The world of computer science is changing dramatically and the number of females entering this field is increasing. Former US President Barack Obama issued a clarion call to young people in 2014, ”don’t just play with your phone, learn to program it.” We endorse that visionary appeal and constantly challenge the stereotypes about geeks and anoraks, pedalled by people with no understanding of how computational thinking touches every aspect of modern life.
Year 7-9 Computer Science
Pupils develop their computing and digital skills alongside a rich programming experience. They use languages such as Python and Visual Basic to program applications, including Scratch, Lego Mindstorms and AppInventor. Pupils acquire an understanding of the role of sequence, selection and iteration, together with an awareness of the importance of analysis, design, implementation, testing and evaluation. Pupils also learn the basics of HTML tags to create webpages prior to learning to use web authoring software such as Dreamweaver.
Wider skills in using spreadsheets and databases, e-safety and the impact of technology on society ensure pupils as digital natives, are aware of the wider implications of information technology.
Pupils will embark upon the GCSE course with a firm understanding of the potential of Computer Science to make a real difference to future careers and to the world in which we live.
Challenge & Extension: Pupils enjoy a wide array of enrichment activities including a lunchtime Computer Programming Club, which allows the pupils to collaborate on projects. External competitions provide the opportunity to complete computing challenges and present their ideas and solutions to a critical audience.
Year 10-11 Computer Science GCSE
This is an exciting, demanding and potentially life-changing course for pupils with creative energy, vision, a disciplined work ethic and a pioneering spirit.
We no longer just learn how applications work, instead we build our own using Python! Pupils respond to this challenge with imagination, initiative and energy and by creating sophisticated mobile applications for businesses to advertise forthcoming events, broadcast results and record outcomes, while other programming challenges have involved cryptography and encryption.
Pupils are propelled on a rather wonderful journey of discovery and prepared for the world of work with skills which will remain relevant and marketable for a life time.
Challenge & Extension: A lunchtime Computer Programming Club offers the opportunity to further explore topics such as encryption, cyber security and their impact on our daily lives. The department Twitter feed @StGabsComputing is also used to share relevant news stories and extension activities. Pupils also take part in external competitions.