The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form

Computer Science

The courses taught within each Key Stage are outlined below. If you have any further queries, please email ict@southwolds.notts.sch.uk

Please note that this email address is not monitored daily but we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days.

KS3 Computer Science

Course Overview

Students have modules of Computer Science as part of the D&T rotations in Year 7, 8 and 9. Students are taught how to use the school network and their school email accounts to effectively use the resources available them across the Academy.

In Year 7 & 8 students:

  • Learn about how computers work: Identifying the various components of a computer and understanding their function, understanding of how the devices work together (the CPU, RAM, Hard Drive, IO Devices) and an introduction to the Von-Neumann Architecture.
  • Investigate turtle graphics using Python
  • Learn how to be responsible users of technology.

In Year 9, students have one mini rotation of Computer Science, where they learn more text based programming using Small Basic and Flowgorithm. During the Spring & Summer term students have the opportunity to opt for 2 longer rotations.  In these rotations students will learn more text based programming using Python, learn about how computers store data, and investigate logic gates, in preparation for GCSE options.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in computer science based competitions – Bebras: Computational Thinking, CyberFirst (year 8 girls), CyberDiscovery (year 9+).

Students are also encouraged to complete the IDEA bronze and silver awards.

How to help

Students keep their username for the entire time they are with us at the academy, it’s really important they can remember their username, email address and associated passwords.

Students and parents should have completed the Acceptable Computer & Internet Policy document, which ensures students understand how they are responsible for their use of the academy’s computer system.

Useful Links

KS4 Computer Science

Course Overview

Students can opt to study GCSE Computer Science in Year 10 & 11.  There are 5 hours of lessons per fortnight.  During the GCSE course students build on their knowledge and understanding they acquired during Key Stage 3. 

Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science, apply their knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science, and analyse problems in computational terms: to make reasoned judgements; to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.

The course is made up of:

Computer Systems [Paper 1]

  • Systems architecture: Study how processors work. [Y10]
  • Memory and Storage: Investigate computer memory and storage. [Y10]
  • Wired and wireless networks and network topologies, protocols and layers: Explore modern network layouts and how they function. [Y11]
  • System security: Build skills in the ever important realm of cyber security. [Y11]
  • Systems software: Investigate how types of software are used within computer systems. [Y11]
  • Moral, legal, cultural and environmental concerns: Discover a wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues. [Y11]

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming [Paper 2]

  • Algorithms: Study fundamental algorithms in computer science. [Y11]
  • Programming techniques: Build a firm foundation in programming techniques.  [Y10]
  • Producing robust programs: Thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse. [Y10]
  • Computational logic : Explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT). [Y10]
  • Translators and facilities of languages [Y11]
  • Data representation: Understand how we store data within computers in binary form. [Y10]

Programming Project  [Y10]

  • Use new found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real world problem.
  • Students will spend 20 classroom hours engaging with the programming project.

Students will understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation.  Be able analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.  Be able to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. Students will also gain an understanding the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems, and understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society.   Students will also be able to apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in computer science based competitions – Bebras: Computational Thinking, and the CyberDiscovery challenge [cyber security].

Students are also encouraged to complete the IDEA bronze and silver awards.

How to Help

  • Students keep their username for the entire time they are with us at the Academy, it’s really important they can remember their username, email address and associated passwords.
  • Students and parents should have completed the Acceptable Computer & Internet Policy document, which ensures students understand how they are responsible for their use of the Academy’s computer system.
  • Revision – a little and often is key, revisiting previous topics, and using the resources on the links below

Useful Links

KS5 Computer Science 

Course Overview

Students can opt to study A-Level Computer Science in Sixth Form.  During the A-Level course students build on their knowledge and understanding they acquired during the GCSE. 

Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.  Students apply their knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science including how to analyse problems in computational terms and design, program and evaluate computer systems that solve problems, making reasoned judgements about these and presenting their conclusions.

Students have the opportunity to study topics from GCSE in greater depth:                          

Computer Systems [Paper 1]

  • Characteristics of processors, IPOS devices [Y12]
  • Software and software development [Y12]
  • Exchanging data [Y13]
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms [Y12]
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues [Y13]

Algorithms and Programming [Paper 2]

  • Elements of Computational Thinking [Y12 &13]
  • Problem solving and programming [Y12 &13]
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms [Y12 &13]

Students also have the opportunity to create their own personal programming project, where they analyse a problem, design, develop, test and evaluate a solution. [Y12 &13]

Students gain an ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation, and the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems including writing programs to do so.  Students are challenged to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.  Students are encouraged to see relationships between different aspects of computer science, apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.  Students are encouraged to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in computer science based competitions – Bebras: Computational Thinking and CyberDiscovery challenge [cyber security].

Students are also encouraged to complete the IDEA bronze and silver awards.

How to Help

Students keep their username for the entire time they are with us at the Academy, it’s really important they can remember their username, email address and associated passwords.

Students and parents should have completed the Acceptable Computer & Internet Policy document, which ensures students understand how they are responsible for their use of the Academy’s computer system.

Revision – a little and often is key, revisiting previous topics, and using the resources on the links below

Useful Links