The Computing and Business faculty aims to provide our students with the technical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills needed in a world increasingly dominated by industry and IT systems.
Subjects covered by Computing
Computing collectively includes other subject areas. Please follow the links below to find out more about each subject.
Our Key Stage 3 computing curriculum places an emphasis on programming and Computer Science with elements of ICT. Later, IT, Business and Computer Science are offered as GCSE and A Level options. In addition, a range of related BTEC qualifications are offered to provide a more practical choice for students. Our computing curriculum is enriched through several weekly coding clubs where students have the opportunity to develop their computer programming skills in a more informal learning environment. In business, students can choose to be part of a Young Enterprise programme, which provides practical ways for young people to get a taste of the world of work and the excitement of running a business.
The rest of this page relates to ICT & Computing and contains the following information;
The Computer Science area consists of 5 dedicated PC suites, each of which holds 30-32 workstations, along with whiteboards, projectors and sound systems.
Our workstations run Windows 10, Office 365, Google Classroom, as well as a large range of Adobe multimedia software.
We also have access to digital cameras, a suite of Raspberry Pi computers, class sets of BBC micro:bits, robots and 3D printing facilities.
Key Stage 3
Term 1 – E-Safety
This is a theoretical unit covering the necessary basic knowledge to use computers safely, effectively and responsibly.
Term 2 – Understanding Computers – Part 1
This unit covers the basic principles of computer architecture and use of binary. Students will explore the different parts of a computer and their functions. This will be followed by an in-depth analysis into how storage devices store or represent data using binary patterns.
Term 3 – Computer graphics
This is an introduction to graphics and graphic file types. The unit explores how bitmap and vector images are represented and stored by the computer. There is also opportunity for pupils to practise skills in design, photo editing and image manipulation using layers to create a movie poster using Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Fireworks.
Term 4 – Games Programming in Scratch
Pupils begin this unit with an introduction to the Scratch programming environment, and by reverse-engineering some existing games. They then progress to planning and developing their own game, learning to incorporate variables, procedures, lists and operators. They should be able to create a fully working game with lives, scoring and some randomisation of objects.
Term 5 – App Development
This unit will enable pupils to create a complete app with full takeaway functionality on an iPhone or Android smartphone as well as a desktop web browser in class. Pupils will plan and implement their own projects using skills from a demonstration app including image galleries, video, interactive maps, and web links.
Term 6 – First steps in Small Basic
This unit is an introduction to programming in a textual language designed to make programming easy and approachable for beginners. It starts by introducing Turtle graphics, leading into the use of variables and For…EndFor loops.
Term 1 – Computer crime and cyber security
This unit covers some of the legal safeguards regarding computer use, including overviews of the Computer Misuse Act, Data Protection Act and Copyright Law and their implications for computer use. Phishing scams and other email frauds, hacking, “data harvesting” and identity theft are discussed together with ways of protecting online identity and privacy. Health and Safety Law and environmental issues such as the safe disposal of old computers are also discussed.
Term 2 – BBC micro:Bit
The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer designed to help students understand how a computer works. Having studied programming in year 7, students will be able to develop their existing knowledge of coding. In this unit, students explore how to program the features of a micro:bit, which include an LED light display, buttons, sensors and input/ output devices. Students are encouraged to explore their own ideas and then program the micro:bit accordingly, culminating in an individual project.
Term 3 – Understanding Computers – Part 2
This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles of computer architecture and use of binary. Pupils will revise some of the theory on input and output covered in previous learning and continue to look at the Input-Process-Output sequence and the Fetch-Decode-Execute cycle through practical activities. Pupils will then look at some simple binary to decimal conversion and vice versa, and learn how text characters are represented using the ASCII code. This will be followed by some simple binary addition. Pupils will look more in depth at how storage devices store or represent data using binary patterns. This unit culminates in students dismantling and reassembling a PC during the lesson.
Term 4 – Introduction to Python
This is an introduction to Python, a powerful but easy-to-use high-level programming language. Although Python is an object-oriented language, at this level the object-oriented features of the language are barely in evidence and do not need to be discussed. The focus is on getting pupils to understand the process of developing programs, the importance of writing correct syntax, being able to formulate algorithms for simple programs and debugging their programs. Pupils will look at If statements and While loops whilst covering concepts such as validation and searching.
Term 5 and 6 – HTML and Website Development
In the first three lessons, pupils will learn the basics of HTML and CSS, and how to create a responsive design which adapts to any size of screen for viewing on, say, a mobile phone or a PC. They will learn how to create text styles and add content, including text and graphics, in a specified position on a page, as well as navigation links to other pages on their website and to external websites. The basics of good design are covered and, with the help of worksheets, pupils will develop their own templates in a text editor such as Notepad. They will decide on a topic for their own websites, document their designs and collect suitable text and images. They will then use HTML templates to create their websites, including a web form.
