Welcome to the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing 

Computing Staff

N Barnes Director of Mathematics and Computing Faculty
Computing / computer science / mathematics teacher
     
M Ahmed KS3 Computing Coordinator
Computing Enrichment Coordinator
Computing / computer science teacher
     
D O’Neill Computing /computer science teacher

 

Introduction

Whilst studying computing students will develop their computational thinking – their ability to solve problems, think logically, use abstraction and think algorithmically.  The aim is to foster an enthusiasm for the subject of computing, to develop curiosity and to strive to solve ever greater problems.

A key aim of the computing curriculum is to enable students to develop an understanding of the world in which they find themselves; a world that is being constantly transformed by computers, the Internet and smartphones.  

 

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum covers a mixture of computer science, digital literacy and information technology.  Students will have one computing lesson a week throughout Year 7 and Year 8.  Topics covered include online safety, using school IT systems effectively, how the Internet works, data representation, computer systems, computer programming, modelling using spreadsheets, computational thinking and website design.

 

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to study AQA GCSE Computer Science – consistently one of the most popular optional subjects.  

The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. Computer science will help students to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. Students will have the opportunity to study the design, development and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts.

During the two years students will learn how to write increasingly sophisticated computer programs; they will learn how to effectively test and debug their solutions and refine them to make them more efficient. 

Students will learn how computers represent data – including how numbers, text, programs, sound and images can be represented using binary.  Following this they will go on to study algorithms, computer systems (including how computers work), cyber security, computer networks and databases.

At the end of the course students will sit two exam papers – Computational thinking & programming skills; Computing concepts – each worth 50% of the GCSE.

 

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students have the opportunity to considerably deepen their understanding of the subject by completing the AQA A Level Computer Science course.  This A Level specification covers a lot of material not normally studied until undergraduate level so will thoroughly prepare students for studying a degree in computer science and other related subjects.

Students will learn how to write robust, effective computer programs using the C# programming language.  This work will culminate in an extended project which is worth 20% of the A Level in which students write an extensive program of their own choice (over a period of many months) to meet the needs of a real problem.  At the end of the course there is also a practical exam where students will write program code to solve specified problems under exam conditions.

Students will also learn:

  • how computers represent data using binary and compare different methods for doing so
  • how computer systems, including the processor, work
  • how communication systems and networks operate
  • what Big Data is
  • how to write programs using functional programming
  • what databases are and how to use them
  • how to use data structures including: lists, stacks, queues, vectors, hash tables, dictionaries, graphs and trees
  • about the limits of computation
  • about the fundamentals of algorithms – studying key algorithms and the concept of algorithmic efficiency.

At the end of the course students will sit two exam papers each worth 40% of the A Level.
One of the exams is an on-screen exam where students have the opportunity to demonstrate their programming skills. The non-examination assessment (NEA) is worth 20% of the A Level; students develop an extensive, high-quality program of their own choice for this piece of work.