KS3 Computing

Course Introduction

Computer Science is the study of principles and practices that underpin an understanding and modelling of computation, and of their application in the development of computer systems. At its heart lies the notion of computational thinking: a mode of thought that goes well beyond software and hardware, and that provides a framework within which to reason about systems and problems.

Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. Pupils are expected to apply the academic principles they have learned to the understanding of real-world systems, and to the creation of purposeful technological innovations. This combination of principles, practice, and invention makes it an extraordinarily useful and an intensely creative subject.

Student Objectives

Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems.

Understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.

Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions.

Understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal].

Understand the hardware and software components that makeup computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.

Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.

Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.

Create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability.

Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.


Course Content

Year 7

Autumn 1: Digital Literacy – Introduction to the school VLE and E-Safety

Autumn 2: Introduction to Programming (Scratch)

Spring 1: Basic Algorithms and BBC Microbit

Spring 2: Graphic Design

Summer 1: Animation

Summer 2: Extended Programming (Python)


Year 8

Autumn 1: Digital Literacy (Basic Skills)

Autumn 2: Networks and Infrastructure

Spring 1: Intermediate Python

Spring 2: Spreadsheets and Database

Summer 1: Programming (HTML)

Summer 2: Website Production and HTML/Java


Year 9

Autumn 1: Programming MIT App Inventor

Autumn 2: Programming MIT App Inventor

Spring 1: Extended Python

Spring 2: Extended Python

Summer 1: ICT Project

Summer 2: ICT Project

What it Leads to in KS4

he Computing department offer two courses at KS4:-

Computing – The course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Students will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from their other subjects and elsewhere. However, this course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing.

Cambridge Nationals – The Cambridge Nationals in ICT will equip learners with sound ICT skills for everyday  use and provide opportunities to develop in context those desirable, transferable skills such as planning, research and analysis, working with others or communicating technical concepts effectively. They will also challenge all learners, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and skills; encouraging independence and creativity; providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum (including data handling, modelling and programming).