Computing curriculum has been designed to give all students the opportunity to develop computational thinking, information technology and digital media skills, in order to facilitate further and higher levels of study in these areas leading to qualifications which equip them for a professional career.

Computing at key stage 3 is part of the national curriculum and is made up of three key areas:

  • Computer science,
  • Digital literacy
  • Information technology

Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems, and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.

Students will work through different topics and engage in practical tasks, discussion, group work and homework. Each topic is designed to develop a balance of practical skills, knowledge and understanding.

In year 7 pupils will study the following modules:

  • Digital Responsibility
  • Introduction to Computers and Programming in Scratch
  • Mobile App Development
  • Using media to gain support for a cause
  • Vector graphics

In year 8 pupils will study the following modules:

  • Computing systems
  • Computer networks
  • Introduction to programming in Python
  • Data representation – from clay to silicon
  • Modelling data using spreadsheets
  • Media – animations

In year 9 pupils will study the following modules:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data science
  • Python programming with sequences of data
  • Physical computing
  • Data representation – audio/visual
  • Multimedia projects – combining applications
  • Computers and the law


Students follow the OCR GCSE in Computer Science (9-1), specification: J277. The exam board is OCR.

Computer Science will encourage students to

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

What can I do with this subject?

  • The technology sector is rapidly growing as computers become increasingly enmeshed in a range of different industries. This means there are a wide selection of degrees relevant to computing, and employees with computing qualifications will be able to access a variety of different job roles.
  • Possible opportunities within computing include: software developer, systems analyst, network engineer and a wide range of other roles as the profession becomes more and more diverse each year.

Year 10

In year 10, students study the following topics from component 01 (computer systems): systems architecture, memory, storage, networks, and ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns relating to technology.

They study the following topics from component 02 (computational thinking): standard algorithms, computational logic, and data representation.

They also complete a practice project in preparation for component 03, which is a practical programming project. Students are taught the Python programming language.

Year 11

In year 11, students study the following topics from component 01 (computer systems): network topologies, protocols and layers, system security, and system software.

They study the following topics from component 02 (computational thinking): advanced algorithms, robust/defensive programming, and translators/facilities of languages.

They also complete the component 03 practical programming project.

Examinations and assessment

The following information gives the examination and assessment breakdown for each component in the GCSE.

Component 01 – Computer Systems

1 hour 30 minute written examination (80 marks)

Worth 50% of the GCSE

Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

1 hour 30 minute written examination (80 marks)

Worth 50% of the GCSE

Component 03 – Programming Project

Completion of a practical programming task.