ICT, Business Studies and Computer Science

The ICT, Business Studies and Computing Department aim to deliver a creative and relevant curriculum which is accessible by all learners.  We strive to develop our own practice and contribute to innovation across the school.

As a department we aim to produce students who:

  • Apply the concepts of ICT to practical, everyday situations
  • At KS4, apply the concepts of Business Studies and Computing
  • Have a feeling of confidence about their mathematical ability.
  • Are ICT literate
  • Have a knowledge and understanding of their progress
  • Work at and to their maximum potential
  • Achieve excellent exam results at GCSE, AS and A2 Level
  • Continue to want to develop and study ICT/ Business studies, whether as post 16 students , lifelong learners or recreationally.
  • Can access the internet and social media safely and responsibly

As teachers we:

  • Will be consistent in practice
  • Are enthusiastic about our subject and believe in what we are teaching
  • Employ varying teaching and learning styles
  • Value all student and staff and students
  • Expect high standards of behaviour, punctuality and work
  • Will be supportive of staff and students
  • Will be efficient in all aspects of our job.
  • Will work as effective team players
  • Value our own professional development
  • Share best practice and our areas of expertise within the department and to support the wider school community.

In Year 7 students are introduced to the school ICT system and the acceptable use policy for accessing the network.  Students will develop an understanding of E Safety as well as key transferable skills between the main office programs.  Students will also be encouraged to provide solutions to set briefs.  Finally, students will be encouraged to use ICT more independently and to start to be able to justify and explain their choices.

In Year 8, the Computing Progression Pathway will also include opporunities to refresh skills learnt in year 7 and develop new skills in:

  • Animation
  • Cryptography
  • Game making using scratch
  • High level programming using Python

GCSE ICT (Edexcel) – 2 units, 1 exam worth 40% and 1 piece of coursework worth 60% – the course centres on ICT Savvy users, ensuring that students are aware of how ICT affects their everyday lives and the world in general.

GCSE Computer Science (OCR)
Computational thinking as its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence. Students apply the academic principles they learn in the classroom to real-world systems in an exciting and engaging way.
Computer science gives students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS, CAS and top universities.

Computer Science is assessed through two written exams (each worth 40%) and a Programming Project (worth 20%). You deliver the theory topics through classroom teaching, and learners will develop understanding over the two years. They’ll also develop programming skills during the first year of the course in preparation for the Component 03 Programming Project. Once prepared, learners will undertake the Programming Project for 20 hours and sit two formal examinations in the final year of the course.

Unit 1 – Computer systems – 80 marks – 1.5 hour exam – Covering: Computer systems • Systems Architecture • Memory • Storage • Wired and wireless networks • Network topologies, protocols and layers • System security • System software • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Unit 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 80 marks – 1.5 hour exam – Covering: Algorithms * • Programming techniques • Producing robust programs • Computational logic • Translators and facilities of languages • Data representation

Unit 3 – Programming project – 40 marks – 20 hours controlled assessment – Covering: Programming techniques • Analysis • Design • Development • Testing and evaluation and conclusions.

BTEC Business Studies at Key Stage 4 is a vocational qualification that is equivalent to a GCSE Business; this allows students to study the influences on real businesses and how they overcome these. Areas covered include ownership, liability, marketing, HR, finance and how the world influences a business and what they can do to overcome negative influences and build on positive influences. This type of qualification also allows students to develop a wide range of skills, including research and presentation skills.

A LEVEL COMPUTER SCIENCE – OCR

From games or web design to systems analysis, high quality practitioners will always be required.
A GCE in Computer Science could be the first step on that path. The emphasis of the course is on computer programming and systems design.
The analytical skills developed in these areas are ideal for a range of higher education courses as well as being much sought after in most career pathways.

Course content –
Computing Principles
This module covers the basics of how computers operate, including how data and instructions are stored and communicated. Topics include: Operating systems, introduction to programming, data types, structures and algorithms, exchanging data and web technologies, Boolean algebra and legal and ethical issues.

Algorithms and problem solving
This module looks at how computers can be given instructions in order for them to solve problems. Topics include: Computational thinking, programming techniques, software development methodologies, algorithms including standard algorithms for sorting and searching.

Programming project
You will select a user-driven problem to implement using a high level language e.g. Python
AS – 100% examination
A Level – 80% Examination & 20% coursework

Career Opportunities
This course has been developed alongside industry leaders in the field of computing, such as the British Computer Society (BCS) and top universities. The course gives students a clear progression into higher education.