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Computer Science

Introduction

These days, almost everything involves computing in some way, and Computer Science is an essential part of a well-rounded education. At Forest Hill School, this subject offers excellent opportunities for true creativity and innovation.

From how computers work and how they are designed/constructed to programming languages, data structures, algorithms and the underlying science of information and computation, the Computer Science curriculum at Forest Hill School covers a range of topics.

We aim for students to develop a love of learning for the subject and a set of skills for employment, for everyday life, and for leisure in the future.

Computer Science Curriculum Map

iMedia Curriculum Map

Computer Science at Key Stage 3

All students at Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) study Computer Science with a specialist teacher once a week. In Year 7, students will be introduced to the components of a computer and the difference between hardware and software; the programming language, Scratch; and also the topic of e-safety. In Years 8 and 9, they will move on to the theoretical side of the subject which will include a range of programming languages, algorithms and computational abstractions.

Computer Science homework is set once a fortnight. The majority of feedback will be electronic allowing both staff and students to monitor and improve as appropriate.

Computer Science at Key Stage 4

The Key Stage 3 curriculum allows for a smooth transition to GCSE or vocational courses at Key Stage 4. We offer two options at KS4 to cater for different interests and learning preferences. The Creative iMedia Level 1/2 course places a strong emphasis on using computer applications to solve problems while the GCSE Computer Science course focuses on understanding and developing new software and the heart of how a computer functions.

GCSE Computer Science

GCSE Computer Science builds on the foundation of knowledge acquired at Key Stage 3. Students develop programming and problem-solving skills throughout the course in preparation for completion of a number of programming challenges.

For the theory-based examination, students study key topic areas including Systems Architecture; Networking and Protocols; Systems Security; Systems Software; Computational Thinking; Programming Techniques; Computational Logic; Data Representation; and Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Concerns.

OCR GCSE Computer Science Specification

Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Award/Certificate

The Creative iMedia Certificate equips students with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed to work in the creative digital media sector. They will cover pre-production skills (written exam) and undertake coursework covering: creating digital graphics, designing a game concept, and developing digital games.

OCR Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Specification

Computer Science at Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students can study A Level Computing. The emphasis is on computational thinking and the course is aimed at students who wish to develop a logical approach to solving problems and understanding the ways in which computer systems are developed. The AQA Computer Science course offers students’ knowledge and skills in Data structures; Problem solving; Theory of computation; Data representation; Computer systems; Computer organisation and architecture; Consequences of uses of computing; and Communication and networking.

Students are assessed on their ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science.

AQA AS and A Level Computer Science Specification

Enrichment

Every year, selected Year 9 students attend Computer Science Masterclasses at Queen Mary University on Saturday mornings for six weeks.