Computer Science

Curriculum leaders

Ms T Valibhai and Mr D MacPherson

GCSE Examination board:

OCR

Curriculum Intent

The purpose of the AGFS Computer Science curriculum is:

  • To promote ambition by providing a rigorous and far-reaching computing education that brings all the opportunities of a great education: access to further study, careers, and participation in an increasingly technologically dependent economy.
  • To develop growth by giving scholars the opportunity to experience ‘controlled failure’ and develop resilience and independence.
  • To encourage fellowship by giving scholars the knowledge to think critically about the world and acknowledge different perspectives.
  • To cultivate scholarship by promoting a love of knowledge for its own sake, to develop a pursuit of mastery in each academic discipline. This is further developed through our remote learning days, STEAM enrichment, and trips.

Curriculum Organisation

The computer science curriculum is organised by the power standards. These standards reflect the essence of the subject as an academic discipline and reflect the strands of each discipline that must be developed to achieve mastery. These threads are cross-referenced against the KS3 national curriculum, GCSE, A Level specification, and degree courses at Russell Group universities to ensure that scholars’ experience of the subject is as broad and as academically rigorous as possible.

The computer science power standards are:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of computer science.
  2. Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of computer science, IT and digital media.
  3. Analyse problems in computational terms:
    1. to make reasoned judgements.
    2. to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.
  4. Use technology safely, creatively, respectfully, and responsibly.

Curriculum Overview:

Year 7:

  • Module 1: E-safety & understanding computers
  • Module 2: Computational thinking and logic
  • Module 3: Introduction to programming: Small Basic

Year 8:

  • Module 1: Spreadsheet modelling
  • Module 2: Hi-ICT
  • Module 3: Data representation

Year 9:

  • Module 1: Programming fundamental: sequence, selection
  • Module 2: Programming fundamental: iteration, string manipulation, arrays
  • Module 3: Programming fundamental: modularisation, file handling, subroutines

Year 10:

  • Module 1: Systems architecture, memory & storage, computer networks, connections and protocols, programming fundamental
  • Module 2: Computer networks, connections and protocols, network security, ethical legal, cultural, and environmental impacts of digital technology
  • Module 3: System software, programming fundamentals, producing robust programs, Boolean logic, IDES

Year 11:

  • Module 1: System software, programming fundamentals, programming languages and IDEs
  • Module 2: Bespoke teaching and revision
  • Module 3: Revision and public examinations

Supporting from home

Recommended websites/ online platforms:

 

Recommended activities to complete with your child:

  1. Quizzing core knowledge
  2. Use Grok Learning to further develop their ability to code and think computationally

Feedback

Scholars receive verbal, self, and peer feedback every lesson through:

  • Whole class feedback on common misconceptions in the read now, recall now activities and during daily review.
  • Responses to whole class checking for understanding activities, such as hand signal responses, ‘heads down’ and mini whiteboard tasks.
  • Teacher intentional monitoring during deliberate practice activities.

Scholars are expected to respond in the moment to this feedback to show they can correct errors and improve their knowledge and understanding.

Scholars receive written teacher feedback after each checkpoint. Scholars complete checkpoint tasks independently so teachers can review what they know and can do. Checkpoints in computer science consist of:

  • Section A: Assessing scholars' understanding of key concepts/techniques/terminology (AO1)
  • Section B: Application of concepts/knowledge/ technique (AO2/3)

Written feedback from checkpoints will consist of:

  • A score for section A and section B.
  • Celebration of what has gone well.
  • Identification of a high leverage target.

Scholars will complete a refinement task to show their understanding of the target and to demonstrate their capacity to improve their work. This could be achieved through redrafting a section of their work or attempting a similar task.

Ambition and careers

Success in computer science can lead to careers in finance, cybersecurity, and programming.

Cultural capital, enrichment and visits

Through the study of computer science, scholars will be exposed to a range of culturally enriching knowledge and experiences.

Computer science's contribution to the enrichment programme:

  • Hackathon club - where scholars could:
    • Trace the evolution of gadgets and devices
    • Understand how blockchain technology enables the existence of  cryptocurrency
    • Explore object-oriented programming, uncovering the benefits and drawbacks of the different programming paradigms
  • Internet Safety Week

Computer Science's contribution to Drop Down Days and the trips and visits programme:

  • A trip to the Science Museum to explore the remarkable world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications
  • Participate in social coding events e.g. BolHack
  • x3 remote learning days that continue to develop scholars’ digital literacy and hygiene