Computing

Information & Communication TechnologyWhat’s the difference between ICT and Computing?
Consider a car. You can learn to drive it and it will make life easier. You can get from A to B quicker and get on with the other things you want to do. ICT is just that, it develops a skill set so you can “drive” your computer. You don’t care how it works as long as it helps you write a report or do the accounts. However, some people want to know how it works. They want to get under the bonnet and understand the basic principles. They might design better cars and invent new technologies for greener engines etc. This is the equivalent to studying Computing.

Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Its primary aspects of theory, systems and applications are drawn from the disciplines of Technology, Design, Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. Programming is a large part of the new GCSE because it is a practical and exciting vehicle to teach the logic and problem solving skills pupils need.

Key Stage 3 Computing
Students have one hour a week in computing at KS3 where they learn how to build their own programs and games using Kodu game making software, Scratch and even a text based programming language called Python.
Pupils have the opportunity to study the app market and even create apps for their smart phone using AppShed.
These skills enable pupils to build their own programs, apps and game so they are not just users of software. Pupils learn a new and fundamental way of thinking and problem solving; a way of thinking that is critical in the 21st Century. It is called "Computational Thinking"
It’s also vitally important that students learn the theory of how computers and the technology they see and use every day works. Such as looking at how data is sent over networks, how computers work and what’s inside them and how different types of software operate and their purpose.

KS4 Computer Science
Students can choose to study Computing in Year 9 where they will build on their computing knowledge from KS3. Pupils will work towards achieving the AQA GCSE Computer Science Qualification. This involves the pupils completing two controlled assessments and an exam at the end of year 11. In the first controlled assessment pupils will create a simple game or programme using the programming language Python and in the second controlled assessment they will create an App using Mit App inventor. All lessons are taught in computer rooms with the latest computers and Software, most lessons will involve pupils using the computers to experiment with programs or complete their project work.

Should I choose Computer Science?
This course is suitable for student who want to explore and investigate how computers work, and how they are used. You are most likely to enjoy the subject if you have a real interest in how computers work, you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem solving.

What future careers may this subject lead to?
Computing is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in Computing will enable you to follow one of a wide variety of career paths. Well qualified and skilled programmers are in great demand as shown in numerous surveys. Further specialised study can lead to employment in the gaming industries. A computing qualification is a good basis for work as an IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator, software applications developer, programmer and development.
The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you’ll develop, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.