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


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 (80 Marks)
50% of final grade


Systems Architecture
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 (80 Marks)
50% of final grade
Programming techniques
Producing robust programs
Computational logic
Translators and facilities of languages
Data representation
key stage 5

A LEVEL computer science

Unit assesment content
01 Computer Systems

2 hour 30 minutes paper

40% of overall grade

Software theory

Development methodologies

Programming paradigms & Assembler

Encryption techniques



Data structures

Boolean algebra

02 Algorithms and programming

2 hour 30 minutes paper

40% of overall grade

Problem solving techniques

Computational methods/Programming techniques


  • Efficiency/complexity
  • Sorting techniques
  • Shortest path algorithm
  • A*
  • Searching techniques

03 Computing Project

20% of overall grade

Students find and complete a project for a client. Past examples include:

  • City simulation for use in GCSE Geography lessons
  • Maths and MFL learning games
  • Retro games including platformers and maze generation
  • 3D fractal landscape generation
  • Android apps



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