Computer Science

Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 3 we aim to cover all areas of Computer Science and ICT, from digital literacy through to computational thinking. Many of the skills the pupils will encounter are key to learning in general, like problem solving and resilience and will help them to develop independence and employ logical enquiry to every area they encounter.

With computing and technology now being so central to so many areas of our lives, and the increasing emphasis on IT in the primary curriculum, we hope to build on their knowledge to enable them to tackle the complexities of programming and the basics of systems architecture. They will approach this through projects involving spreadsheets and desktop publishing in year 7 as well as learning binary and how the computer stores and processes data using this simple number system. Later, we will extend their experience of programming, using HTML to produce simple webpages as well as a unit dealing with cyber security to enable them to stay safe online.

Assessment will be through the development of an e-portfolio, with regular opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge. A summative assessment will be carried out four times per year that will test learning acquired through the most recent project as well as topics from previous terms in order to retain earlier learning so it can be built on and extended as the pupils progress through the school.

At the end of year 8, pupils will have the option to choose either Computer Science or ICT at Key Stage 4…

Computer Science GCSE

This academically demanding course consists of a number of units of learning leading to two written exams and a practical project. The first unit covers a range of topics covering computer systems and their components, including:

  • Systems Architecture, memory and storage
  • Networks
  • System software
  • System security
  • Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Concerns.

The second unit deals with:

  • Algorithms and their use as the basis for programming
  • Computational logic and Boolean theory
  • Data representation, including binary and hexadecimal number systems, images and sound, characters and the use of compression/

The project, set by the examination board, consists of a problem that the pupils must solve by the production of a computer program. The pupils will learn programming using the high level computer language Python throughout Key Stage,4 in order that they will be clearly able to plan, design, create, test, and evaluate, to produce a functioning solution.

BTEC Digital Information Technology

For those pupils requiring a more vocational option, we offer a BTEC Technical Award in Digital Information Technology. This focusses more on the development of user interfaces and collecting, presenting and developing data. There is still some knowledge of digital working practices, including cybersecurity, and pupils will gain some understanding of how IT is used within businesses.

Assessment is by the production of two coursework projects followed by a controlled assessment exam where the knowledge gained through completion of the first two units, as well as theory learned across the course, will be tested. This exam is synoptic and could pull on any area of the syllabus, including:

  • How modern technology effects businesses
  • System security
  • Ethical and legal considerations
  • The interpreting of data

What pupils move onto:

The GCSE could enable pupils to continue onto further education to complete A’level Computer Science and would be beneficial for any pupil wanting to specialise in engineering or as a computer system technician. These potentially could lead to degree level courses in computing, engineering and science.

The BTEC course could enable pupils to continue onto further education higher level vocational ICT courses or could contribute greatly the knowledge needed to pursue a career in business or accountancy. It also demonstrates other key skills, such as communication or office work which would be advantageous when applying for employment.

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Bishop Young C of E Academy

Bishops Way
LS14 6NU

Tel: 0113 273 9100
Fax: 0113 273 4216

Registered Office:

Abbey Multi Academy Trust
c/o Chapter House
Abbey Grange Church of England Academy
Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA
Registered Company Number: 07705552