Computer Science & ICT Teaching Staff
- Mrs B Howard
Why Computing is important
In today’s technologically dependent culture, Computer Science is now a key subject within the curriculum. Placed firmly within the English baccalaureate, this is considered one of the most important within education.
The most important aspect of Computer Science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. Students study the design, development and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts. As computers solve problems to serve people, there is a significant human side to computer science as well.
Computers appear in almost every aspect of our society, and are still increasing in popularity. From banking, shopping and communicating to driving our cars, controlling our homes and making decisions for us – there’s very little a computer can’t do. And if a computer can’t do it, chances are someone’s trying to make it do it. The number of jobs will increase rapidly as people realise its importance, as well as our dependence upon it. If you removed all computing and information technology, society as we know it would grind to a halt.
Teaching and Learning in Computer Science & ICT
Computer Science and ICT teachers use a wide range of teaching and learning approaches to engage students and stimulate their interest. Students will work individually and in pairs to share ideas and respond to different programming and ICT related problems. Communication skills are continually built up as we look to help students understand their place in the world and how they can express this articulately.
Both subjects have a balance between practical application of theoretical principles in order to test students knowledge and understanding of systems. Students are asked to test their computational thinking skills through regular problem solving tasks ensuring the practice of lateral thinking is embedded throughout the subject.
A key attribute for success for success is the ability to plan solutions from inception to implementation – working through problems and the ability to adapt to solutions are essential skills.
Key Stage 4
Students can choose to study two separate qualifications in either Computer Science or ICT.
Computer Science is a traditional GCSE subject, the assessment culminating in two exam papers and one non-exam assessment (NEA). Paper one of the GCSE sees students demonstrate their understanding of the practical application of computer code. Paper two assesses students understanding of the theoretical application of Computer Science. Finally, the NEA combines the elements of paper one and paper two, where students have to solve a given software problem over a 20 hour period in controlled exam conditions.
Students can be assessed on their applications of any of the following languages:
Information Communication Technology is a vocational subject and therefore the assessment is predominantly ongoing. However, students are asked to complete an exam that they are able to take multiple times. The ongoing assessment allows students to showcase their practical application of skills associated with Office based software. Students are asked to build up an informal portfolio of skills against multiple software applications.
The applications students will be assessed on are:
Links to the GCSE specifications for Computer Science and IT can be found below: