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 HTML coding and data modelling.

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.


Indy Bains (Head of ICT) e-mail: [email protected]

"I really enjoy coding my own programs in lessons."

"My favourite part of the course was creating my own video game using Scratch and Codu."

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, graphics, website design 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 1 – Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques (coursework 30%)
    • Learning Aim A – Investigate user interface design for individuals and organisations
    • Learning Aim B – Use project planning techniques to plan and design a user interface
    • Learning Aim C – Develop and review a user interface
  • Component 2 – Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data (coursework 30%)
    • Learning Aim A – Investigate the role and impact of using data on individuals and organisations
    • Learning Aim B – Create a dashboard using data manipulation tools
    • Learning Aim C – Draw conclusions and review data presentation methods
  • Component 3 – Effective Digital Working Practices (exam 40%)
    • Learning Aim A – Modern Technologies
    • Learning Aim B – Cyber Security
    • Learning Aim C – The wider implications of digital systems
    • Learning Aim D – Planning and communication in digital systems

Route 2 - GCSE Computer Science (OCR 9-1)

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: • 1.1 Systems architecture • 1.2 Memory and storage • 1.3 Computer networks, connections and protocols • 1.4 Network security • 1.5 Systems software • 1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

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

This component will assess:

• 2.1 Algorithms

• 2.2 Programming fundamentals

• 2.3 Producing robust programs

• 2.4 Boolean logic

• 2.5 Programming languages and Integrated

In Key Stage 5, learner 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.

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