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“Computer science empowers students to create the world of tomorrow.” – Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Our curriculum addresses the current needs of our students and prepares them with skills to use in the real world. Teaching Computer Science will develop independent learners who can think logically and are able to produce creative solutions to problems. We will provide opportunities to investigate different real-life problems, devise solutions and critique the solutions of others. All students have the right to study Computer Science as this will allow them to break down problems, understand that many solutions may exist and to think critically about different solutions. We will provide opportunities for students to work alongside businesses to see how these skills can be transferred to the workplace.

Computing must be seen as the heartbeat of all learning in the school with skills transferable to other areas of the curriculum and beyond. As such every school-leaver should have an understanding of computing.

It is our intent that the Computing curriculum will develop the students’ knowledge and skills so that they can access the ever evolving digital world that they live in, because they are empowered to create the world of tomorrow and equipped with the fundamental knowledge of Computer Science.

Key Concepts

Domains of knowledge
  • Algorithms
  • Programming Constructs
  • Problem Solving
  • Networks
  • Hardware
  • Data Representation
  • Digital Literacy
Key Concepts
  • Problem Solving: Abstraction, Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Algorithms, Trace Tables, Errors, Selection, Interaction, Data Structures, Subprograms
  • Algorithms: Interpret Algorithms, Create Algorithms, Purpose of an Algorithm, Output of an Algorithm, Error Correction for Algorithms, Data Structures, Bubble Sort, Merge Sort, Linear Search, Binary Search, Evaluating Algorithms
  • Mathematical Concepts and Logic: Binary conversion, Hex conversion, Binary addition, Binary subtraction, Binary shifts, Overflow errors, Two’s complement, Sign and Magnitude, Compression, Image Calculations, Sound Calculations, File Calculations, File Storage Conversion, Logic Gates
  • Machines and Software: Hardware, CPU, Computer Parts, Internal Parts, External Parts, Memory, Secondary Memory, Von Neumann, Applications, Operating Systems, Utility Software
  • Communication and Coordination: WWW, Internet, Communication Online, Encryption, Protocols, Packet Switching, Authentication, Network Topologies, Network Hardware
  • Digital Literacy: E-safety, Searching Online, Legislation, Impact of Digital Media, Fake News, Digital Footprint, Using digital office software, Evaluating information
Problem Solving Design Abstraction Decomposition Searching Sorting Sequencing Selection Iteration
Debugging Binary Hexadecimal Data Representation Hardware Software Fetch-Decode-Execute Networks Internet/


High Level Languages Low Level Languages e-safety Cybersecurity Digital Literacy Create and Manipulate Sourcing Information Reliability Bias

Year 7

  • Autumn term 1 = The Sharples Network and Working Online – This will ensure pupils can effectively access all the facilities provided at Sharples. It includes key skills in the use of standard software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and desktop publishing. There will also be an initial understanding of networks and the internet
  • Autumn term 2 = Algorithms and Basic Programming Constructs – Pupils will build on prior knowledge of programming in environments such as Scratch. Fundamental programming constructs, Sequence, Selection and Iteration will be introduced in a range of contexts. It will introduce decomposition and abstraction and boolean operators
  • Spring term 1 = Binary and Data Representation – Pupils will learn how to use the binary number system, converting between binary and denary. They will be introduced to units used in computing such as Gigabytes. This will then lead into an introduction to how computers store information, considering text and simple bitmap images
  • Spring term 2 = E-safety – A consideration of why and how pupils should stay safe whilst online. It will include digital footprints and identity.
  • Summer term 1 = Computer Systems – This will consider what a computer is, and will introduce Input – Process – Output – Storage as the basics of most modern computers. We will develop the understanding of different key components required for a computer to work and to be useful for humans to use. The value of computer networks will be introduced.
  • Summer term 2 = Physical Programming – Using BBC Microbits and other devices to investigate programming constructs and methods of converting algorithms into program code. This will also serve as a bridge between block and text based programming.

Year 8

  • Autumn term 1 = Developing Programming Skills – This will introduce the python language and extend concepts from year 7 to include count-controlled iteration and condition controlled iteration. It will also include the python turtle module to aid understanding.
  • Autumn term 2 = Digital Images – Vector and Bitmaps. This will build upon the data representation of images learnt in year 7 and will include software skills in creating and editing bitmap and vector images..
  • Spring term 3 = Cybersecurity – Introducing simple threats such as viruses and malware. This will expand upon the e-safety learning from year 7 to include keeping computers safe. There will be links to networks and computer systems. The unit will include links to the internet and the world wide web.
  • Spring term 4 = Data handling and modelling – The use of spreadsheets and databases is a key skill. This theme will develop their understanding of methods of manipulating data as well as linking to the world wide web in the context of search engines. Searching and sorting algorithms will be considered.
  • Summer term 1 = Digital logic – an introduction to logic gates, AND OR and NOT and using truth tables to identify the outputs to combinations two gates.
  • Summer term 2 = Computer systems and memory – How computers store binary in the main storage types. Why does a computer need RAM and ROM.

Year 9

  • Autumn term 1 = Computers Systems – von Neumann and beyond – In this topic pupils will consider stored program computers and how components combine to fulfil the needs of the modern computer. Thi will include a basic introduction to the fetch-decode-execute cycle. Pupils will be given the opportunity to consider the future development of computers including the ethics and potential risks (eg self driving vehicles).
  • Autumn term 2 = Creating Digital Media Products – Pupils will develop their skills in a range of software such as desktop publishing and graphics in order to produce items aimed at specific audiences.
  • Spring term 1 = Data structures in programming – This will allow pupils to develop their skills in programming, in particular using python, and will consider the use of lists and arrays and how to manipulate these. In addition simple subprograms will be introduced. They will use and understand key algorithms for searching and sorting.
  • Spring term 2 = Binary and hexadecimal. Pupils will be introduced to logical and arithmetic binary shifts in order to multiply and divide by multiples of two. They will use the hexadecimal number system, converting between binary and hexadecimal. They will also investigate the use of hex colour codes in graphical software.
  • Summer term = Interactive Digital Media – Pupils will have the opportunity to create a range of digital assets and multimedia products. They will consider different applications of multimedia, such as web pages and information points as well as GUI interfaces.

