Key Stage 3 Information

Points to Note


  • Pupils were set on entry to school based on KS2 SATS in conjunction with the Technology Department.
  • There are two equal bands of 6 sets in Year 7.
  • The membership of each set is reviewed as an ongoing process throughout the year in order to identify any necessary alterations. On occasion these changes are made in order to better balance set sizes.


  • All pupils are given a target end of Year 7 grade based on the information above.
  • These targets are reflective of the GCSE grading 1-9 (9 is highest).
  • Targets are regularly reviewed in order to ensure aspiration for all pupils.

Course and Assessment

  • Pupils undertake a sequence of units which vary in length dependent upon content.
  • Each week pupils complete a Learning Log as part of their homework. Additional work is set in order to extend understanding when appropriate.
  • At the end of each unit an indicative grade is given together with summative feedback on the unit completed.
  • A mid-year exam is taken in January which will cover all the topics in the Autumn term as well as aspects of the skills learned in previous years at Sharples.
  • A final, end of year exam will be taken in June which will cover all the topics taught in to date.

Setting in Year 8

  • A review of sets is made following the end of year examinations in June.

Year 7 Topics

  • Basic Computer Systems (Input and Output Devices)
  • Networks – How and Why We Use Them
  • Programming Concepts Using Scratch
  • Spreadsheets and Modelling
  • Binary
  • Physical Computing Using The BBC Microbit
  • Simple Video Editing

Year 8 Topics

  • Some topics are dependent on which set pupils are in. Higher sets have a more programming based focus.
  • Key Skills (Desk Top Publishing, Excel, Researching the Internet)
  • Creating Apps using App Inventor
  • Python Programming
  • Simple Web Design
  • E-Safety
  • Logic
  • Digital Images – Bitmap and Vector
  • Computer Systems
  • Computational Thinking
  • Advanced Python Programming
  • Algorithms
  • Digital Animation

The KS3 scheme of work is constantly under review for content and coverage as well as remaining “up to date”. As such topics may be subject to change. We will endeavor to keep this page fully updated with any changes.


Key Stage 4 Information

AQA GCSE Computer Science

The Course
The AQA GCSE Computer Science course is taught in 3 periods per week.
Full details of the specification for this GCSE and sample examination papers can be found here:

Topics undertaken are:
1 Fundamentals of algorithms
2 Programming
3 Fundamentals of data representation
4 Computer systems
5 Fundamentals of computer networks
6 Fundamentals of cyber security
7 Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
8 Aspects of software development


At KS4 pupil targets are given using the same rationale as at KS3. Continuation of the progress flight path that was set using KS2 data on entry (and amended regularly to ensure aspiration) is used. At the start of KS4 each pupil is given a target for the end of their GCSE course at Sharples.


Pupils are assessed during lessons using examination style questions, homework tasks and extended programming tasks.

In addition to in-class assessment, pupils undertake Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs) in both Year 10 and Year 11. These are conducted under strict exam conditions in the school theatre and provide further information for the teacher and pupil on next steps to improve progress.

Grades achieved in the PPEs are recorded on the front of pupil exercise books alongside the target grade so that progress can be monitored.

Year 10 Formal Assessment (June)
1 paper:
Computational Thinking and theoretical content covered to this point

Year 11 Formal Assessment (November)
1 paper:
Computational Thinking and theoretical content covered to this point

Year 11 Formal Assessment (March)
2 x Papers
Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving
Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1– 4 above.
Paper 2: Written assessment
Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3 – 7 above.


There will be one homework per week. This will include using an online MOOC, exam style questions and problem solving tasks.

NEA (Non-examined Assessment)

This must be completed in year 11 and is a 20 hour task taken under strict control. A significant proportion of year 10 work is in preparation for this component. Following a government consultation in December 2017 this component of the course no longer contributes towards the final grade. However, it is a required element and the exam board require a sample of work as well as evidence of the full time being allocated.


Final examinations in May of year 11 will produce the final GCSE grade. There are two papers each worth 50%. The content of these is as above for the Year 11 March PPE.

How can you help your child?

  • Revision guides and workbook (with answers) will be able to purchase from school (prices to be confirmed). This covers the whole of the two year course.
  • Oversee use of the MOOC. All pupils have a username and password for this facility.
  • Ensure all homework is completed and submitted on time.
  • Encourage your child to attend any additional sessions taking place. These will be held throughout Year 11.


AQA GCSE Business Studies
This course actively engages students in the study of business to develop them as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. This course is assessed by a two-hour written exam and one piece of controlled assessment.



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