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Computing

All pupils and students at Hagley Catholic High School follow a taught course of computing. The Department is made up of four specialist teachers who are fully committed to the education of the pupils:

  • Mr. P Halford - Subject Leader of Computing - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mr. K Smith - KS3 Computing Co-ordinator - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mrs. V Jones - Teacher of Computing - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mrs. S Radford – Teacher of Computing - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Computing is the doorway to the future and we know how important it is to ensure our young people can live in the digital world as responsible netizens whilst also understanding how computers work. Throughout the curriculum, pupils will learn how to use a variety of software from Excel through to Photoshop, as well as learning the fundamentals of programming. Staring with Block based programming to complete text-based programming. Each year develops on the previous material to give a comprehensive computing education. 

 

Year 7

 During Year 7, pupils learn the basics of email etiquette, e-safety as well as spreadsheet modeling and data handling along with game making and knowing how to use Haggle, the schools online learning environment.

At the start of the year, pupils are assessed using a baseline assessment, while during the year, pupils knowledge and skills will be assessed through a variety of methods including the design and creation of a final publication or an end of topic test.

At the end of the year, pupils are assessed by an online test.

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Unit CS1

Introduction to computing at Hagley(Email, Haggle, SAMLearning)

Baseline assessment

Unit 7D

Spreadsheet Modelling (Microsoft Excel)

Unit CS2 

Introduction to Game Programming (Scratch)

Unit 7E

Data handling (Microsoft Excel and Access)

Unit 7F

Desk Top Publishing on E-safety topic

 

During the year, pupils will be assessed using a baseline assessment in the first few weeks of the autumn term and the design and creation of a final publication for each unit as well as being assessed by an online end of topic test.

Year 8

 During Year 8, pupils start to learn the fundamentals of computing, how does a computer actually work? They also learn HTML programming, as well as an introduction to python programming, control systems, and cybersecurity.

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Unit CS3

Understanding computers

Unit 8B 

Web Design (HTML-Notepad, Dreamweaver)

Unit CS4 

Computational Thinking

Algorithms (Flowol) 

Unit CS5 

Programming Python Basics

Unit CS9

Computer crime & cybersecurity

During the year, pupils are assessed by the design and creation of a final publication as well as being assessed by an online end of topic test.

Year 9

 During Year 9 pupils start the year by revisiting and developing their skills in python programming, as well as learning how to manipulate graphics using Fireworks & Photoshop. While the BBC Micro:bit computers are programmed to do a variety of tasks alongside understanding how networks operate. Finally, students get the chance to be creative though creating their own radio adverts and video games in Kodu.

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Unit CS6 

Programming Concepts (Python)

Unit 9B 

Graphics (Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop )

Unit CS8

BBC micro:bit programming

Unit CS7

Networks

Unit 9C

Sound Editing (Audacity)

Unit CS10

Game making (Kodu)

 

During the year, pupils are assessed by the design and creation of a final publication as well as being assessed by an online end of topic test.

Key stage 4

GCSE Computer Science –

Examination Board: OCR Syllabus Code: J276

Computer Science is a core component of the English Baccalaureate recognizing the high standards of intellectual depth and practical value of this qualification; it is now the fourth Science. This course enables students to learn computer science and programming skills which high-tech industries need. Many high-tech companies originate as small start-ups founded by Computer Scientists e.g. Facebook, Google, and Apple. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the most innovative and successful champions of Computer Science today.

Aren’t ICT and Computer Science the same thing?

Consider a car.  You can learn to drive it and it will make life easier.  You can get from A to B quicker and get on with the other things you want to do.  ICT is just that, it develops a skill set so you can “use” your computer.  You do not care how it works as long as it helps you write a report or do the accounts.  However, some people want to know how it works.  They want to get under the bonnet and understand the basic principles.  They might design better cars and invent new technologies for greener engines etc.  This is the equivalent of studying Computer Science.

Why Choose GCSE Computer Science?

The course will give students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on “behind the scenes”. As part of this, students will investigate computer programming, which students find very enjoyable. The course will help students develop critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills.

Looking to the future:

The demand for high-level technology skills is growing. This means there will be a bigger demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. This course provides an excellent route onto our A-level Computer Science course. If students want to go on to higher education and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone.

Unit 1 Computer systems– Examination (50%):

Students will learn about the hardware involved in making the computer work, the functions of the operating system software, binary and hexadecimal number systems, communications and networking, algorithms and programming languages.

Unit 2 Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – Examination (50%):

Students will carry out a practical investigation into a computing issue and explore computer science in the real world. This may involve working with python to create an app that people can use or a database that can store information, the possibilities are endless.

Unit 3 Programming project – Non-Examined Assessment

Students have 20 lesson hours to create a solution to a stated problem, which will involve coding in a programming language. The programming language we currently use is Python. Students are required to create a report alongside their program to ensure they pass the course.