Key Stage 4 Overview - Computer Science

The GCSE curriculum provides students with opportunities to build on their learning experiences gained during Key Stage 3.

Year 10

  • Autumn term 1 = Pupils will recap the basics of binary from KS3 and will introduce methods of negative numbers in binary. Building upon the programming constructs taught at KS3 pupils will develop their understanding of data types and how programs handle inputs. They will focus also on flow diagrams and algorithm design in order to aid their problem solving skills.
  • Autumn term 2 = Pupils will be introduced to converting between denary and hexadecimal as well as reinforcing their knowledge of binary addition. Programming skills will be further reinforced to include selection techniques in python and code readability.
  • Spring term 3 = Building upon knowledge from KS3, of the stored program concept, pupils will fully investigate the Von Neumann architecture to include the FDE cycle, registers inside the CPU and how buses are used in the cycle. Pupils will learn how the different types of secondary storage devices function within a computer system.
  • Spring term 4 = Pupils will be introduced to the purpose of operating systems and utility software as well as their functions. Programming skills will introduce techniques for programming linear searches in one and two dimensions.
  • Summer term 1 = Pupils will investigate threats to our computer systems in the form of cybersecurity, and develop knowledge of the techniques and methods to prevent cybersecurity threats such as malware, hacking and social engineering. Additionally, pupils will continue to develop their programming skills in file handling, and producing robust software. Finally, they will consider sorting techniques and algorithms.
  • Summer term 2 = Developing on knowledge from Key Stage 3 pupils will obtain a deeper understanding of network types to include LAN, WAN, Wired and Wireless as well as key topologies. Pupils will continue to strengthen their programming understanding when using the python turtle module, to reinforce their understanding and use of the computational thinking core constructs.

Year 11

  • Autumn term 1 = Pupils will deepen their knowledge and understanding of how the internet works in the wider world. This will include the concept of Internet of Things and the TCP/IP set of protocols. Pupils will grow their programming ability by gaining the knowledge of Subprograms and their benefits. Furthermore pupils will continue to apply their understanding of data types and storage locations in the form of local and global variables. Finally, pupils will apply their knowledge of programming to external libraries in python to develop their problem solving techniques.
  • Autumn term 2 = Pupils will apply previously acquired knowledge to consider the impact of computing technology on our environment and the world we live in. Additionally, pupils will develop and apply their knowledge of programming to identify and explain the need for and benefits of high and low level languages. Throughout this term, pupils will continue to develop their knowledge in the use of algorithms, flow diagrams and program code by problem solving and the effective use of trace tables.
  • Spring term 3 = Pupils will extend their knowledge of data representation to include more complex elements of how bitmap images and sound are created and stored on a computer system. Pupils produce highly efficient and well thought out programmed solutions, with a particular focus of string manipulation and formatting techniques.
  • Spring term 4 = Pupils will apply their computational knowledge and understanding to consider and debate the associated benefits and risks of Artificial Intelligence in our world, and future technologies. Again, pupils will consider real-world issues concerning privacy, computer misuse and the laws governing such issues. It is at this point, pupils will continue to deepen their programming skills in the form of two dimensional data structure, and complex program solutions using all of the core constructs learnt to date.
  • Summer term 1 = Pupils will apply their knowledge and understanding of Computer Science through a range of problem solving activities addressing all key concepts of the curriculum.

GCSE Business Studies

Year 10

  • In Year 10, pupils will develop their understanding of a range of businesses of varying size, and identify common factors which feature within them. This will include the inception of a business, marketing and product development, financing, how businesses operate and legislation which affects the day to day running of businesses.

Year 11

  • In Year 11 pupils will deepen their understanding by applying the knowledge gained in Year 10 to the wider world, looking at large companies, and topics such as quality management, expansion and economies/diseconomies of scale. Pupils will also carry out a range of activities aimed at enhancing knowledge in preparation for their two external examinations.

Creative iMedia

Year 10

  • Throughout Year 10 pupils will develop knowledge of factors which influence product design. This will include elements such as purpose, style and client requirements as well as understanding the audience and how this affects a product. They will develop skills in pre-production planning to include mood boards, visualisations and other components needed.
  • They will apply this knowledge through a range of practical activities during which they will use a variety of software packages. This will include the completion of set assignments as part of the qualification.

Year 11

  • Pupils will further learn about the media industry considering a wide range of products and their purpose, job roles in the industry, legal issues and how media is distributed. This will be assessed in an external examination.
  • In addition they will further develop software skills in order to complete further set assignments.

Home learning

Learning beyond the classroom will involve low-stakes online activities via Google Classroom or external sites such as Educake, as well as book based tasks such as exam questions.

Pupils at Key Stage 3 should expect two Online tasks per half term.

At Key Stage 4 pupils should expect one homework per week. This will be a combination of online tasks using Educake and similar services and written exam style questions.

Where appropriate home learning will be based on learning from previous lessons as recall and revision


Enrichment and other extra-curricular activities

A wide range of Computing related enrichment options are available, including Game Design, robotics, web development. In addition a number of activities will take place linked to career progression including external speakers and visits to colleges and employers.



Mr Capaldi, Director of Computing