Computing (ICT & Computer Science)

Information Technology and Computer Science ensures that students are challenged to become digitally literate (able to use, and develop their ideas, whilst expressing themselves through Information and Communication Technology). Enabling them to be an active participant in a continuously advancing digital world, and achieve the best that they can be.

Information Technology focuses on developing their core knowledge requiring them to be successful through an understanding of increasing threats such as Cybercrime and looking at how to mitigate them. Students will look at both Legal and Ethical considerations throughout their learning journey in KS3 and KS4. They will also develop an understanding of the importance of Data and apply their knowledge to create a fully functioning Dashboard alongside understanding the need for User Interfaces. Along this journey students will be developing their knowledge of Project-Planning Tools, Models and Techniques by utilisation. Students will develop an understanding of what a virtual work environment is and how cloud technologies allow remote teams to work together more effectively. Using cross-curricular link with Business studies students will explore business concepts while developing their knowledge of data modelling and project management.

Computer Science focuses on computational thinking as its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence. Applying the Academic principles they learn in the classroom to real-world systems in an exciting and engaging way.

Students studying Information Technology and Computer Science will aspire to be the best they can be personally and encourage a desire to deepen their knowledge and understanding of digital technologies in the wider world. Students will become resilient lifelong learners, equipped with core knowledge and understanding enabling them to progress into their chosen KS4 IT/Computer Science pathway in school, with a good knowledge base and acquire the skills needed for their post 16 courses, higher education and future careers.

GSA Learning Journey

Key Concepts

Study Support

The Department offers a number of study support sessions for students across different year groups. Key Stage 4 and 5 students are well supported in preparation for their examinations with after school revision, twilight sessions, and holiday activities.


Alex Finch (Head of ICT) e-mail: [email protected]

“I really enjoy programming in lessons. I love creating games, programs and applications in my own time. I feel that computer science is a fundamental skill for everyone’s lives in the technological age we live in”

During Key Stage 3 students develop a range of ICT and Computer Science skills, whilst learning about the importance of keeping themselves safe online. A range of key skills are covered during Key Stage 3 to develop them in becoming independent learners and digitally literate. Our pupils will initially learn about the basic principles of ICT and Computing, followed by exploring spreadsheets, as well as computer systems, computer programming and game designing. The depth of knowledge will increase each year with pupils exploring Artificial Intelligence, Computer Crime and Cybersecurity and Computational Thinking further.

Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum will lead to pupils becoming more prepared and equipped during their Key Stage 4 Computing choices. It will enable them to make the right choices for them when selecting the route they wish to follow in Computing; ICT or Computer Science. It will also give them the opportunity to apply initial skills learnt to new and more advanced scenarios.

In Key Stage 4, we offer 2 routes of choice for our pupils. Assessments are taken place to ensure suitability of courses along with pupil interest and commitment to the chosen route.

Route 1 – BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology (L2D*-L1P)

This qualification is for learners who want to acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection as part of their Key Stage 4 learning. The qualification recognises the value of learning skills, knowledge and vocational attributes to complement GCSEs.

Learners are required to complete and achieve three of the following components in the qualification:

  • Component 1Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
  • Learning Outcome A –  Understand interface design for individuals and organisations
  • Learning outcome B – Be able to use project planning techniques to plan, design and develop a user interface
  • Learning outcome C – Be able to review a user interface
  • Component 2Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
  • Learning Outcome A – Understand how data is collected by organisations and its impact on individuals
  • Learning outcome B – Be able to create a dashboard using data manipulation tools
  • Learning outcome C – Be able to draw conclusions and review data presentation methods

  • Component 3Effective Digital Working Practices
  • A1 Modern technologies
  • A2 Impact of modern technologies
  • B1 Threats to data
  • B2 Prevention and management of threats to data
  • B3 Policy
  • C1 Responsible use
  • C2 Legal and ethical
  • D1 Forms of notation

Route 2 – GCSE Computer Science (OCR J277)

This qualification will encourage learners to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation. Learners will be required to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs. They must understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society and apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

This course consists of 2 Units taught across Year 10 and Year 11 and learners will be assessed by sitting 2 exams; 50% each in weighting.

Paper 1 – Computer Systems (Written Paper 1 hour and 30 minutes)

This component will assess:
-Architecture of the CPU
-CPU performance
-Embedded systems
-Primary storage
-Secondary storage
-Data storage
-Networks and topologies
-Networks, protocols and layers
-Prevention methods
-Operating systems
-Utility software
-Ethical Legal

Paper 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (Written Paper 1 hour and 30 minutes)

This component will assess:

-Computational thinking

-Searching and sorting algorithms

-Programming Fundamentals

-Data types

-Additional programming

-Defensive design methods

-Identify syntax and logic errors

-Boolean logic

-Languages & IDE

Students will also be offered one of two pathways A-Level CS or BTEC L3 ICT:

In Key Stage 5, learners are able to complete the BTEC Extended Certificate in Information Technology qualification which uses a combination of assessment styles to give students confidence which they can apply to succeed in the workplace and have the study skills to continue learning throughout their career. The range of vocational assessments, both practical and written, means learners can showcase their learning and achievements to their best effect when taking their next step in IT, whether that’s supporting applications to higher education courses or to potential employers.

Students will become advanced users of the Microsoft Suite as well as other multimedia products such as Dreamweaver. Students will develop their skills in project planning, identifying user needs, testing and the systems product cycle.

Students will also have the opportunity to take A-Level Computer Science which uses a combination of assessment styles to give students confidence which they can apply to succeed in the workplace and have the study skills to continue learning throughout their career.

Students will become experts in technologies such as Python, HTML, CSS and JS throughout the course. Students will develop their skills in project planning, identifying user needs, testing and the systems product cycle during the project element of the course.

Please visit the designated Sixth Form section to find out more information about the courses we offer.