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Information Technology and Computer Science

Mr I Needham – Head of Department
Mrs R Myers- Teacher
Mrs C Hughes – Teacher
Mr D Grainger – Teacher
Mr G Scott – Network Manager
Mr M Harrison-Bould – Technician
Mr S Clark – Technician
Mr P Romanec – Technician

KS3 Curriculum

All students study ICT in years 7 & 8.

A firm grounding in all aspects of ICT and Computer Science is of fundamental importance in our modern digitally connected world. The Key Stage 3 curriculum is aimed at providing all students with the skills and knowledge they will need in order to communicate effectively and understand the world around them.
It is also aimed at preparing those students who wish to continue their studies at Key stage 4.
The areas covered are as follows:

Year 7
Term 1 – An introduction to the St John Fisher Network and on-line Safety
Term 2–  Introduction to programming and computational thinking.
Term 3 – How  does my computer work

Year 8
Term 1 – Designing and Creating websites
Term 2 – Programming in python and designing algorithms
Term 3 – My Place in the digitally connected world

KS4 Curriculum

The department offers courses in both Computer Science and ICT at KS4

GCSE Computer Science  Exam Board – OCR J276


A Computer Science qualification will, above all else, be relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. It is an intensely creative subject that involves invention and excitement. Computer Science values computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so.

How will I be Assessed?

The specification is split into three sections:

Paper 1:  Computer Systems (This accounts for 50% of GCSE)

Computer Systems architecture; Memory; Storage Devices; Wired and wireless networks; Network topologies; protocols and layers; Computer and Network security, phishing, viruses, malware; Operating System software; Moral, social, legal, cultural and environmental concern 

Paper 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (This accounts for 50% of GCSE)

Translators and facilities of languages including pseudo code; Algorithms for searching and sorting; High- and low-level programming languages; Computational logic, logic gates, Boolean operators; Data representation units, binary, hexadecimal, pixels, compression


If you take a GCSE in Computing and then go on to study the subject at A Level, you’ll have an advantage over fellow students who are picking up the subject at these higher levels. The increasing importance of computing means there’ll be a growing demand for people who are qualified in this field. The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you’ll develop, especially where they’re applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

ICT – Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia

What Will I Study?

This course aims to give students an understanding of imaging and multimedia software to design and create effective products for specified purposes and audiences. Students will design and create a range of multimedia products using a wide range of industry standard software.

Once they have a good understanding of the multimedia skills, they will learn how to design and create products that communicate effectively onscreen and in print and how to combine them with other components. They will need to consider the medium, purpose and audience as well as file format and size.

The course comprises 4 units, three of which are project based and marked internally before being externally moderated and the final unit is an externally set examination .

How Will I be Assessed:
Students will achieve a qualification worth the equivalent of one GCSE. This will be graded from Level 2 Disntinction *, Level 2 Distinction, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Pass, Level 1 Distinction, Level 1 Merit, Level 1 Pass, U.

What Opportunities Will I Have:
Students may go on to study Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in ICT (Equivalent to A Level) or A Level Computing within the Associated 6th Form. Popular courses recent students have gone on to study include those which combine ICT with management, business, multimedia, web design and graphic design.

KS5 Curriculum

The department offers courses in both Computer Science and ICT at KS5

Computer Science – GCE A Level (AQA)

This course is designed to:

  • allow students to demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of computing
  • develop problem-solving abilities in a computing context using an algorithmic approach
  • demonstrate a knowledge of programming through a problem solving scenario
  • develop an understanding of the hardware and software aspects of Computing.

Paper 1: This is a practical, on-screen, examination which allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the principles of the subject, focusing on programming. Assessment is through a problem-solving scenario using pre-release material. This is a practical 2.5 hour on screen exam accounting for 40% of A Level. Prior to the examination students receive a Skeleton Program and some test data. Students must develop the program and use the test data to answer short questions in the examination.

Paper 2: This unit focuses on computer architecture, data representation, communication and networking, databases and delves further into the social and economic implications. This is a written 2.5 hour examination composed of short and extended answer questions accounting for 40% of A-level.

The Computing Practical Project

20% of A Level – Coursework.

A report documenting a programmed solution to a real problem associated with a user whose realistic needs should be taken into account when specifying, designing and implementing the solution.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in IT

This is a modular course. You can complete 1 year and be eligible for the Technical Certificate in IT, completing two years means that you will be eligible for the Introductory Diploma in IT.

Subject Content:

Unit 1: Fundamentals of IT (Mandatory Unit)

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT. After completing this unit, the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed will underpin your study for the additional units.

Unit 2: Global Information (Mandatory Unit)

The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.

This unit will provide you with a greater understanding of how organisations use information sources both internally and externally and the types of information you will encounter. The skills gained by completing this unit will give you knowledge of the functionality of information and how data is stored and processed by organisations. You will also learn about how individuals use information of various types.

This unit will help you to understand the legislation and regulation governing information which flows in to and out of an organisation and the constraints and limitations that apply to it. You will also learn the relationship between data and Information.

In the Second Year

Unit 6: Application Design (Mandatory Unit)

The world is increasingly reliant on applications that help individuals, business and organisations achieve specific activities or purposes. In this unit you will explore potential ideas for a new application and develop the fundamental design for it. You will then develop the designs for an application and how users will interact with it. The application that you will design could be for any sector and for any purpose. You will have the opportunity to present your ideas, prototype them and gain feedback before refining your design.

Besides the technical knowledge that you will gain about designing an application, you will also learn key transferable skills about liaising with clients, questioning people effectively to gain the information you need to develop successful designs, and presenting your ideas to an audience and getting feedback from them.

And two other units from the following:

  • Cyber Security
  • Project Management
  • Product Development
  • Mobile Technology
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing
  • Software Engineering for Business
  • Games Design and Prototyping
  • Web Design and Prototyping
  • The Internet of Everything
  • Big Data Analytics