Why study Computer Science?
Living in the digital age, Computing is an essential part of a well-rounded academic education. The subject offers excellent opportunities for true creativity and innovativeness. From understanding current trends in computing, programming in text based languages to developing Mobile Apps, calculating in binary and creating 3D Models, Computing draws upon and develops a range of logical, creative, mathematical and scientific skills needed for everyday life.
Computing is an integral part of our school curriculum and is taught not simply so that students obtain a valuable qualification but also to enable them to acquire a set of skills for employment, for everyday life and for leisure in the future.
Here at WCHS in Computer Science, we aim to prepare pupils to participate in up to date technologies. With our new and exciting innovation lab, students have the opportunities to explore hands on, with creative practical lessons.
Key Stage 3
Computer Science is taught as a discrete subject in years 7, 8 and 9. In addition to these lessons, your daughter will be presented with a number of opportunities to apply the skills that she has developed to assist her learning in all curriculum areas.
Computer Science skills are developed through a range of different contexts and your daughter is given the opportunity to work with the most up to date hardware and software. All units interlink to help your daughter progress in computational thinking, programming, design, hardware, software, app development, application of ICT software and many other valuable skill areas.
During Year 7, students will focus on:
Learning the skill of computational thinking through algorithms
Exploring visual and textual programming
Creating a game using specialist software
Working with hardware through practical PC disassembly and knowing input, process, output and storage of a computer system and how it all it connected
Using modelling software to analyse data from a range of different data sources
Using unconventional hardware (Raspberry Pi’s and Micro-bits) to learn how to program using Python (a text based programming language) and other languages.
As your daughter progresses through Year 8, she will develop the skills that she has already gained and start to learn how to use more advanced software applications to develop:
Creating a Mobile App solution to a real-life problem
Plan & create a website using HTML in MS Dreamweaver
Work with data handling application
Study PC networks and network topologies
Extend computational thinking and programming skills through text-based program
During Year 9, in both the Autumn and Spring term your daughter will be given the opportunity to undertake an Entry Level qualification in Computer Science which is issued by the exam board OCR. She will study various units that will equip her with the knowledge and understanding needed to complete a series of assessments and a programming project before being awarded an Entry Level certificate at level 1, 2 or 3.
Key Stage 4
The OCR GCSE Computer Science (9-1) course – J277 gives students a real, in depth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing.
Through this qualification students will develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work. They will look at the use of algorithms in computer programs and become independent and discerning users of IT. They will acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts and develop computer programs to solve problems and then go on to evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/ solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.
OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science will encourage learners to:
· Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
· Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
· Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
· Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
· Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
· Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.
IT suites are supervised during lunchtimes and for homework after school giving pupils additional opportunities to consolidate their IT skills and to develop their involvement in all curricular and extra curricula areas. The use of computers should be stimulating and motivating and at Woodford IT is presented as a creative, innovative and fascinating way in which students can express themselves and draw on their own initiative and imagination as well as exploiting their own reasoning and investigative skills.
The department offers enrichment sessions to KS5 students where they are given the opportunity to develop basic computing skills and experiment with some of the latest trends in creative hardware such as 3D printing with 3D Doodler, hand held games with Arduino gaming kits, inputs and outputs with Makey Makeys and many more.
The students are given the opportunity to participate in a number of organised events/ education visits. Below are just a few:
- Year 8 visit to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park
- Stemette’s inspirational visit to Accenture’s headquarters
- Apps for Good competition
- Year 9 British Interactive Media Association annual Digital Day
- Stemette and Decoded inspirational talk
- Hour of Code week
Girls visit Bletchley Park