Curriculum Intent

The curriculum in the Foundation and Keystone years has been designed to ensure that students have sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding in order to do programming and progress to GCSE.  The curriculum also provides a focus on developing resilient learners who are able to recover from mistakes and effectively solve problems. In Years 7-9, students study more than one programming language to solve a variety of computational problems. They understand how data of various types can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits. They study several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking, simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming, hardware and software components that make up computer systems. They also learn how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly, and securely.

The rationale of the GCSE curriculum is to enable students to develop the mind-set of a computer scientist, building upon years 7-9. Learners have the opportunity to develop their capability, creativity and knowledge of Computer Science. We follow a spiral curriculum where core skills are developed; students revisit and build on their skills and knowledge each year.   

Foundation Years: Years 7 and 8

Foundation Years


Year 7

  • Introduction to the school network and Netiquettes

Students will be given access to school networks, including Edulink and Office 365 and discuss netiquette.

  • File management learn how to organise their files

Students will acquire the skills to access and use OneDrive in order to ensure work is organised.

  • Searching the web

Students will learn how to conduct an effective google search and consider the reliability and usefulness of online resources.

  • Touch typing

Students will learn the skills of touch typing contributing to enhancing their efficiency as learners. 

  • Hardware Input and Output Devices

Students will learn about input and output devices and how they are used. 

  • System Software including Operating Systems

Students will develop the knowledge to distinguish between Operating Systems and application software. 

  • Storage Devices

Students will be introduced to secondary storage devices and their uses. 

  • Introduction to computational Thinking

Students build on their prior learning and begin to consider four Computational thinking techniques used to solve a given problem. 

  • Introduction to Algorithms

Students will learn how to write and understand algorithms written in pseudocode and/or flow diagram.

  • Data representation – Storage units and Binary numbers

Students will learn how Binary data is stored and the differences between them.  They will also learn how to convert binary to denary and denary to binary.

  • Visual Programming – Edublocks

Students will consider programming such as sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration.

Year 8

  • Utility Software

Students will learn about the purpose and use of common utility programs for computer security.

  • Networks

Students will learn about LAN and WAN and then their uses are appropriate.

  • Algorithms

Students will develop their prior learning and begin to write pseudocodes and create flowcharts.  

  • Sequence and Selection

Knowledge of algorithms will be developed further as students will learn how to use sequence and selection with their algorithms.

  • Iteration

Students will continued to build on prior learning as they will begin to include loops in their algorithms.

  • Binary Addition

Students will learn to add two binary numbers.

  • Introduction to Python Programming

Students will be introduced to text-based programming with Python. They will learn to work with text and selection.

  • Representing: Images

Students will develop an understanding of how images are represented on computers.

  • Representing: Sound

Continuing on previous learning, students will learn how sound are represented on computers.

Keystone Year: Year 9

  • Testing

Students will learn how to test the programs they have written in Year 8.

  • The internet

Students will explore how the World Wide Web works

  • CPU and Computer Memory

Students will learn about the internal architecture of a modern computer.

  • Programming in Python

Students will further explore how to program in Python, working on iterations.

  • Networks Threats

Students will learn about common threats when using networks and how to mitigate these threats.

  • Data representation: compression

Students will learn about compression and the why it is important and links to prior learning explored.  

  • Logic Gates and truth Tables

Students will be introduced to 3 logic gates and learn how to write truth tables.

  • Ethical Issues

Students will explore the complex and challenging area of ethics in computing – they will look at common laws link to computing.  

  • Computers in the modern world

Study of ethics is developed further as students learn about how computers affect our daily life

GCSE: Years 10 and 11

Exam Board: OCR

Year 10

  • 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.

Year 11

  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology
  • Algorithms
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Producing robust programs
  • Boolean logic
  • Programming languages and integrated Development Environments
  • Dedicated programming lessons alongside theory throughout the year

A Level: Years 12 and 13

Exam Board: AQA

Year 12

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Systematic approach to problem-solving
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundaments of communication and networking

Year 13

  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming
  • Systematic approach to problem-solving
  • Non-exam assessment - the computing practical project