Subject Leader for Computer Science: Miss N Latham
The Computer Science department seeks to inspire excitement for technology and changing lives for the better. We aspire to enable students to become confident, creative, independent learners who are well equipped to fully embrace a future of rapidly advancing technology. The curriculum introduces new knowledge, skills and pupils experience a vast range of cultural capital that will enable them to develop their moral compass that will equip them for life. Pupils will secure essential knowledge using regular interleaving throughout KS3 and KS4 to encourage commitment to their long term memory. We hope to develop confident and curious learners who make mistakes and use them as an opportunity to develop deeper understanding. Teachers regularly visit misconceptions through ‘Do Now’ and ‘Activate’ activities to secure depth of understanding.
Computer Science is a subject that is of paramount importance as equipping the next generation with the right skills for industry is absolutely crucial. There is already a predicted shortfall of as many as 3 million people with digital skills in the UK by 2030, and warnings of a “mismatch between technological advances, including automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. Students at St. Gabriel's develop knowledge and skills across the computing curriculum and achieve well. They are prepared for their next stage of education, employment or training through their lessons. They gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and their course of study.
At Key Stage 3 pupils follow the KS3 Computer Science framework studying the three strands of Computing: Computer Science; Information Technology and Digital Literacy through a series of fun, pupil-friendly scenario-based modules to help pupils develop the skills they need to be confident computer scientists who may go on to improve the lives of others by developing software programs to help others. . The curriculum is designed to prepare pupils for KS4 Computing and to give them essential life skills using digital technologies.
Year 7 – Microbits and Algorithms, Spreadsheets, E-safety, Working with data and Scratch programming.
Year 8 – Introduction to Python programming, Introduction to Hardware and processing, Artificial intelligence and Data representation.
Year 9 – Networks and the Internet, Intermediate Hardware and processing, Intermediate Python programming, Logic gates, Algorithms and Flowol, Binary, Cybersecurity, Internet safety and developing digital literacy skills.
At Key Stage 4 pupils have the option to study Computer Science or Creative iMedia.
In Computer Science students learn theories of Computing and develop Python programming skills. The course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how
computer technology works. Our students learn how computers communicate with each other, how computers read data, how devices work and many other aspects of this exciting and highly demanded area of expertise. It provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of computer science. The course develops critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills.
Students who have taken GCSE in Computing and progress to study the subject at A Level or university will have an advantage over their colleagues who are picking up the subject at this level. Our specialist teachers deliver this subject and students have the advantage of 3-hour lessons each week in Years 10 and 11.
Creative iMedia is a Vocational qualification that will equip learners with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating effectively. Through the use of these skills, learners will ultimately be creating fir-for-purpose creative media products.
The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will also challenge all learners, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing assets of the National Curriculum