Computer Science Department
Curriculum Intent Statement
“As a family of schools inspired by Christ, we aim to enable each individual to fulfil their God given potential. Excellence for everyone through learning, respect and partnership is at the heart of our Trust.” Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust
As part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, The Computer Science Department at St. Anthony’s is deeply rooted in Catholic Faith, providing young women in Sunderland with an invaluable opportunity to experience an education rich in local Catholic Heritage. The priority of the trust is one of achieving “Excellence for All” and our Computer Science Department aims to impart opportunities for all our learners to become “The best possible version of themselves.”
“Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” Steve Jobs
The Computer Science curriculum at St. Anthony’s enables students to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems. They can understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking for example sorting and searching.
Learners are able to compare alternative algorithms for the same problem. Learners can use different 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.
They can then 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.
Learners can understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. They can then begin to 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.
Learners can 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. They can then 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 of others.
In Key Stage 3 Computer Science; starting at Year 7 learners are taught to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy, this is followed by an Introduction to Scratch completing an independent project. In Year 8 pupils follow and complete projects on How to Stay Safe Online; Understanding Computer Hardware & Software with a look at new emerging technologies; Data Handling in Spreadsheets and then An Introduction to coding in Python. In Year 9 learners develop independent problem solving skills using Computational Thinking Principles and using Binary; Under-take a creative project using multiple applications including analysing data, presenting information and evaluating the results of a real world problem.
Pupils will learn a range of programming skills in HTML, Scratch, Python and Website Development across years 8 & 9. Firstly learning basic skills in Year 8 then progressing in year 9 to use this knowledge and understanding to create programs and systems over a range of project scenarios to enable pupils to become independent programmers of the future. In Key Stage 4, pupils will study OCR J277 GCSE Computer Science; this is broken down into two distinct parts.
Component 01: Computer systems – Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.
Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – Learners develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators. Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study, which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language.
In Key Stage 5, pupils are studying OCR H446 A Level Computer Science, this is broken down into two distinct parts
Component 01: Computing principles – Students are introduced to the fundamental technical principles of computing. This component covers the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices. Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software in the software development life cycle. Looks at how Data is exchanged between different computer systems using different data types, data structures and algorithms. Pupils learn about legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues surrounding the manufacturing and use of computers.
Component 02: Algorithms and programming – This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem solving, covering: Computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally and concurrently). The use of algorithms and how they can be used to describe and design solutions to problems. Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems in the real world.