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    Computer Science

    The discipline of Computer Science is an ever-evolving one. Computer Science is underpinning rapid change in work and leisure, impacting on the lives of everyone. A large proportion of our students’ lives will be spent using computer technology. For this reason the department aims to equip students in becoming competent users of technology, no matter their level of study. This entails problem solving at various levels and presenting findings using different applications in a range of digital and print media.

    At Dormers Wells High School we acknowledge the importance of Computer Science by providing one core lesson per fortnight in Key Stage 3. Students have the opportunity to deepen their learning in the subject by opting to study GCSE computing in year 9 and achieve external accreditation. This can lead on to A Level Computer Science.
     

    key stage 3

    During Key Stage 3, students have one core lesson per fortnight. They follow a learning journey, developed in-house at Dormers Wells with students in mind.  This programme goes beyond the requirements of the  National Curriculum and focuses on developing students’ understanding of what a computer is and how it works. Students are exposed to several computer languages, and start to look at the mathematical concepts underpinning programming. They also look at data handling and computer networks. All students receive lessons looking at eSafety, how to stay safe online and seek help if necessary.

    Home Learning is  set at the end of each lesson. A variety of developmental feedback is provided to students during their lessons. All units of learning conclude with a test, this will refer to the principle learning in that unit of work and also include questions referring to any previous topic covered.

    key stage 4

    GCSE

    Students follow the GCSE Computer Science OCR course. This includes two exams and a single NEA component. The assessment and content is detailed below.

    UNIT ASSESSMENT CONTENT
    1: Computer Systems 90 minute exam
    40% of final grade

     

    Systems Architecture
    Memory
    Storage
    Wired and wireless networks
    Network topologies, protocols and layers
    System security
    System software
    Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
    2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms And Programming 90 minute exam
    40% of final grade
    Algorithms
    Programming techniques
    Producing robust programs
    Computational logic
    Translators and facilities of languages
    Data representation
    3: Programming Project 20 hour assessment
    20% of final grade
    Programming techniques
    Analysis
    Design
    Development
    Testing and evaluation and conclusions
    key stage 5

    A LEVEL

    Students follow the A Level Computer Science course from OCR. Three units make up this course:

    UNIT ASSESSMENT CONTENT
    01 Computer Systems 2 hour 30 minutes paper
    40% of overall grade
    Software theory
    Development methodologies
    Programming paradigms & Assembler
    Encryption techniques
    Normalisation
    Networks
    Data structures
    Boolean algebr
    02 Algorithms and programming 2 hour 30 minutes paper
    40% of overall grade
    Problem solving techniques
    Computational methods/Programming techniques
    Algorithms
    Efficiency/complexity
    Sorting techniques
    Shortest path algorithm
    A*
    Searching techniques
    03 Programming project Project report and software developed
    20% of overall grade
    Open ended project
    Find a client
    Develop a solution
    Past projects include:
    Game design
    Data management systems
    Mobile apps

    The programming project is a large piece of work which allows students to develop their organisational skills and demonstrate their programming ability. Students are encouraged to pick a project and find a client aligned with their own interests. Past projects have included:

    • Android apps
    • 2D top down roamers
    • Educational games (based on side-scrollers, scrabble, car racing games to name a few)

    The department has had success at A Level, with previous students going to on to study Computer Science at university.

    extra-curricular

    Due to the variety within our discipline, we do not run a Computing club. In contrast we choose to capitalise on the wide-ranging interests of our students and the expertise of our staff. We run STEM events with ambassadors from industry visiting the school to work with our students. Students are given the chance to enter several competitions each year and we also send students to other institutions for further learning. Examples include:

    • Competitions run by the National Museum of Computing
    • The Bafta Young Games Designer
    • Bebras (international  competition for computational thinking)
    • BIMA Digital Day
    • Robotics events
    • Careers talks