Computer Science

Lead Teacher:  Mr N. Kakou

Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. Computing requires and develops capabilities in solving deep, multi-dimensional problems requiring imagination and sensitivity to a variety of concerns.

We have three fully equipped computer suites for lessons, plus additional computer facilities in our library and common rooms for students to use outside of lesson time. The teaching team is made up of specialised staff who deliver a rigorous and relevant curriculum and strive to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience in Computer Science.

Key Stage 3

All year 7, 8 and 9 students at St Aloysius’ College study Computer Science. Students are introduced to the fundamental principles and concepts, from which they are able to develop more sophisticated skills. Students produce solutions to real-world problems, gaining experience from extensive practical work whilst simultaneously forming a solid understanding of the theories that underpin technology.

In year 7 students initially learn the importance of and how to use computers safely, effectively and responsibly, this topic is revisited continuously throughout Computer Science studies. Year 7 cover topics including; understanding computers, networks and introduction to Python.

During year 8 students use the fundamental knowledge gained from year 7 to undertake more
complex topics and projects. Broad topics include; Python, systems architecture, memory and
storage, data representation, systems software, Algorithms, Boolean Logic and HTML.

Year 9 is manly based on development of creative projects that involve selecting, using, and
combining multiple applications, to achieve challenging goals, including meeting the needs of users, therefore HTML and animation software will be used to construct good-looking, well-formatted interactive websites that are suitable for its intended audience. They will also use a wide selection of drawing and animation techniques to create an animation that is suitable for a specific audience and purpose.
By the end of KS3 all students will have gained a knowledge of algorithms, binary numbers,
hardware and software, various types of data, programming, and how to use technology safely,
respectfully, responsibly and securely. They will become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Key Stage 4

Students choosing to undertake GCSE Computer Science will develop a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills. Students will pursue the OCR course which is relevant to the modern, changing world of computing, it’s designed to boost computing skills essential for 21st century.

Aspects of the course focuses on cyber security – It looks at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems. A greater emphasis on ‘computational thinking’ – cloud based programming and course content platform where students can learn the theory and apply it in real life situations, in any computing language. The course encourages mental versatility – students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.

Throughout years 10 and 11 students will learn about Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer
memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and systemsoftware. Students will also gain further knowledge and understanding using computational thinking; algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation.

For a more detailed explanation of the GCSE course and assessment format please click here.

For a more detailed breakdown of the curriculum please see the Curriculum Overview and more details can also be found in the Curriculum Booklet.