Key Stage 5

At KS5 we offer two different courses and approaches to computing for students to choose from:

Computer Science A-Level

Computing is the fourth science for those with a love of languages. Learn your place in the modern world as computing continues its advance to be essential to all careers and countless aspects of your everyday life. For the more vocational and practical approach to computer-related studies, please see the Applied IT A-Level.

What you study

You will analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving problems, including writing programs to do so. You will investigate mathematical concepts of computing as well as looking into the theory behind hardware/software development and architecture. This is the ‘technical and scientific’ approach to the study of computers and programming it is very different to ‘IT’.  Be sure to select the right course for you!

How you study

An aptitude for problem-solving and an interest in learning a programming language is very important. Lessons cover both theoretical knowledge and practical skill. Access to a computer outside of school will be essential to succeed in learning a programming language. The course requires both a logical and mathematical mind.  You will pick up anything up to four programming languages when developing your coursework, which is worth 20% of the qualification.

Progression to university

The skills developed, such as project management and problem-solving; make this a valuable course for all students. There are opportunities at the majority of universities to study Computer Science and Software Engineering; however, this is not the only option.  It is also a potential lead-in for other Computing based courses such as games design, web development, and programming among other disciplines.  It is also a very useful addition to anyone going on to study degree level Mathematics or Science.

Our successes

For many years now, through dedicated work from both students and staff, we have secured a high pass rate at A-level.  The teaching staff for the course have a combined total of over 25 years of teaching experience in delivering Computing and IT. We have seen several students go on to get higher-level degree apprenticeships with government organisations such as GCHQ and companies such as Google, Vodafone & PWC along with many Computer Science Graduates.

Combines well with

Computing combines especially well with Mathematics, the Sciences, Engineering, Humanities and Electronics based courses.

GCSE entrance requirements

Students should have GCSE Maths at Grade 6 or higher to undertake this course.  GCSE Computer Science is also preferred at GCSE Grade 5, as a background in programming helps considerably, but we will accept students with strong ICT grades from certain, specific courses instead.  You will need to do some preparatory work in advance of the course if you have not studied GCSE Computer Science.

Applied IT – Application Developer

Practical yet versatile for the emerging world ahead.

This course has a lower examination element than A Level Computer Science and is more focussed on the hands-on side of IT, such as computer/technology theory, legislation, multimedia design, web design and creative IT. For the more scientific and academic approach to computer-related studies, please see the A-Level Computer Science entry.

What you study

You will begin by studying some core IT theory needed for the course, which will cover a basic, but a wide range of technical topics.  You will sit three examinations covering the legal, moral and ethical sides of IT. On the practical side, you go into an in-depth look at how professional and modern applications are made, to which you then go on to produce one of your own at a high quality, for a specific client.  This is the ‘vocational’ approach to the study of computers it is very different from ‘Computer Science’.  Be sure to select the right course for you!

 

How you study

You should be interested in how businesses use IT and information systems and how multimedia, website development and games work in all environments.   Access to a computer outside of school will be essential to succeed in completing the portfolio work; the department offers facilities for use outside of lesson time. The course is a mixture of practical and theoretical work, with a higher emphasis on the practical side of IT. 

You must to be very dedicated to your work as there is a higher element of coursework (40%) compared to the Computer Science course (20%).  This therefore means there is a considerable amount of folder work to produce for the course.


 

Progression to university

There are opportunities at the majority of universities to study IT or Business, based on the outcomes and content in this course.  It is also a potential lead in for other IT/Computing based courses such as games design, networking courses, web development and programming.

Combines well with

IT combines especially well with Business Studies, Media Development, Music and similar, practical based courses as well as traditional A-Levels.

GCSE entrance requirements

Students must have GCSE English at Grade 5 or higher to undertake this. The previous study of ICT is not essential but preferred.

Extra-Curricular

Computing Club – Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday we offer students the opportunity to make use of the computing facilities whether it be to complete homework, use some of our cutting edge software or explore their studies further…

Minecraft Club – students get the opportunity to explore the world of Minecraft Education, there is a nominal fee of £1 per session to cover the cost of the licenses

VR Club - One of the most exciting advances in modern technology is virtual reality, as a department, we have 2 Oculus Headsets. Students can experience this glimpse into the future. For a nominal fee (50p per session). The charge is to finance the purchase of further content and help offset the outlay for the equipment.

Facilities

There are five Computing suites and various clusters of PCs within departments around the school. Most machines run Windows 10 and include a variety of software applications such as Adobe Creative Suite 5 and Microsoft Office 365. There are interactive whiteboards and projectors in all of the suites.

We have our very own green room, for video editing which also incorporates our Virtual Reality equipment which is used by students in their learning.