Computer Science

Head of Department: Mr A Foley
Teacher of Computer Science: Mr E Taylor
Support Staff: Mr S Hodder (IT Manager)
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

Our Faculty Mission

We believe that each student is uniquely gifted and intelligent and our purpose in Computing, is to unfold the gifts of each one and to encourage the same in the wider cross-curricular use of IT. We also make sure that students are well prepared for the digital age we now find ourselves in.

We are committed to the outcomes of Every Child Matters and teach them both explicitly in the Computing curriculum and implicitly in the Christian values imbued in our teaching. The study of Computing and IT is vital in giving our pupils a knowledge and understanding of the rapidly expanding world of digital communications. Students need to develop an awareness of all issues surrounding Online Safety with particular emphasis on Social Media and Cyberbullying. Health and Safety issues when using equipment and applications including the use of the internet; the protection of data and the consideration of copyright will also be developed. We also aim to develop a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in our pupils when using any form of ICT. Here at St Gregory’s we are committed to making our lessons relevant using the new Computing curriculum as a basis from which we strive for excellence to meet and exceed our targets.

We aim to maintain a high quality of teaching and learning in Computing which will prepare students for life outside of school and in their future life in the world, be it of work or further study.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Computer Science is designed to be taught in three lessons 1 hour lessons over a two week timetable Computing is in demand. Skills required in this discipline cover many themes and change yearly. In KS3 students will cover an exciting introduction to Computing principles across three years, where they follow a set of resources that revolves around short sharp skills units. Whilst computing will cover the largest part of the scheme of work, the traditional ICT elements will still be included – This will be covered over 4 strands: –

  1. Computer Science – Students will understand the key concepts surrounding computers, how they work and interact
  2. Computer Programming –Students will use and understand a number of programming tools and constructs in different contexts
  3. Digital Safety and Responsibility – Students will understand the need to feel and be safe when using ICT tools and how to behave responsibly while doing so
  4. Digital Literacy and Creativity – Students will understand the importance of selecting, editing and combining a variety of digital content to create their own digital content and artefacts.

Year 7

Term 1
Online Safety and School Network (Agreement)

Term 5
Game Design Project and MicroBits

Term 2
Computer Science – Inputs/Outputs and Memory

Term 6
Python Programming

Terms 3 and 4
Computational Thinking – Understanding Programming concepts using Scratch

Year 8

Term 1
Digital Safety and Responsibility – Social Media etc.

Terms 4 & 5
App Development – Group Project

Term 2
Advanced Computational Thinking – Understanding programming Concepts Using Scratch

Term 6
Computer Programming –  Algorithms and Decomposition (Programming using Python)

Term 3
Future of Technology, Internet of Things and Fake News

Year 9

Term 1
Digital Safety and Responsibility – Looks, Sharing Sexual Images and Grooming

Terms 2 & 3
Computer Science – Data Representation (Binary, Hex, Sound, Images) – Spreadsheets And SQL

Terms 4 & 5
Computer Programming – Advanced Computational Thinking – Textual Programming Using Python

Term 6

Digital Literacy and Creativity – Computer Ethics (Stop Motion Animation)

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course: OCR GCSE Computer Science (9-1) – Course Code: J277
Exam Board Specification: OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science Specification – J277

Computing GCSE focuses students on the technical aspects of IT with a specific emphasis on computer programming. For this reason students who have a particular strength in logic/mathematics will enjoy the course. Students use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies.

Through this study of computer programming, the course will help learners develop critical thinking, analysis, problem solving skills and computational thinking. In this way, the course will stimulate interest and engagement with technology and technology-related careers.

If learners want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone.

This course is technical in its approach and elements of Mathematics are included.

The course consists of three units, two of which are theory and are examined by a written paper (50% each) and there is one coursework, controlled assessment unit.

Year 10 & 11

Paper 1: Computer systems (50% overall grade)


  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (50% overall grade)


  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of Languages
  • Data representation

NEA – Non Exam Assessment – Programming project

Students’ programming ability will be internally assessed controlled assessment that will be done mostly in lesson time and will take up 20 hours.

What is assessed?

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Computer Science AQA 7517
Exam Board Specification:

Recommended Entry Requirements:

  • Grade 6 Mathematics GCSE and Grade 6 in English
  • Grade 5 GCSE Computing desirable
  • A genuine interest in how computers work and in computer programming

Why Computer Science?
Study Computer Science and be inspired and equipped to tackle the IT challenges facing our modern world. You will learn how computers work and start programming in formal scripting languages.

You will develop your own software project and associated reports to solve a real-life problem – enabling you to become a real problem solver, to analyse information effectively and to plan projects properly. This project can also form a useful discussion topic for UCAS applications.

You will learn about the technology that really powers all those things you love using, from websites such as Facebook and Twitter to the games you enjoy playing like Call of Duty and The Sims.

Computing will help you with any subjects which require a degree of critical thinking – which is virtually all of them!

40% – Paper 1- Programming – On Screen Exam
40% – Paper 2 – Written Exam
20% – Paper 3 – Non-Exam Assessment. Practical project, internally assessed.

Recommended Reading
AQA A Level Computer Science
(7516 7517 A-Level Course textbook by PG Online – 2016)
AQA AS and A Level Computer Science by Heathcote (2016)

Resources & Links:
GCSE – Computer Science (9-1) – J277 (from 2020) – OCR
AQA | AS and A-level | Computer Science | Changes for 2022

Computing News