Computing

The Computing department aims to develop students with a toolkit of skills needed to make informed judgements about when and where to use elements of computing to enhance their learning and the quality of their work in order for them to achieve their full potential.

An education in computing has many benefits which can be applied throughout the curriculum. Computing students learn logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, design and structured problem solving—all concepts and skills that are valuable well beyond the computing classroom. Students gain awareness of the resources required to implement and deploy a solution and how to deal with real-world and business constraints. These skills are applicable in many contexts, from science and engineering to the humanities and business, and can lead to deeper understanding in many areas.

Key Stage 3

The computing curriculum allows opportunities for students to develop skills in Computer Science, Digital Literacy and IT. In computer science elements students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.  The main topics the pupils will gain knowledge of are:

  • E safety – Internet safety, advice and preventative methods
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Algorithms – Mazes and robots sequences
  • Coding – Programming such as MSW Logo, Scratch, Small Basic, and Python
  • Binary logic – Denary to binary, adding binary
  • Systems – Hardware, software, networks, memory and storage
  • Data representation – sound & image

Students will be set homework every two to three weeks and it is expected this will take 30-45 minutes to complete.  If a student should need support whilst completing KS3 homework she should see her computing teacher during the lesson, break or lunchtime in order to make an appointment for a time convenient to both parties. During the appointed time the appropriate support and guidance will offered. This should be sought by the student at least two days before the deadline.

The websites listed below would support a student in completing class work and homework and should also be used a resource for wider reading.

BBC Bitesize – KS3 Computing
Teach ICT
Code Academy
Khan Academy
Hour of Code

Key Stage 4

Y10 students are following OCR specification J276 and are assessed on these three components in Y11:

Unit 1: Computer systems
Written Paper (1 hour 30 minutes)
40% of the qualification

Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
Written Paper (1 hour 30 minutes)
40% of the qualification

Unit 3: Programming project
Non-Exam Assessment totalling 20 hours
20% of the qualification

Homework will be set once a week for each of the qualifications offered in KS4. The homework activity is expected to take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.  If any student should need support in completing a piece of homework set by the department in KS4 she should see her computing teacher during the lesson, break or lunchtime to gain the appropriate support and guidance.  This should be sought by the student at least two days before the deadline.

Students should refer to the following websites:

OCR GCSE Computing specifications
BBC Bitesize – GCSE ICT
Teach ICT

Subject opportunities beyond Loreto

On completing a qualification in Computer Science, students will have developed a range of skills they will be able to use in many different areas of adulthood. This ranges from the confidence in using digital literacy and IT in the workplace to increase effectiveness to using computational thinking to resolve challenges.

Students who complete a KS4 qualification in computing may consider further study in areas such as web design, graphic design and software engineering at KS5.

With further training or study students may progress into Computer Science related careers such as
IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator and software applications developer.

If a student seeks further advice on a Computer Science related career they should speak to a member of the computing department as well as use the website below to find out more information: National Career Service.