Departmental Aims

The core to the subject is the understanding of how technology works, how it can be developed and utilised and how we draw and extend understanding from a range of other subjects outside of IT and Computer Science, including Maths, Science, DT and PSHE, and embed clear and high quality literacy and numeracy skills through software development, problem solving and evaluation skills. We aim to provide a broad range of skills and experiences at Key Stage 3 which are then further developed as students enter Key Stage 4 and then extended to Key Stage 5.

Years 7-9 Curriculum Summary

In Key Stage 3, students will design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems. They will learn two text-based programming languages: Python and HTML/CSS. Students will understand how computers work by looking at the hardware that make up computer systems. They will begin to understand how various types of instructions are stored and executed in computer systems, and how they can be used to represent images, music and text. Students will undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using and combining multiple applications to achieve challenging goals. This includes collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users. They will understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely including: protecting their online identity and privacy, recognising inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and knowing how to report concerns. The objective with the curriculum delivered at Key Stage 3 is to prepare for that offered at Key Stage 4. The foundations and fundamentals of the key concepts of the subject are established during Key Stage 3.

GCSE Curriculum

We offer Computer Science at Key Stage 4. Computer Science is a discipline that seeks to understand and explore the world around us, both natural and artificial, in computational terms. We strive to educate through a range of teaching strategies which are accessible for all our learners. We use a range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources throughout lessons. These create an environment of confidence where students feel they can experiment, make mistakes and develop their skills in an independent manner. This is supported through the regular use of teacher and student-led live modelling to demonstrate processes and applications both practically and theory based. Students experience a wider range of block-based and script-based languages to develop transferable programming skills.

Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support

Regular support sessions run during lunchtimes and after school. We regularly establish cross-curricular links through STEM activities. We encourage students to take part in a whole range of local, national and international initiatives such as Bebras, BCS (Bedford) Coding Competition, Women in Tech, Teens in AI, The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, Cyber Discovery and Connecting Classrooms, to name a few. We also offer video conferencing opportunities which complement the curriculum and offer students opportunities to engage with universities and employers which further help support the school towards meeting the Gatsby benchmarks. The department also aims to develop partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning.