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
Students follow the GCSE Computer Science OCR course. This includes two exams and a single NEA component. The assessment and content is detailed below.
|1: Computer Systems
||90 minute exam
40% of final grade
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
|2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms And Programming
||90 minute exam
40% of final grade
Producing robust programs
Translators and facilities of languages
|3: Programming Project
||20 hour assessment
20% of final grade
Testing and evaluation and conclusions
|key stage 5
This course is designed to encourage students to develop the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. Students will understand how computer systems are constructed, organised and controlled through learning about software, hardware, data and communications. There is a significant mathematical and programming element to this course.
Exam Board: OCR
Year 1 Subject Content:
Students will learn to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding of Computer Science, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems. They will develop an understanding of basic programming techniques, applying these in a variety of paradigms and languages.
Students will be encouraged and required to make logical links between the theory and practical aspects of the course, perceiving their field of study in a broader perspective. Students will develop an understanding of the consequences of using computers, and an awareness of emerging technologies.
Year 2 Subject Content
Students will deepan their theoretical knowledge and develop their understanding of programming by studying classic algorithms in further detail.
Students will also undertake a detailed project, based on a real problem, whch they are required to solve and approach in a systematic way. This will involve designing, creating and testing either a desktop, mobile or web application.
Career Opportunities / Routes
This course supports progression into computing, computing systems, systems engineering, electronics, computer science and programming routes.
Paper 1: Computer Systems
Paper 2: Algorithms and programming
Paper 3: The global business environment
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