Key Stage 3


Students gain an understanding of programming concepts and control technology. They begin to develop computational thinking skills and study topics such as, hardware, binary logic, programming and flowcharting, alongside creative projects that include spreadsheets and animations.  Topics are underpinned with E-safety with an additional focus regarding online safety.  Year 7’s also learn the ethical issues surrounding computers such as e-waste and recycling of computers.  Year 7 are encouraged to take part in focussed extra-curricular activities such as animation club.


This year group build their knowledge of computer systems by studying the CPU, types of memory and networking. Year 8 also enjoy creative projects such as creating sound, flat file databases, websites, visual and text based programming as well as learning about the historical aspects of computing and communication. All topics are underpinned with E-safety, with an additional focus on digital footprints, ID theft and online safety.


Students continue to develop computational thinking skills and enjoy learning about encryption, algorithms and relational databases. Emphasis is also placed on the language of computers, students look at number bases and further binary logic. Creativity is addressed though a computer games design project and creating and editing graphics. E-safety and the impact of computers on society are continuously addressed including legislation and a focus on file sharing and computer addiction.  Students enjoy looking at different careers which involve the use of ICT and Computing as well as threats to computer systems.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Computer Science


Subject Leader:

Ms Fenton-Hall


Exam Specification:

OCR GCSE Computer Science J276

QN Code:




Summary of course content

This course is assessed through 3 units of work over 2 years.  Upon completion students will gain the GCSE Computing qualification.


Unit 1: Computer systems

This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems including the central processing unit, computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It will explore the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science.


Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This unit covers algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Learners will become familiar with computing related mathematics.


Unit 3: Programming project

Students will need to:

  1. Understand standard programming techniques
  2. Design a coded solution to a problem including the ability to:
  • Analyse and decompose a given scenario
  • Create suitable algorithms
  • Identify suitable input and output formats
  • Identify suitable variables, data types and validation
  • Identify test procedures
  1. Create a coded solution fully annotating the code to explain its function
  2. Test their solution:
  • To show functionality and robustness
  • Identifying successes and limitations
  1. Evaluate their solution:
  • Evaluate their solution against success criteria


Unit 1: Computer systems

1hr 30 min written paper (50% of the qualification)

This question paper comprises short answer and extended response questions.


Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

1hr 30 min written paper (50% of the qualification)

This question paper comprises short answer and extended response questions.


Unit 3: Programming project

Programming Project – Compulsory

A 20 hour, OCR set, controlled assessment task that assess analysing, designing, developing, testing and evaluating a solution to a given problem.

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Independent, paired and group activities.

Research via the internet and books.

Teacher led activities.

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Homework tasks will involve extension of classroom activities, further research, reading current computing based news articles, gaining feedback from users and creating designs (depending on the unit of work).  Homework will be set according to the homework timetable.

How will it help me in the future?

GCSE Computing will enable students to work in ANY industry in the future.  It will also enable students to develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work. Students will look at algorithms in computer programs, develop computer programs to solve programs, evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs\solutions and the impact of computer technology upon society.  The program language used is Python.  This course provides a natural progression onto Computer Science\ICT courses in further and higher education.

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

At key stage 3 students gained skills in computer hardware, computer software, computer systems, number systems and coding in visual and textual languages.  Additionally students gained Digital Literacy and ICT skills.  This course consolidates all of these skills.

What skills will I develop?

Students will develop critical thinking, analysis, problem solving and computational thinking skills, which can be transferred to a variety of subjects and situations in everyday life.