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Computer Science

Our aim: Creating logical thinkers and resilient problem solvers through the exploration of computer systems and practical design of algorithms

The curriculum enables students to understand more about how computers work and how to use them to support what we do.  Whilst learning to program, the students develop the transferable skills of decomposing a problem and building a solution. Our Scheme of Learning motivates and challenges students, whilst exposing them to the ever-changing world of technology.  We aim to give students the skills they need when they move onto the next phase of their education, whether this is in Computer Science or another subject area.

Curriculum Overview

Students at King Alfred’s Academy start their Computing learning journey in Year 7.  Initially the focus is on using computers safely and effectively, to underpin what we do across the curriculum.  Then the focus switches to a more technical understanding of computer systems and programming.  In Year 9, students can choose Computer Programming as one of their options, alongside the core subjects.  This will give them a chance to try out programming before they make their GCSE choices.  In the Computer Science GCSE, students will develop their programming and problem-solving skills further.  The GCSE also explores how computers work, how we store real-world data digitally and the role of Computers in today's society. 

Year 9 topics Computer Programming option

  • Introduction to programming using block coding
  • Introduction to programming in Python
  • Developing basic programming and problem-solving skills

The Big Questions that we address in Year 9 are:

  • What is computational thinking?
  • How do we build an algorithm to solve a problem?
  • How do we code a programmed solution?

Year 10 topics GCSE Computer Science

  • Developing more advanced programming skills, building on the Year 9 option
  • Systems architecture – how the CPU works, memory and storage
  • Networking – local and wide area networking, TCP/IP layered protocol model and network security
  • Systems software – operating systems and utility software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

The Big Questions that we address in Year 10 are:

  • How do computers communicate to create larger systems?
  • How do we manage computer systems and keep them secure?
  • How do we get computers to do what we want?

Year 11 topics GCSE Computer Science

  • Building on programming skills
  • Writing algorithms
  • How to produce robust programs and testing
  • Boolean logic – truth tables and logic diagrams
  • Types of programming language and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments)

The Big Questions that we address in Year 11 are:

  • How do we design algorithms?
  • What types of programming and logic underpin computing?