At Long Stratton High School pupils study Computer Science at Key Stage 3 and have Core ICT lessons at Key Stage 4. These lessons provide them with a vast opportunity of functional and transferable skills in line with the government requirements and meeting pupils’ needs in preparation for further education and employment. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.
Why study Computer Science?
Computer Science and ICT develop pupils with a wide range of skills which are sought after in all types industry. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, design and technology and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. Studying Computer Science allows pupils to learn the principles of information and computation thinking, understand how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through a range of programming languages.
We live in an ever changing world; a week doesn’t go by without the launch of a new smartphone, games console or app. Computer Science is the transferable skill that can empower you to make a difference in all aspects of life.
“Everybody should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.” Steve Jobs
Computer Science is not just about being able to write code. Concepts like decomposition, abstraction and algorithm design can help with revision, or planning a project, even building a house.
Our Computing department inspires creativity at every turn. Through practical studies in Computational Thinking, Algorithm Design and Programming Constructs, all students are encouraged to be ambitious and to actively engage in the processes of design to develop as effective and independent learners.
KEY STAGE 3
Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum has been redeveloped, designed to stretch all students to their full potential. Lessons are topic based, each lasting a school term. Our topics include Algorithms, Games Development, Programming, E-Safety, Computational thinking, Networking, Computer Ethics, etc. We provide challenge; students learn the logic behind the software they use on a daily basis and will be empowered to decompose problems and construct their own algorithms.
The high quality projects delivered at KS3 allow the students to use computational thinking and understand how creativity changes the world. The students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Various projects allow the students to become digitally literate to be able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in our digital world.
The essential topics covered at KS3 greatly prepare our students for further study of Computer Science at KS4.
“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Stephen Hawking
KEY STAGE 4
We have a broad range of subjects offered at Key Stage 4. These options may complement each other with many students opting for more than one at the end of Year 9. We currently offer the OCR GCSE Computer Science, Edexcel GCSE Business Studies and OCR National Creative I-Media
Students wishing to follow the technical route may choose GCSE Computer Science.
OCR Computer Science
The GCSE Computer Science is an engaging and practical course, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.
- Paper 1 – Computer systems (01) – 50%
- Paper 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02) – 50%
- Programming Project – non examined component
“All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or school – my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.” Mark Zuckerberg
Edexcel GCSE Business Studies
The GCSE Business Studies is an exciting and innovative option that gives students an insight into employment and industry sectors. The qualification should prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. Business Studies covers a wide range of topics from spotting gaps in the market, starting-up, marketing, financing and operating a firm. Business also examines the way in which firms’ impact on the economy and how they organise themselves.
The main aim of the course is to develop an academic knowledge and understanding of the business world whilst at the same time developing skills such as numeracy, data handling, ICT and literacy in order to present and interpret information effectively. This is a demanding subject.
‘If you like asking questions about the world we live in we may have a few answers for you…
The Edexcel Business GCSE 9-1 is structured into two themes, taking students from how entrepreneurs start businesses (Theme 1) through to growing a business and global businesses (Theme 2).
- Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship.
- Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity.
- Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice.
- Topic 1.4 Making the business effective.
- Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business.
- Topic 2.1 Growing the business.
- Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions
- Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions.
- Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions
- Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions
Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.
Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.
OCR Creative I-Media
Alternatively, we also offer a Level 2 Certificate in Creative I-Media. Creative I-Media is media sector-focused, including film, television, web development, gaming and animation, and have IT at their heart. They provide knowledge in a number of key areas in this field from pre-production skills to digital animation and have a motivating, hands-on approach to both teaching and learning. Below are the two compulsory units.
Students will need to complete 4 units including units R081: Pre-production skills and R082: Creating digital graphics to gain the Certificate Award. We’ve introduced external assessment. Unit R081 contains a written paper which is set and assessed by OCR. The remaining units will be moderated by OCR and we will provide model assignments for Units R082 to R092. Unit and qualification results are awarded on a 7 grade scale with: Pass, Merit and Distinction at both Levels 1 and 2, and with a new grading of Distinction* at Level 2 to inspire students to achieve more. Students’ performance on the units will determine their grade and level.
R081: Pre-production skills
This unit will enable learners to understand pre-production skills used in the creative and digital media sector. It will develop their understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process.
R082: Creating Digital Graphics
The aim of this unit is for learners to understand the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation. This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process.
In addition to the above compulsory units, pupils will study two more units; creating a digital multimedia product and creating a comic strip/creating a digital video sequence.
Unit R084: Storytelling with a comic strip
Comic strips are as popular today as ever. They have evolved from their origins in the early part of the 20th century as simple story strips, to become whole genres of interest that span the entire world.
Through this unit, students will explore different genres of comic strip and the basics of comic strip creation.
Unit R087: Creating interactive multimedia products
Interactive multimedia products are featured widely in everyday life and in the creative and digital media sector. They are used in computer games, mobile phone applications, presentations and many other areas.
Through this unit, students will explore the basics of interactive multimedia products for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why interactive multimedia is used and what features are needed for a given purpose. This unit builds on Units R081 and R082.
R089-Creating a digital video sequence
Through studying this unit students will understand the purpose of digital video products and where they are used. They will be able to plan a digital video sequence, create and edit a digital video sequence and review the final video sequence against a specific brief.