desktop computers in each room. These rooms are B1, B2 and B3. There are many additional facilities around the school building, shared by all subject areas, with both PC and Apple Mac machines.

The Department uses a range of digital resources, including online media such as the One Drive alongside online applications and programs. In all rooms throughout the school there are Promethean Interactive Boards. The Computing facilities were fully refurbished in 2011, following the opening of the new school building, and extensive refurbishment of the existing facilities.

Key Stage 3

E-safety is at the heart of all we do in year 7, our main focus is on ensuring pupils have the ability to find and identify useful, accurate, unbiased information. We then ensure that they are able to communicate it to a range of audiences without plagiarism. We do not operate a BYOD (bring your own device) system as the complexity of privacy and security legislation and our relationship with our IT infrastructure providers are restrictive. As part of our links with home and parents or careers an E-safety presentation will be given at regular intervals and a wealth of information is available on our web site.

The year 8 curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore more complex computing and ICT topics. They are introduced to the concept of programming. Using sequences and instructions they control events and are encouraged to develop and refine to produce their own projects. Students work with web based programmes to develop their multimedia knowledge and skills. The course concludes with data and data representation unit which provides an opportunity for students to consider the way data is handled and processed by computer systems.

The main objective of the Year 9 Core Curriculum is to provide learners with a large scope of ICT skills and to equip them with an understanding of ICT. Pupils cover six units of work across the year. Topics include eSafety, databases, computational thinking and we also encourage students to complete the iDEA award badges which can lead to certification at bronze, silver and gold standard. The iDEA award is a nationally recognised programme.

Key Stage 4

In Year 9, 10 and 11 we offer the BTEC Digital Information Technology qualification. The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • development of key skills that prove your aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data
  • process that underpins effective ways of working in digital information technology, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct
  • attitudes that are considered most important in digital information technology, including personal management and communication
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.

Key Stage 5

In Year 13, the department offers the Cambridge Technical Award in ICT. There is the opportunity to undertake the full award (one full A Level equivalent) or a half award (one AS equivalent). The grades available range from Distinction* to Pass. The course has the standard UCAS tariffs. In Year 12, the department offers Cambridge Technicals Level 3. Successful completion of these courses, will allow students to pursue Computing and ICT related courses at Higher Education.

Pupils who have not achieved a grade 4 at GCSE are required to resit their GCSE in years 12 and 13 until a grade 4 is achieved. Pupils will have three maths lessons timetabled each week for this course.

Extra-curricular Activities

There are after school classes and intervention for Year 9, 10 and 11 ICT, to allow for catch up and support on the BTEC Digital Information Technology course. Year 7 students can use computers in B2 after school, for schoolwork and homework and also we have a Code Club in development. Students are free to use computers out of lesson times in order to further develop their learning and progress at any time, subject to negotiation with a supervising Computing teacher.

More information about our department

The introduction of the new National Curriculum has created many changes in this curriculum area. A much greater emphasis will be on Computing, although some of the curriculum diet will feature the familiar content of Information Technology, with use of Office Technology and Multimedia Applications. This will be an interesting, exciting and challenging time for everyone, teachers and students alike!

For more information please contact Mr Martin on 0151 541 9440.

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