Course Explorer | Highcliffe School

Course Explorer

Computer Science

Subject Mission Statement

To equip our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop their social, economic and technological awareness, and to enrich their employability skills to help inform them of the various careers available. Whether it's probelm solving, teamwork, creativity or resillience, we prepare our students for any future pathway, even those outside the realm of Computer Science.


Students' learning across Key Stage 3 encompasses the following areas: Digital literacy with Office 365; E-Safety; How computers work; Algorithmic problem-solving skills; Programming; Artiificial Intelligence; Cyber security; How businesses work.


KS3 Intent Statement

Provide a broad curriculum that gives all ability ranges an experience that prepares and informs their decisions about their future learning, academic and life choices and their social, emotional, personal and citizenship development.

To develop the skills needed for the linked subjects at KS4 and to provide a good basis for students to use in other areas, both inside and outside of their school life. Engagement is inspired by a rich and varied learning experience, where progress made in learning and as an individual is celebrated.

KS3 Learning Journey


Our GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

KS4 Intent Statement

Provide a successful curriculum that is suited to our student profile, balancing compulsory learning with optional pathways for sub groups or individuals, which inspire and engage students whilst keeping future choices open and developing their academic and personal resilience.

To create effective problem solvers who have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to develop their interest further and to improve their knowledge and understanding effectively.

Presenting students the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work, enabling them to apply business knowledge and understanding which instigates further interest, analysis and judgement and informs choices for further learning and career pathways.

Qualification Details

Exam Board: OCR
Qualification Title: Computer Science
Qualification Specification Code: J276
Qualification Webpage: Click here to visit the OCR webpage for the specification.

Why should I study this course?

The GCSE in Computer Science will give learners a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Learners will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from their other subjects and elsewhere. However, the course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many learners find absorbing. The course provides excellent preparation higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science.

What knowledge and/or skills will I need?

Skills that you will need, or that you will be required to develop, include:
•An in-depth understanding of how computer technology works.
•Critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming.

What will I study in this qualification?

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Computer systems (50%) Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes
A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions, assessing a student’s practical problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

Paper 2: Computational thinking and problem solving (50%) Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes
A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.

Programming Project: Non-exam assessment which needs to be completed Approximately 20 hours of controlled assessment.

Learners will need to:
•Understand standard programming techniques
•Be able to design a coded solution to a problem including:
- Develop suitable algorithms
- Design suitable input and output formats
- Identify suitable variables and structures
- Identify test procedures
- Create a coded solution fully annotating the developed code to explain its function
- Test their solution

Please note that Ofqual are presently consulting on the type of assessment for programming so some assessment content and methods may change.

Possible Career Paths

Computer Technicians/Manager
Computer Programmer
Games designer
Website Designer
Systems Architect
Database designer/manager
Big Data Analyst
Network Engineer
Cyber Security Professional


Advances in Computing are transforming the way Computer Scientists work and this Computer Science specification reflects this. This popular qualification, built on strong foundations, delivers a flexible, accessible and rigorous qualification, backed by top quality support, resources and professional development. This course focuses on the knowledge, understanding and skills students need to progress to Higher Education or in the workplace. Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply academic principles learned to real-world systems. This intensely creative subject combines invention and excitement, looking at the natural world through a digital prism. Our Computer Science qualification values computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. The programming project will involve designing, creating, testing and evaluating an IT system for a real world client and students will use knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to achieve this.

KS5 Intent Statement

To provide a successful curriculum suited to our student intake profile, balancing core learning with guided, differentiated pathways for sub-groups or
individuals which inspire and engage students whilst successfully preparing them for progression at age 18 and future life as learners, employers and citizens.

To give the students a real world understanding of the use of technology in the wider world and to provide a theoretical level of knowledge in the history and inner workings of key aspects of the computer. To cultivate creative and dynamic problem solvers, both when using technology and in general, by developing the key skills of computational thinking.

To give students a deep understanding and engage learners to enhance their awareness of current affairs and key Economic and Business topics to enrich and develop their cultural capital and prepare them for a rapidly changing external environment. To equip students with the analytical and evaluative skills required to form judgments and opinions about why key decisions are taken by the government and the impact on the world around us. We want learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts,theories and knowledge to help them prepare for progression to employment, apprentices and further education.

Qualification Details

Exam Board: AQA
Qualification Title: Computer Science
Qualification Specification Code: 7517
Qualification Webpage: Click here to visit the AQA webpage for the specification.

Entry Requirements

Standard Sixth Form entry requirements.

What will I study in this qualification?

Possible Career Paths

Computer Science related undergraduate degrees: Games Programming, Systems Analysis, Network Engineering, Cognitive Science and AI, Data Analysis, Robotics, Telecommunications, Software Engineering, and more. Computer Science related Level 3 apprenticeships: IT, Software, Telecoms, Informatics, Creative & Digital Media, and more. A Computer Science A-Level is a well-respected qualification to hold, giving opportunities to access relevant university courses as well as technical careers. The content covered in the Computer Science A Level coincides with content taught during the first year of most university Computer Science courses, meaning that students are more attractive enrolment prospects at better universities.

Who should I speak to if I need further information?

Miss Watkins

    Owned by: MDS | Last Published: 20/09/2019 09:53:36 | Next Update: N/A