Computer Science and I.T.
Computer Science and I.T. systems are at the heart of modern life. We aim to help students to think logically and use technology to solve a wide range of problems. We encourage all students to be creative with technology and be confident as both users and developers of software tools, including understanding how to stay safe in the connected digital world.
Computer Science is taught in four specialist I.T. suites, equipped with up-to-date hardware and software. As far as possible, the department uses open source packages that students can use at home for free.
Key Stage 3
Students study the fundamentals of computer science, including problem-solving skills, developing algorithms and logic. Students also study the practical applications of computer science, including computer hardware and writing code. While many students will have seen some skills or applications before, the emphasis is on the depth of understanding. Students also cover the core office skills that they will require in their other subjects.
Year 8 builds on Year 7 and introduces students to the Python programming language. The focus is on building confidence writing code and solving problems so that students are free to develop their own programs. Students also create graphics for use in a business and develop their project planning skills.
Year 9 is a preparation for study at GCSE level. Students will continue to develop their programming skills and creative talents through a variety of projects designed to help students decide which route they wish to follow at KS4, including studying the development of websites and the Internet and the impact of these technologies on society. The emphasis is on extended project work, bringing together a range of skills and tools for a specific business purpose. In particular, students will be required to test and evaluate their work regularly to guide their progress.
Note that e-Safety is a core part of each year and is addressed both within computer science lessons and through whole-school events.
Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based upon their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow. The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Computer Science
wide range of computing topics, including number systems, logic, computer systems, hardware and software, networking, databases and programming. Assessment is through two exams, taken at the end of year 11 and one piece of coursework, produced in Year 11. We follow the new OCR GCSE course.
Cambridge Nationals in ICT
As an alternative to Computer Science, students can study our ICT course. This focuses on using technology to create graphics and interactive digital products, including websites. The course is largely based on three coursework units, although there is also a short exam covering the fundamentals of computer systems in a business context; one project also covers the business uses of IT and everyday software tools.
Key Stage 5
A Level Computing
This course is an ideal stepping stone to further study at university and complements A Level mathematics. The focus is on understanding algorithms, including their efficiency and computability. Students explore these topics practically in a variety of programming languages.
Level 3 BTEC IT
This course covers the skills required to pursue a career in the IT industry, with a focus on network management and IT support. Student study 12 modules covering a range of topics from building computers to managing a database and may also take selected Microsoft Qualifications as part of their assessment.