Foundation years: Years 7 and 8

Foundation Years

Year 7 students will be introduced to computer science theory and practical.  But before we can do this all students are shown how to use the school system and email safely.  We also go through a couple of touch-typing lessons in order for students to have good keyboard skills.

We cover aspects of theoretical knowledge such as hardware and spent a substantial amount of time on building up to programming and computational thinking. Students are required to increase their independence and resilience during the year.

Students have two lessons of Computing per fortnight in year 7 and one lesson in year 8.  The topics covered are:

Year 7

  • Introduction to the school network and Netiquette
  • Introduction to computational Thinking
  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Data representation – Storage units and Binary numbers
  • Input and Output Devices
  • Hardware and Software
  • Storage Devices
  • Operating System Software
  • Visual Programming – Blockly

Year 8

  • Utility Software
  • Networks
  • Algorithms
  • Sequence and Selection
  • Iteration
  • Programming concepts
  • Binary Addition
  • Introduction to Programming in Python
  • Working with text
  • Input Text and numbers (variables)
  • Text manipulation
  • Data representation
  • Binary Addition
  • Images
  • Sound 

Keystone Year: year 9

In year 9, students have one lesson a fortnight.  The topics covered are:

Year 9

  • Testing
  • The Internet
  • CPU and Computer Memory
  • Programming in Python
  • Selection
  • Iteration
  • Networks Threats
  • The Internet.
  • Data representation
  • Compression
  • Logic Gates and truth Tables
  • Algorithms
  • Searching
  • Sorting
  • Ethical Issues
  • Computers in the modern world


For all Foundation Year students we offer clubs, support sessions, and we enter them for the BEBRAS challenge every year.

GCSE: years 10 and 11

OCR Computer Science assists in developing an understanding of the current and emerging technologies, how they work and how to apply this knowledge and understanding in a wide range of contexts.  Computer Science is a very practical subject – students will be able to use the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom on real-world problems. It’s also a highly creative subject that calls on learners to be inventive.

The course at a glance:

Component 1 - Computer Systems

  • Study how processors work.
  • Investigate computer memory and storage.
  • Explore modern network layouts and how they function.
  • Build skills in the ever- important realm of cybersecurity.
  • Investigate how types of software are used within computer systems.
  • Stretch wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues.

Component 2 - Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

  • Study fundamental algorithms in computer science.
  • Build a firm foundation in programming techniques.
  • Produce programs through diagrams.
  • Thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse.
  • Explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Understand how we store data within computers in binary form.

What Will A Student Gain From This Course?

  • Valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace.
  • A deep understanding of problem-solving and experience in creating logical and efficient solutions.
  • Ability to write down solutions to problems for other people to understand.
  • A good grounding in mainstream computing theory and understanding.

Course Dependencies


  • Two written papers
  • Computer systems (50% of the course)
  • Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (50% of the course)

Programming Project

  • The programming project covers 20 hours of programming techniques, analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation and conclusions.
  • Students will spend 20 classroom hours engaging with the Programming Project and consolidates the learning aspects of the course.

Course link

A Level: years 12 and 13

Year 12 students are offered the opportunity to study Computer Science.  Widely considered as the fourth science, Computer Science will develop skills in programming, problem solving and analytical thinking. This qualification provides students with a range of transferable skills in areas such as maths, science and design and technology.

The AQA Computer Science course at AS offers students the knowledge and skills in:

AQA Computer Science Course

  • Data structures
  • Problem solving
  • Theory of computation
  • Data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Communication and networking


Exams test a student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer science.

  • A2 On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of A Level and written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of A-level with a non-exam assessment that assesses student’s ability to solve or investigate a practical problem.

Extension And Enrichment

  • Students may use computers every break and lunchtime in their designated room.
  • Bafta Young Game Designer, Monday and Tuesday after-school in Room 50.
  • Raspberry Pi Club, Friday lunchtime in Room 50.
  • Monday, Wednesday and Thursday Lunchtime – Programming Support Session in Room 50.

We also run the BEBRAS Challenge for all computing students from year 7-13 and CyberDiscovery for Year 9 and above.