The Computing Department has been led by Mr Wilkinson for the last 14 years. He has been supported by ICT Colleagues, Mrs Antrobus, Ms Hewitt, Mr Meharg and Mr Reid. In Computing, students follow a range of courses throughout Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

The Department focuses on Computer Science, Digital Media and Information Technology. 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.
 
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.
 
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, B3 and B13. 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 and Moodle, our open source VLE. 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.
 

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 current Year 9 Curriculum is to provide learners with a large scope of ICT skills and to equip them with an understanding of ICT at GCSE level. Pupils cover five units of work across the year; ‘Understanding Computer Systems’, ‘Databases’, ‘The Moral and Ethical Issues affecting users of ICT’, the ‘BBC School Report’ and a research project on the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.

 

In Years 10 and 11, the department offers Cambridge National s in ICT. This is equivalent to 1 full GCSE. The course consists of four equally weighted units of 25% each. Three of the units are coursework assessed. The fourth unit is an external examination, lasting one hour and fifteen minutes. Grades available range from Distinction* Level 2 to Pass Level 1.

We also offer the GCSE Computing course for Years 10 and 11, as an after school option.  For the current Year 11, students will be awarded a grade from A* to G.  In Year 10, the students are undertaking the new GCSE specification, with grades ranging from 1-9.

Successful completion of this course, will help allow students to choose Level 3 courses in ICT or Computing, or assist in their application for employment and / or training opportunities.

 
In Year 13, the department offers BTEC Nationals 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.  Like the BTEC, the grades range from Distinction* to Pass.  Again this course has the standard UCAS tariffs.

Successful completion of these courses, will allow students to pursue Computing and ICT related courses at Higher Education.
 

There are after school classes and intervention for Year 11 ICT, Cambridge Nationals Level 2. There are GCSE Computing classes for Year 10 on Tuesdays and Year 11 on Wednesdays, both after school.
Year 7 students can use computers in B1 on every lunchtime except Mondays, for schoolwork and homework.

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.

 
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 Mutimedia Applications. This will be an interesting, exciting and challenging time for everyone, teachers and students alike!