Curriculum

Computer Science

Our Vision

To get students to work with real-world, practical programming techniques that gives them a good understanding of what makes technology work

In year 9

Students will learn about the following areas:

  • Constants, variables and data types data: and information, constants, variables, data types, purpose of data types
  • Structures; how data types can be combined to make data structures, how data structures can make coding a solution to a problem simple
  • Program flow control; sequencing, selection iteration
  • Procedures and functions; what procedures and functions are, when to use procedures and functions, writing your own procedures and functions, built-in functions, parameters, return value
  • Error handling; different types of error that can occur, how to test your code for errors, how to detect errors from within code. how to recover from errors within the code
  • Handling external data; using text files to read/write data, using databases to read/write data

In year 10

Students will learn about the following areas:

Algorithms:

  • Understand that algorithms are computational solutions that always finish and return an answer
  • be able to interpret simple algorithms to deduce their function
  • be able to create algorithms to solve simple problems
  • be able to detect and correct errors in simple algorithms

Data Representation:

  • that computers use the binary alphabet to represent all data and instructions
  • the terms bit, nibble, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte and terabyte
  • that a binary code could represent different types of data such as text, image, sound, integer, date, real number
  • how binary can be used to represent positive whole numbers (up to 255)
  • how sound and bitmap images can be represented in binary
  • how characters are represented in binary and be familiar with ASCII and its limitations
  • Why hexadecimal number representation is often used and know how to convert between binary, denary and hexadecimal.

Memory:

  • know the differences between non-volatile and volatile memory
  • understand the purpose of both types of memory and when each should be used be able to
  • explain the purpose of virtual memory and cache memory
  • be able to explain the concept that data and instructions are stored in memory and processed by the CPU

Software Development Cycle:

  • understand the software development life cycle
  • explain what commonly occurs at each stage of the software development life cycle
  • identify at which stage of the software development life cycle a given step would occur
  • understand that there are several lifecycle models that can be used (eg cyclical, waterfall, spiral)
  • discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these lifecycle models

In year 11

Controlled assessment covering:

Design of solution:

  • Plan showing the high level overview of how the solution will be constructed
  • Explained and annotated pseudo code showing the main blocks within the proposed solution.

Solution development:

  • evidence of the final solution in the form of annotated code
  • evidence that the final solution meets the original needs of the use

Programming techniques used:

  • Annotated evidence of the different programming techniques used
  • Annotated evidence showing how the different programming techniques used combine to form a complete solution that solves the original problem
  • Annotated evidence showing that the solution has been coded efficiently
  • Discussion of any data structures created with an explanation of why they are required
  • A solution that has been made robust by using techniques such as input validation, assertions and error handling, as appropriate to the language used.

Testing and evaluation:

  • A full test plan covering all of the major success criteria for the problem
  • evidence that the tests have been carried out with the results being documented
  • any remedial action that has been taken as a result of testing
  • an evaluation of how the solution meets the original needs of the user

Useful Websites

Homework

Homework is set weekly and is based on the topic of study.  Homework can take the form of research around a given topic, practical skill building, exam and case study questions or revision for end of topic assessments.

 

If you wish to find out more about the curriculum your daughter is studying, please contact Mrs Batty.