Computer Science

The Computer Science department aims to develop courses that promote critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life.

Our courses provide excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems.

These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

Comments from a GCSE Computer Science student:
“The world is changing and we are using computers a lot more now. I thought it would be a relevant topic to learn about to help me in future life. I like GCSE Computer Science because it’s challenging. I most enjoyed the programming section of the course because it allowed us to write our own programs.”

KEY STAGE 3

In Year 7 students study units in:

In Year 8 students move on to units in:

RECOMMENDED READING

KEY STAGE 4

Students who opt for GCSE Computer Science (9-1) will study the following components:

Computer Systems

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming Algorithms

Programming Project

RECOMMENDED READING

Codecademy is the web resource that does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a good starting point to
discover what computer programming (in JavaScript) can be like. Sometimes unforgiving if you get your syntax
wrong (that's spelling, punctuation and grammar in computer speak). You get feedback as you progress and
learners can compare their score with each other.

Invent With Python is a real book that teaches you step by step how to program using the Python
programming language. The book is available as a hard copy to purchase, a free download or just view it
online for free. The author has a friendly style of writing and explains all the code used clearly. Don't worry
- no references to large snakes.

Computing At School is a free-to-join association for anyone with an interest in computing in education.
Sponsors include Microsoft and Google among others. Benefits of joining include free-to-attend annual
conference, regional hub meetings, competitions, newsletters and teachshares. Meet up with lots of other
like minded people to share and steal good practice.

Code Hero is a totally new way to learn how to code. It's a first-person science shooter game where you
use the code gun to manipulate code. You learn how to code in order to succeed in the game.

Play My Code is "an online platform for building, playing and distributing browser games. Powered by
HTML5, you can build within the browser and embed your games anywhere." Start by simply playing the
games, then make small alterations to make the games easier or more difficult to play, share your altered
games with friends. Before you know it you are a games developer.

Youtube contains many podcasts and academic programs that you can follow.

Alice is a desktop app developed by Carnegie Mellon. More advanced than other programming tools for kids,
Alice teaches the fundamentals of programming in a 3D setting. This makes it ideal for teens. While working
in the app, students can see the code behind the projects they create on the screen. Programming concepts
are learned while students create animated movies and basic video games that they can then share on the
internet. Note: Java runtime is needed for Alice.

App Inventor is a cloud-based tool maintained by MIT. Much like the popular coding app Scratch, App
Inventor has drag-and-drop coding blocks. However, App Inventor includes all methods, functions, and coding
elements that a student would need to create an Android app. This makes it ideal for middle school kids and
up. Students can build apps right in their web browser. The website offers support, but there are no stepby-step instructions to guide students, another reason the tool is best for older students.

Like Codecademy, Khan Academy is an interactive online tool better suited for middle grade
students and above. Khan Academy teaches coding fundamentals using JavaScript and ProcessingJS. Students
will learn how to create animation, games, and drawings through programming. They'll learn how to make
web pages using HTML and CSS. Students can then share their creations with other students and learn from
each other.

KEY STAGE 5

For those wishing to study A level, we deliver OCR Computer Science.

Content Overview

Assessment Overview

RECOMMENDED READING

General:

Internet:

History

Website:
https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/why_oxford/background_reading.html

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