Term 1 – Python: Next steps
Continuing from the Python learning in Year 8, the first lesson has a series of tasks designed to revisit the basic skills already covered. Pupils then use For loops and compare their use with While loops, before moving on to arrays (lists), which are introduced as a new data structure and are used in conjunction with For loops. Procedures and functions with parameters are covered to help pupils understand the concept and benefits of modular programming. This unit is designed to take pupils right up to a point where a GCSE in Computing can pick up and should provide ample experience of programming in order to confirm any decision to pursue Computing as a GCSE option.
Term 2 – Understanding Computers – Part 3 (Networks)
This is a theoretical unit covering the basic principles and architecture of local and wide area networks. Pupils will learn that the World Wide Web is part of the Internet, and how web addresses are constructed and stored as IP addresses using DNS. Pupils will learn about data transmission and through an understanding of different network topologies and network hardware, they will plan the structure of a local area network. Client-server, peer-to-peer networks and the concept of cloud computing are all described. Ways of keeping data secure and simple encryption techniques are also covered.
Terms 3 & 4 – Games Programming in Unity
This extended unit brings together aspects from many previous units / topics where students will use their prior learned programming techniques (this time using C#) to create and then customise a game. Students will also experience how to control and manipulate the Unity Editor. The unit will also incorporate elements of ICT, where students have the opportunity to design their own game with a focus on game mechanics, narratives, levels and characters.
Terms 4 & 5 – Business Project
This second expended project allows students to tailor a project, based on the GCSE options choices they might have made, i.e. Business, IT or Computer Science. Students may end-up producing a wide range of digital or computing-related products that will specifically support them when they begin their Level 2 studies in year 10.
Key Stage 4
Year 10/Year 11
OCR GCSE Computer Science (J276)
This qualification counts towards the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
OCR’s GCSE (9-1) in Computer Science will encourage learners to:
- Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
- Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
- Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
- Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
- Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science
The course is made up of three components, two being theory based and one a practical, programming project:
Component 1 – Computer Systems (50%) 1hr 30min exam:
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Component 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (50%) 1hr 30min exam:
Producing robust programs
Translators and facilities of languages
Component 3 – Programming Project (20 hours in class): This component doesn’t count towards the overall qualification, but is a formal requirement and consolidates the learning across the specification through practical activity:
Testing and evaluation and conclusions
OCR Creative iMedia (J817)
This qualification consists of four units which each contribute to 25% of the marks for the overall qualification.
Unit RO81: Pre-production skills: Students will learn about how to plan pre-production effectively including understanding of client requirements and reviewing pre-production briefs. This unit provides excellent transferable skills such as project planning which will be useful in a wide variety of contexts.
Unit RO82: Creating digital graphics: Digital graphics are a key part of most digital products and this unit will help students learn how to edit graphics for the creative and digital media sector.
Unit RO85: Creating a multipage website: This unit enables students to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. Student will use their creativity to combine components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website against a client brief.
Unit RO91: Designing a game concept: Students will identify core features of digital games in order to create a game design concept proposal that can be presented to a client for critical review.
Key Stage 5
Year 12/Year 13
OCR Computing, AS and A2 Level GCE
Offered as an option in years 12 and 13, five lessons per week, comprising one coursework unit and three exams.
The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of the organisation of a computer system (including hardware, software, data, communications and people), the greater consequences of using computers (including social, legal and ethical issues) and to be able to apply the understanding and knowledge to solve a range of problems through discussion, reports, programming and using existing software.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology
This qualification is designed for learners who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT.
This qualification consists of four units:
Unit 1: Information Technology Systems: (Year 13) This unit is externally assessed through a written examination. The examination is two hours in length. Learners will be assessed on their understanding of computer systems and the implications of their use in personal and professional situations.
Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information: (Year 12) Learners study the design, creation, testing and evaluation of a relational database system to manage information. This unit is externally assessed through a task set. The set task will be completed under supervised conditions for 10 hours in a one-week period.
Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business: (Year 12) Learners explore how businesses use social media to promote their products and services. Learners also implement social media activities in a business to meet requirements.
- Mr R Potts (Curriculum Leader)
- Mr P Bailey
- Miss A Cushion
- Mr A Hawksworth (Assistant Curriculum Leader)
- Mrs J Ireland
- Mr K Pickles
- MR T Sadler
- Miss A Loh