Computer Science

Computer Science Curriculum Intent


Computer Science, IT, Media

In KS3 Computer Science lessons all students will be able to display and implement both knowledge and skills across three key disciplines – Computer Science, Information Technology & Media. The curriculum has been designed to give students a wide range of exposure to these three different disciplines before students, currently, can opt into the OCR Creative iMedia course in KS4 and the BTEC IT Extended Certificate or Diploma in KS5. The curriculum has been designed to allow progression from one topic area to another, with assessments interleaved to allow for retrieval from long term memory.

Our students will develop Computer Science related skills including problem solving and computation, how computer systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming and problem solving. Building on this knowledge and understanding, within the Information Technology section, pupils understanding of digital literacy in enforced and embedded. Students are equipped to use programs, systems and a range of content focused on the Office Suite of software to produce work that lays the foundations for the future. Media topics also ensure that pupils show their creativity. That they can use and express themselves and develop their ideas through a range of projects including Comic Book Design and Web Design.

Looking to the future, we plan to offer BTEC Level 2 Digital Information Technology to either complement or replace the reformed OCR Creative iMedia in KS4. We are also invested in offered the T Level in Digital Production, Design & Development from Sept 2022 onwards. Both qualifications will give students the knowledge and skills needed for their future aspirations.

Year 7

CS National Curriculum

In Year 7 we make connections in depth upon skills taught during KS2 following the National Curriculum. These skills include Digital Literacy, which gives our students foundations for the future in information technology used across all aspects of their lives including e-mails, reports, presentations, and online communication platforms via Teams.

Following from this, we build and develop key skills in computer hardware and software allowing students to understand the link between the two areas and how they can be used to complement each other. Building on KS2, students are exposed to programming languages in order to further their understanding in both computational thinking and problem solving.

In Year 7 we broaden the creativity of students through Media concepts and the use of specialist software.

Year 8

CS National Curriculum

To complement on the skills and knowledge learnt in Year 7 we embed the fundamentals of online safety including social media etiquette, the risks of the internet that could have an impact on young people’s upbringing included cyberbullying, phishing, and the risks online gaming. We continue to expand on core digital literacy skills by reinforcing acceptable use of technology.

Building on Year 7 computing we enhance the understanding of prior knowledge linked to hardware and software by deepening student awareness of the key physical components that make up a computer system.

To allow students to continue their programming skills, we introduce aspects of written programming languages in which the concepts and ideas transfer from the block-based system covered in Year 7. Through this we are able to deepen students’ knowledge of how coding languages are structured. As part of this, we build on the creativity and problem-solving skills by introducing specific requirements to meet expected outcomes, like what students would experience in a real-world setting. This will include a variety of software applications such as graphic and web design tools. As part of this students review a wide range of software for their practicality, accessibility, and appropriateness for the solution.

The core computing concept of the Binary Number system is introduced allowing students to understand the way the computer translates data into a readable format that they can understand and use as part of their Digital Literacy development.

Year 9

CS National Curriculum

Building on the ambitious content previously taught, Year 9 students to deepen and extend knowledge and understanding of key concepts further by reinforcing understanding of the Binary Number system by including additional concepts. These concepts are then applied to the Hexadecimal Number System. Chronologically, students will further build and deepen their understanding of programming concepts by applying them to a new language, thus connecting and threading the structures and algorithms taught in Year 7 and 8.

To prepare students for life outside of the classroom, they are taught network infrastructure – a key skill in modern life due to the high demand for interconnected devices to be able to communicate with each other.

Finally, students complement their previous learning by further setting the foundations for the future with creative computing-based skills. These include higher level design and planning for large scale project work, often found in computing employment.

Year 10

OCR Cambridge National Creative iMedia

Our Year 10 students embark on their GCSE in Creative iMedia after selecting their options during Year 9. The OCR Cambridge National Creative iMedia is a vocational-based qualification that enables students to take a practical, creative approach to both their learning and assessment. In Year 10 students will study two units that each make up 25% of the final overall grade. The first is the external examination unit which gives students the pre-production skills and knowledge used in the digital media sector. Students build on their skills in KS3 by analysing client briefs, time frames, creative techniques, and planning processes. This enables students to broaden their knowledge and allow them to further develop and refine these skills moving onto the internally assessed coursework units.

After the completion of the exam content, students will move onto their first coursework project, in which they are required to use their creative skills to create a digital graphic. This unit deepens the understanding as to why digital graphics are used in all areas of the media industry and further connects the portfolio requirements to KS3 and KS4 Unit 1 topic areas such as client briefs, planning and reflection.

Year 11

OCR Cambridge National Creative iMedia

Building on the skills and knowledge learnt in Year 10, students continue with two new coursework portfolio projects, again each worth 25% of the final overall grade. Firstly, students will complete a unit in website design. This unit further develops the skills and knowledge learnt previously in order to allow the students to use their creativity to meet the needs and target audience of the client brief. Students will use their continuously build their planning and time management skills to ensure that all work is submitted in time.

Finally, students will complete a coursework unit about games design. This again builds on the skills and knowledge in related to client briefs, target audience, planning, research, and creativity. Students will build their knowledge on the processes involved in the planning and creation of a game, linked to a real-world setting.

Year 12

BTEC IT Extended Certificate

BTEC IT Diploma

In BTEC IT we provide a wide curriculum offering which allows our students to achieve either a BTEC National Extended Certificate or Diploma qualification. The curriculum challenges students to apply the knowledge learnt in the classroom through exam-style questions and assignments to real world industrial scenarios. In Year 12, lessons are sequenced to enhance knowledge and understanding, before conducting an in-depth look into ways IT systems can be used in organisations. In both the Extended Certificate and Diploma, students complete two exam units – Information Technology Systems and Creating Systems to Manage Data. Students are given the opportunity to connect the learning between the units and continuous build on their knowledge. In the Diploma, students study an additional two units – Cyber Security and Programming. The Cyber Security unit complements the learning from Information Technology Systems, allowing students to show how they can apply the knowledge to case study scenarios allowing students to make connections to future employment. Our internally assessed Python unit builds on the coding languages used in KS3 to further enhance the knowledge and practical skills required for coding. The unit requires students to build a fully working piece of software, again deepening their knowledge of project planning from KS4.

Year 13

BTEC IT Extended Certificate

BTEC IT Diploma

Continuing from Year 12, Extended Certificate students will complete two internally assessed coursework units – Social Media use in Business and Website Development. These units are both structured in the same way with the first part of each unit allowing students to follow their own line of enquiry to research and analyse the concepts behind both topics, leading to a broader knowledge of the subject area. In the Social Media unit, students will draw and expand their skills in planning and creativity from KS4 as they will need to produce the content for a social media campaign. Students will expand their skills from KS3 and KS4 websites by creating ambition websites that builds upon the knowledge previously taught. Diploma students will complete a further two internally assessed units in Mobile App Development and Project Planning. These two units are taught together in a chronological order to that students can thread the strategies from one unit to the other – they plan the development of an App in one unit, then create the app in the other.


KS4 iMedia reformed


KS5 T Level Digital Production, Design & Development

Looking to the future, we are currently reviewing both our KS4 and KS5 offering. From Sept 2022 the OCR Creative iMedia will be reformed with a new spec. In order to offer greater cohesion between the Key Stages, we are also looking into offering the BTEC Digital Information Technology course at KS4.

In KS5 we are invested into the T Level program and will be launching our first T Level in Digital Production, Design & Development from Sept 2022. This qualification will enable students to experience a deep dive into the world of Computer Science, IT and Business whilst at the same time allowing students to engage in meaningful industry placements.