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Charles Darwin School

Computer Science and IT

Welcome to Computer Science & IT at Charles Darwin School. Here at Charles Darwin, we believe that:

Computer Science empowers students to create the world of tomorrow” - Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

We aim to inspire students as pioneers of the future and to nurture a love of this subject. All our students deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science. It is our responsibility to get students thinking in a different way to solve problems, a valuable life skill whether they end up in computer science or not.

Course Overview

Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) is delivered across all three key stages and remains a popular exam subject choice at both GCSE and A-Level. Students have access to a wide range of industry-standard software, an allocated user area and a school email account. 

Key Stage 3

We take students’ e-safety seriously and we deliver a scheme of work that provides students with an understanding of the positive and negative impacts of communicating online, how to use ICT sensibly, what acceptable use is, and where to access help if they feel they need it. This is taught to all three-year groups in key stage three at the start of every academic year. Throughout the academic year, students are exposed to both Computer Science and IT topics that are taught at Key Stage 4 level to give the students an idea of topics are covered.

Term

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Autumn 1

Introduction to IT facilities & E-safety

Introduction to IT facilities & E-safety

Introduction to IT facilities & E-safety

Autumn 2

Introduction to Computer Science

Computer Systems

Cyber security

Spring 1

Computer Networks

Spreadsheet Modelling

Data Science

Spring 2

Spreadsheet Modelling

Summer 1

Scratch programming

Python Programming

Physical computing

Summer 2

Key Stage 4

Computer Science is an in-depth course that deals with data, the hardware of computers, networks, the internet, and programming. Whereas, Information Technology deals with using computers to acquire and use knowledge as applied in the business world.

We provide quality Computing education, which gradually builds up students' digital literacy. The curriculum is grounded in the fundamental principles of computing and prepares our students to apply these principles creatively and responsibly. Students gain a clear understanding of the ethical, legal, and safety issues in computer science. Rather than a discrete topic, E-safety and being a responsible digital citizen are interleaved and reinforced throughout.

Throughout computing students learn to become creators, rather than consumers of computer systems. The sequencing allows students to use various text-based coding platforms, providing greater opportunities for creativity and flair. They are then able to move to increasingly complex programming constructs across a range of simulated, real or physical platforms. This challenging curriculum ensures that students show resilience and build character.

Physical computing adds value and relevance. Rather than just being theoretical, our students are taught to use "computational thinking and creativity to change the world" in relation to both natural and artificial systems.

The study of data representation provides another aspect of understanding and how binary (or in the future Quantum computing technology) allows storage, transmission and creativity with data. We know we are preparing students for a technological future that we can’t imagine. In teaching students these powerful building blocks, we equip them for bright futures. 

We offer GCSE Computer Science and BTEC Digital Information Technology Level 2 course.

For more details of topic covered, please see the curriculum maps below.

Key Stage 5

OCR A Level Computer Science (H046/H446) course is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. Computer Science is a practical subject where students are encouraged to apply the academic principles to real-world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, that can look at the natural world through a digital prism. The Computer Science qualification values computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limitations of human and machine intelligence.

BTEC IT Level 3 (2016) course is supported by experienced staff that provide strong subject knowledge and a variety of teaching methods to engage and facilitate learning. This course allows learners to develop a common core of IT knowledge such as the relationship between hardware and software that forms an IT system, managing and processing data to support business and using IT to communicate and share information.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Overview:

Year 10 GCSE Computer Science Overview:

 

 

Wk 1 (3 lesson)

Wk 2 (2 lesson)

Autumn

1

3.1 Algorithms
 3.3 Data Representation

3.2 Programming

HALF TERM

2

3.3 Data Representation

3.2 Programming

                               CHRISTMAS HOLS

Spring

1

3.4 Computer Systems

3.2 Programming

HALF TERM

2

3.5 Computer Networks

3.2 Programming

                         EASTER HOLS

Summer

1

3.7 Relational databases & query language (SQL)

3.2 Programming

HALF TERM

2

3.6 Cyber Security &  3.8 Ethical, Legal, eniviromental impacts of
digital tech

3.2 Programming

SUMMER HOLS

Year 11 GCSE Computer Science Overview:

 

 

Wk 1 (3 lesson)

Wk 2 (2 lesson)

Autumn

1

3.1 Algorithms
 3.3 Data Representation

3.2 Programming

HALF TERM

2

3.4 Computer Systems
 3.5 Computer Networks

3.2 Programming

CHRISTMAS HOLS

Spring

1

3.7 Relational databases & query language (SQL)
3.6 Cyber Security
3.8 Ethical, Legal, eniviromental impacts of digital tech

3.2 Programming

HALF TERM

2

Revision Paper 1 & Paper 2

3.2 Programming

EASTER HOLS

Summer

1

REVISION & EXAM SEASON

 

HALF TERM

2

 

 

SUMMER HOLS

Year 10 BTEC DIT Level 2 Overview (2022)

 

 

Wk 1 (3 lesson)

Wk 2 (2 lesson)

Autumn

1

Comp 1: Content
 Teach Skills alongside a mini project to support student understanding

HALF TERM

2

Comp 1: Content
 Teach Skills alongside a mini project to support student understanding

CHRISTMAS HOLS

Spring

1

Comp 1: Coursework prep
 

HALF TERM

2

Comp 1: Coursework
 Coursework release: Feb
 First submission: Before Easter hols

EASTER HOLS

Summer

1

Comp 1: Coursework
 Final submission April

HALF TERM

2

Comp 2: Spreadsheet theory Prep

SUMMER HOLS

Year 11 BTEC DIT Level 2 (2016)

 

 

Wk 1 (3 lesson)

Wk 2 (2 lesson)

Autumn

1

Comp 2 - Learning Aim A Skills 

Comp 3 - EXAM Unit - Theory

HALF TERM

2

Comp 2 - Learning Aim A finish coursework

Comp 3 - EXAM Unit - Theory

CHRISTMAS HOLS

Spring

1

Comp 2 - Learning Aim B&C Skills

Comp 3 - EXAM Unit - Theory

HALF TERM

2

Comp 2 - Learning Aim B&C Skills

Comp 3 - EXAM Unit - Theory

EASTER HOLS

Summer

1

Comp 2 - Learning Aim B&C resubmission hand

Comp 3 - EXAM Unit - Theory

HALF TERM

2

 

SUMMER HOLS

Common Questions 

Q.  In which year do I start to learn Computer Science & IT?
A.  The Computer Science & IT curriculum starts in year 7 through to year 9 where you will be taught IT for 1 lesson per fortnight. Students will be able to select their options in year 9.

Q.  Will I be able to do some programming?
A.  Basic programming is introduced in year 7; Python programming is introduced at year 8 and students in year 9 will cover physical computing. You can then choose GCSE Computing as an option subject for year 10-11 study. There are also additional clubs or activities which will enable you to further develop your programming skills, such as our coding club and robotics club.

Q.  Do I need to have special equipment?
A.  It is certainly useful, but not essential to have a computer at home. You will be set a combination of computer-based and written homework. The Computer Science & IT department has computers which are available for the completion of homework during lunch break or after school. All work completed for Computer Science & IT is done via the Office 365 platform, Teams.


Q.  Will there be Computer Science & IT trips available?
A.  We are always looking to enrich the Computer Science & IT curriculum. Trips are organised which are specific to the topic or course you are studying. 

Who will teach me? 

Mrs Elliott, Mr Simpson and Ms Temisa.

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