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Computer science

We want our students to understand and play an active role in the digital world that surrounds them, not to be passive consumers of an opaque and mysterious technology. A sound understanding of computer science concepts will help students see how to get the best from the systems they use, and how to solve problems when things go wrong. In a world suffused by computation, every school-leaver should have an understanding of computer science and be digitally literate.

Computer science at The Academy at Shotton Hall is an immersive experience, exposing students to fundamentals such as Microsoft Office, which is an essential tool for most jobs in today's workforce. Creative computing such as image manipulation, website and computer game development, teaches young people how to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way and encourages them to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence. Finally, computer science concepts such as how computers work and developing coding solutions, using multiple programming languages, to real-world problems, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential in future life.

Throughout the key stages, students will encounter a range of software, completing project-based tasks, providing solutions to given scenarios. Students will also be encouraged to think about e-safety and cultural issues of computer science. These include the impact of technology on daily life, the “digital divide” and globalisation.

As well as following the curriculum, students will be encouraged to read for pleasure, experiencing a diverse range of literature as a platform for exploring new ideas, developing critical thinking skills and learning more about the world around them.

Students enjoy computer science because it is varied, fast-paced and fun. Every student is inspired to believe in their potential and to aim high. Careers within coding and the digital sector are the fastest growing sector today, predictions estimate there will be twice as many jobs than candidates to fill them in the coming years. We have devised our computer science curriculum with this in mind, students acquire a grounding towards knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding.

It’s not only computer science lessons that are exciting at the academy: Computer science teachers also facilitate a range of computer science extra-curricular clubs, from computer games to coding and girls in computer science. These clubs are very popular with our students.

The “Hello World” trip is a highlight of the year. A one-day event at Teesside University for young women in years 8, 9 and 10 to get inspired by great female leaders working in computer science and digital technology. Students have been successful in previous years, winning best projects and most engaged awards.

Curriculum information

 

 

Year 

Autumn 

Spring 

Summer 

E-Safety including cyberbullying and digital footprints. 

Office Skills including email, Teams and online systems use. 

Introduction to computer systems including hardware, software, storage devices, networks and network security.  

Photoshop, looking at image manipulation in the media and using skills learned to create an image based on a given scenario. 

Scratch, a high-level block-based visual programming language where students learn coding concepts and develop a game based around the classic PONG theme. 

E-Safety including body image and social media. 

Website Development, creating websites, embedding videos, sounds and links. Together with HTML coding. 

Intermediate computer systems including binary, sorting algorithms, network topologies, computer logic and data representation. 

Introduction to Spreadsheets including spreadsheet models, financial models, validation and macros. 

GameMaker, a high-level visual programming language where students learn coding concepts, basic scripting and develop a maze game of their own theme, similar to that of PAC MAN. 

E-Safety including grooming, inappropriate content and messaging. 

Comic Strips, looking at the history and uses digital graphics within comic strips and beyond, culminating in creating a comic strip using Photoshop. 

Python including sequence, selection, iteration and string manipulation. 

 

Interactive Multimedia Products, students design and create a product for a given scenario, including video, sound, and animation. 

Enterprise including how and why new business/product ideas come about, marketing and branding. 

10 

Systems architecture including the CPU, its purpose and how it impacts performance, Von Neumann Architecture and embedded systems. 

Memory and storage including primary, secondary, units, data representation and compression. 

Programming fundamentals including sequence, selection, iteration and string manipulation.  

Computer networks, connections and protocols including types of, factors effecting the performance of, hardware required for networks. Also, network topologies and methods of connection. 

Network security including threats to computer systems and how to protect against vulnerabilities.  

Systems software including both operating, application and utility software. 

Ethical, legal, cultural & environmental impacts of Digital Technology. 

Programming fundamentals including sequence, selection, iteration and string manipulation. 

11 

Programming fundamentals including sequence, selection, iteration and string manipulation.  

Additional programming techniques including records to store data, SQL, arrays and subprograms. 

Producing robust programs including defensive design and testing. 

Boolean logic including common arithmetic operators.  

Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments including characteristics of, purpose of and facilities available in.  

Component 1 and component 2 revision. 

Component 1 and component 2 revision. 

 

I like computer science because it will help in future life because I have an interest in a career that involves a lot of ICT work and because it helps me get more of an understanding of the developing world around me.
Year 8 student
I like computer science because it taught me how to pull apart a computer and know what all the parts do, and it gave me the confidence to show and teach others eager to learn.
Year 8 student