Computer Science, IT and Digital Competency

Dr Pearce

Computer Science can be through of as the science of how a computer works. This includes understanding the physical hardware (or things you can touch) as well as the software (programs and operating systems).

Computer science lessons are taught as part of the technology rotation in Key Stage 3, with two blocks of six weeks, each with six lessons a fortnight.

Topics we cover are:

  • Computer hardware, input and output devices
  • Algorithms
  • Networks
  • Binary
  • Introduction to Scratch programming
  • Microbits
  • HTML and CSS for website creation
  • Scratch game design
  • Python programming
  • App design

At Key Stage 4 we offer the WJEC GCSE in Computer Science. This builds in the key Stage 3 lessons and includes a mixture of theory and programming (Greenfoot using Java, HTML, and Python). It is assessed using a combination of a written exam, an on screen exam and a programming project that is completed in school under supervision.

IT or Information Technology is more about learning how to use a computer and other technology effectively and safely.

In Key Stage 3 most pupils have two timetabled lessons a fortnight of IT with a specialist teacher. This is where we introduce many of the Digital Competence skills below, that pupils then develop using cross curricular projects.

These skills are further developed through Key Stage 4 as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate.

Digital competence is one of 3 cross-curricular responsibilities, alongside literacy and numeracy. It focuses on developing digital skills which can be applied to a wide range of subjects and scenarios.

The Framework, has 4 strands of equal importance, each with a number of elements.

  • Citizenship – which includes:
    • Identity, image and reputation
    • Health and well-being
    • Digital rights, licensing and ownership
    • Online behaviour and cyberbullying.
  • Interacting and collaborating – which includes:
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Storing and sharing.
  • Producing – which includes:
    • Planning, sourcing and searching
    • Creating
    • Evaluating and improving.
  • Data and computational thinking – which includes:
    • Problem solving and modelling
    • Data and information literacy.