Computer Science

Head of Department:  Mrs M. Acquah

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 and 8 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, introduction to Python, and database development.

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, and wired and wireless networks.

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.

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 9, 10 and 11 students will learn about Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. 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 topics covered in each term please see the relevant year group’s Curriculum Booklet in the Student area of our website.