At SWRA our broad and balanced curriculum is designed to equip students with the necessary skills and understanding to live and work in an ever-increasing digital world. Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that offers excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers. As a department we strive to develop a passion in students for technology and information systems. Students are supported on their digital journey with appropriate intervention opportunities built in, allowing all students to achieve their potential.
In key stage 3 our students have the opportunity to develop their skills and use their creativity on various common software applications. The skills of computational thinking are introduced and are used in practice to aid independent work throughout key stage 3 and 4. Understanding the internal workings of a computer, how data and instructions are actually processed lay the foundations for binary conversion and logic gates. Programming is a fundamental part of the curriculum with various languages being taught. The year 7s start their programming journey on Scratch a block coding language. In year 8 and 9 the students build on the fundamental knowledge taught in year 7 by expanding that knowledge using Python a textual based language. Debugging – the skill of identifying syntax and logic errors in code and then applying fixes to the code is also practised. Throughout KS3 the students complete mini projects which allow them to apply their skills of computational thinking, design and use of computing technologies.
In key stage 4 our GCSE Computer Science students time is split equally between theory and programming and builds upon previous knowledge whilst preparing them for the requirements of the GCSE examination. Paper 1 focusses on theoretical knowledge of hardware and software, the internal components of a computer, the fundamentals of computer networks, cyber security, ethical, legal, and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy and aspects of software development. Paper 2 is about the application of computational thinking and problem solving. This gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of designing, reading, writing and debugging programs.