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Computer Science

At Beaconsfield High School, we recognise the value of both Computing and ICT, both as essential tools to support learning and as fascinating subjects in their own right.  Over recent years, due to the ubiquitous nature of IT in society and the greater range of ICT skills new students bring each year, the Computer Science Department has developed an innovative and exciting curriculum to match.

A simple way of distinguishing Computing from ICT as subjects is, that where ICT is predominantly based on the skilful use of digital technology, Computing focuses on the understanding and application of the logical processes behind these tools. Our primary focus in the Computer Science Department is to introduce the students to the fundamental concepts of computing, while maintaining their skilful use of ICT across the curriculum.

ICT is used in school extensively for writing up homework and projects, for display work, and for research. Most departments use ICT to fulfil the National Curriculum requirements. 

The introduction of Microsoft’s Office 365 at BHS is a fundamental step towards using digital technologies more flexibly, lessons focus on tools for real-time collaboration, the benefits of cloud-based file storage and the delivery of learning resources.  As part of the BHS O365 license, all pupils are entitled to download for free the latest versions of Microsoft’s Office suite to use at home.

Instructions on how to download Office can be found on the BHS VLE by following this link.

Curriculum Intent

The intent of the Computer Science department is to introduce and enthuse students about what is for many of them a totally new subject.

As a department we are aware that while schools like Beaconsfield High have for over 50 years enabled and encouraged its students to achieve remarkable results across a huge variety of disciplines. In doing so they have challenged the perceptions of what can be achieved, however we are also aware how the perception of women in technology and the perception of the opportunities for our students in Computer Science and other related fields, still suffers.

Our aim is therefore, to demonstrate to the pupils how well they can achieve in technical industries as well as emphasising the social, economic and cultural shifts that are underpinning the industries burgeoning demand for highly technical, highly capable females.

Pre-GCSE we aim to give the students a solid foundation to the principles of Computer Science, by building on prior knowledge and introducing them to new concepts in innovative, practical and challenging activities.

We continue to encourage students who have demonstrated and aptitude for Computer Science to take the subject at GCSE and beyond.

Years 7 to 9

All students will study Computer Science until the end of Year 9.

In Computer Science lessons students will complete projects that cover the following key areas:

  • Algorithms
  • Programming & Development
  • Data & Data Representation
  • Hardware & Processing
  • Communication & Networks

At the end of Year 9 students can choose to continue with Computer Science by selecting it as one of there GCSE options.

Years 10 and 11 

Current year 10 students are following the new OCR GCSE in Computer Science. BHS students will first sit this examination in June 2018.

OCR Computer Science GCSE: This qualification is designed to be remain relevant to the modern, changing world of computing.  It carries on well from the computing curriculum delivered in years 7, 8 and 9, building on the essential 21st century skills they have already covered.

Assessment:

  • Paper 1: Computer Systems (worth 40%)
  • Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (worth 40%)
  • Non-Exam Assessment: Programming project (worth 20%)

Years 12 and 13

We offer year 12 students the opportunity to study Computer Science to AS Level.  BHS students will first sit this examination in June 2019.

AQA Computer Science AS: This qualification stands alone from the GSCE course, which is not required for the AS Level, it is however an advantage to candidates, as is any experience with coding.

The course is delivered and examined entirely in Year 12.

Assessment:

  • Paper 1: Practical ProgrammingOn-screen exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (worth 50%)
  • Paper 2: Theory Paper Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (worth 50%)