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The Waingels Computer Science department is committed to helping our students develop essential computing skills that they will need for their futures. We aim to foster an interest in the subject and help students build confidence in their own abilities. Students develop skills in computing and logical thinking, and then applying their knowledge to solve problems. The Computer Science department has very close links with the Mathematics department and benefits from the overlap between the 2 subjects.
Our curriculum is designed to develop these skills, and to prepare students as best we can for their GCSEs in Computer Science. Students build practical skills using popular computer packages and develop their programming skills as they progress through school.
Years 7 & 8
In Years 7 and 8, Computer Science is integrated into the Mathematics curriculum. Students spend a week in the computer suite each half term and work on a project that develops key skills. Assessment is based on the progress they make through the project and is reported on within the feedback in Mathematics. Students will receive homework tasks designed to consolidate the content taught in lesson.
In Year 9, Computer Science is taught as a separate subject with a separate curriculum. Students receive 3 lessons a fortnight and build on the content covered in Year 7 and 8.
Assessments take a variety of forms but are all linked to the future assessment they will face in the GCSEs. Student progress is measured and tracked, with opportunities for them to work on any skills identified as needing improvement before that skill is assessed again.
Students will receive homework tasks designed to consolidate the content taught in lesson or to revise content due to be built upon in a future lesson. Information about this will be shared with parents regularly.
In Year 9, the content that students study is more challenging and designed to be a stepping stone between the beginning of Key Stage 3 and the higher level of GCSE. Students develop more advance problem solving skills and work almost exclusively on GCSE level content.
Years 10 & 11
Computer Science is a popular optional subject for students. It is assessed by two examinations. The examinations take place at the end of Year 11. Students develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of computational languages, methods and concepts. This GCSE will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It is expected that learners will become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science. Learners will also draw on this underpinning content when completing the Programming Project component.
The new specification can be accessed here.
Computer Science is a well-regarded A level. A number of our students continue their studies on to degree level very successfully. With a Computer Science A level, students can prove to employers and universities that they are analytical, articulate, logical and able to problem solve.
This Computer Science course is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. This A Level in Computer Science values computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. Learners will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. The project approach is a vital component of ‘post-school’ life and is of particular relevance to Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace. Each learner has the opportunity to tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices and aspirations.
This A Level consists of three externally-examined papers. Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year.
The specification can be accessed here.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
The Computer Science department offers a range of extra curricular opportunities to further broaden our students’ experiences. These include trips to Computing shows and sites such as Bletchley Park to demonstrate the impact this subject has had on our lives. Entering the Raspberry Pi Competition to create products that will help people or the environment. We also tackle challenges on Cyber Discovery to understand the cyber security threats of the world.
Subject Leader: Mr D Dodds
Mrs S Randhawa – Teacher of Computer Science