ICT & Computer Science
FACULTY LEADER: Mr S Hunt
Prince Henry's is committed to preparing students for the future and recognises that digital skills and basic computer programming are an essential part of today’s curriculum. Students follow a comprehensive Computer Science & ICT curriculum, with opportunities to take part in many extra-curricular activities, such as Code Club and a trip to world famous Bletchley Park, amongst other things.
It is vital that students are able to use computers and relevant software independently. In order to achieve high levels of ICT & computing competence early, students study ICT for three one-hour lessons per fortnight from Year 7 to 9 in mixed ability sets. This allows students to tackle challenging activities and cover topics in more depth, allowing them not only to expand their skills and knowledge, but also to gain confidence. We believe the projects we offer at KS3 prepare students well for KS4, this is supported by consistently outstanding results at all key stages. A list of the topics students will study in each year of KS3 is shown below:
Programming with Scratch
Impact of technology - Future technologies
Graphics editing and web design
Programming with Small Basic
Impact of technology - Careers
Programming with Python
Office project - Spreadsheets
Impact of technology - Technology and the environment
We follow the National Curriculum for Computing, covering three areas:
- Computer Science
- Digital Literacy
- Information Technology
At KS4, students can opt for GCSE iMedia, which is a new and exciting graphics/Media course where students learn how to make high quality websites, videos and graphics in a range of industry standard software.
Students can also opt for GCSE Computer Science, which is proving to be a successful and challenging course. Students follow a comprehensive curriculum and learn to program in Python and SQL. This course also prepares students well for the rigours of A Level.
In the Sixth Form, students may continue to extend their knowledge and understanding from the GCSE iMedia course with a clear progression pathway to OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT.
GCSE Computer Science students can follow a clear progression to A Level Computer Science, which is proving to be a popular and successful course at Prince Henry's.
Students do not need to have done either of our GCSE courses in order to follow any of our successful A Level options and can even choose to do both, if they wish.
Assessment plays a crucial role in the development and learning for all students and each member of the faculty ensures assessment takes place, with feedback provided, in the following ways:
- Assessment for learning (Checking understanding and informing next steps): A range of strategies are used to check understanding and inform next steps including multiple choice quizzes at the start of units, questions at the start of every lesson that reflect on previous learning and/or check understanding about the lesson topics to be covered and questioning in class – mix of open and closed questions.
- Assessment as learning (Helping students embed knowledge): Helping students to embed knowledge occurs through a mid-unit assessment leading to DIRT task, questioning in class – mix of open and closed questions, in class low stakes quizzes, a home learning book for GCSE Computer Science, practical skills development in programming, and project work, writing, testing and evaluating programs, in lesson activities to reinforce learning with past paper questions included for self-review and class discussion.
- Assessment of learning (Measuring how much learning has taken place): Measuring how much learning has taken place includes plenary questions reviewing learning in that lesson, summative assessment of final piece of work for the unit, a multiple choice quiz to end the unit, mock exams / KS3 exams, end of topic assessments comprising past paper questions with all topics covered to encourage greater retention of learning from previous weeks/months, tests every three weeks in A Level Computer Science, programming challenges, assessment of NEA tasks.
- Assessments have been calendared to try and fit closely to data entry points – main assessments take place at the beginning, middle and end of each topic in KS3, at the end of topics / in the 2nd half of each half term in KS4 Computer Science, every 3 weeks in A Level Computer Science and development of the NEA in Year 13 is closely monitored throughout the year.
KS3 students have the opportunity to join the Code Club, which runs weekly throughout the year.
Year 9 students have the opportunity to visit the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. This enrichment activity is intended to provide opportunities for skills, learning and engagement with digital and creative media.
Year 10 and 11 students have the opportunity to visit Bletchley Park and learn about the vital role played by the code-breakers in WW2.
Year 12 & 13 students have the opportunity to visit Leeds University to explore career opportunities available in IT & Computing, and also get involved in exciting and real-life challenges, such a Programming Micro-Bit national challenge/competition, where students actually design and create a piece of software to help people with a particular physical or medical condition or disability.
All students also have access to ICT facilities during lunchtime and after school.