ICT & Computer Science

ICT and Computer Science taught at The Laurels helps pupils become proficient, safe and accomplished users who may wish to study computing at GCSE. 

“The original idea of the web was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information.”  
Tim Berners-Lee  Inventor of the World Wide Web

The aims we have for students are:

For all pupils to become proficient and competent users of modern day computer systems in helping them meet their current learning needs across the curriculum.

For all pupils to be equipped to use the internet safely (e-Safety) and be able to undertake effective independent/self-guided research to support their class work and homework.

For all pupils to be aware of the diversity of careers and opportunities in Computing.

For those pupils who have a passion about the subject to develop this further at GCSE level creating a pathway for further education and/or career opportunities in the technology sector.

Computing at The Laurels at KS3 is taught on a carousel shared with Drama and Philosophy with each subject being taught for a term. As part of ICT Induction (taught at the beginning of Year 7), pupils are introduced to a variety of online learning platforms used across the curriculum to support them in their learning. Pupils also learn about eSafety, computer systems and hardware.

In Years 8 and 9, pupils progress to learning how to programme in a high level language and acquire the skills to break down problems (Computational Thinking) to find workable solutions using a computer programme.

For GCSE pupils study the principles and practices of computing and gain confidence in computational thinking and programming. They develop their understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers. Learners apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language. They also develop a range of technical skills, as well as the ability to test effectively and to evaluate computing solutions.

Course Content

KS3
Years 7 to 9

Year 7 – Introduction to Computer Systems
Pupils undertake a six week unit which introduces pupils to computer hardware and systems, including what is inside and outside the box. No prior knowledge is needed. Pupils will also attend an information session on eSafety.

Year 8 – Introduction to Python Programming
This 5 week unit guides students from the basics of writing simple one line programs through to using IF…Else and Elif. By the end of the unit students will have learned enough to create a simple chatbot program that will respond to user input.

Year 9 – Computational Thinking & Flowcharts
This 6 week unit covers Computational Thinking which includes decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithms, testing and debugging. It also covers the purpose and use of flowcharts. Both of these topics are an excellent skill to acquire prior to IGCSE Computer Science.

KS4
Years 10 and 11
Pupils will study Cambridge International IGCSE Computer Science (0478).  Learners study the principles and practices of computing and gain confidence in computational thinking and programming. They learn to program by writing computer code and they develop their understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers. Learners apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language. They also develop a range of technical skills, as well as the ability to test effectively and to evaluate computing solutions.

This qualification helps learners appreciate current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use. They learn to recognise the ethical issues and potential risks when using computers. This qualification helps learners appreciate current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use. They learn to recognise the ethical issues and potential risks when using computers.

There is no coursework as part of the final grade, examination is in the form of two papers. Paper 1 is theoretical with short answer structured questions and accounts for 60% of the paper. Paper 2 assesses the pupils knowledge of the pre-release material and accounts for 40% of the marks. Marks are awarded for knowledge recall and understanding, application of knowledge to solve problems and finally analysis and evaluation to make judgements and present conclusions.

Examination Board

Cambridge International IGCSE Computer Science (0478).

Related Activities

ICT Drop-in Club
This help pupils become conversant in utilising Microsoft Office applications, google classroom platform, touch typing, undertaking effective research. Pupils can also work on their ICT projects as part of their ICT curriculum.

Computing trips include/ have included:
KS3 – A workshop on effective online research in the British Library.

KS4 –  Visit and workshops (early computers including a Turing Test) at the National Museum of Computing adjacent to Bletchley Park.

Future trips:

Joint History and Computer Science trip to Bletchley Park