Computer Science

Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine. - Alan Turing

Ethos

The Computer Science department at New Hall strives to give our students a full understanding of the ubiquitous technology around them.  We develop a range of lifelong transferable skills alongside the computational and mathematical knowledge of the subject, which includes resilience, confidence, creativity and the ability to work productively as part of a team.  With a captivating curriculum, students are immersed in the technology for the future, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Our aim is to develop students into the leaders of technological innovation.

Computer Science at a Glance

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our students follow a Computer Science syllabus covering a wide range of topics. The programme of study undertaken by Years 7 and 8 students is based on the six areas of the Computing at School’s (CAS) Computing Progression Pathways document.  We aim to introduce students to elements of theoretical knowledge such as personal safety and dangers to personal data associated with the use of technology, how computers work, data representation, ethics and algorithms.  A substantial amount of time is spent on building up their skills in programming, spreadsheet modelling, computational thinking and project management.  Each half-term is dedicated to a particular area of the CAS Computing Progression Pathways.

The Year 9 curriculum is designed to provide the introductory phase of the Year 10 GCSE Computer Science curriculum.  Students will build upon their skill set taught so far in their Computer Science lessons beginning with continuing their development of programming to the level required for GCSE.  They will also be introduced to cyber security, web development and databases to further increase their knowledge base and skill set.  All students will additionally benefit from opportunities to improve their digital literacy through completing The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA).  The programme that helps young people develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Through a series of online challenges, students can win career-enhancing badges from Bronze to Gold.

As part of the Key Stage 3 course structure, students will develop problem solving and abstraction skills, learning to decompose problems in order to create algorithms.  They will learn how to represent these algorithms using a variety of techniques, such as flowcharts and pseudocode.  These solutions will be developed into working computer programs, using either a block-based language or a text-based language such as Python and devices such as BBC Micro:Bit and Sphero robots.

GCSE AQA Curriculum (8025)

This is a two year course studied by students who choose this as a GCSE option.  GCSE Computer Science follows the AQA specification which involves two written examinations and a non-graded programming project.  The course helps students explore how technology is created and understand how people work together with computers to develop world changing programmes like Facebook, Spotify and eBay.  Computational logic or puzzle solving is the bedrock of the subject.  Students will learn to program in Python which will allow them to access all object orientated programming languages.  The discipline is the forth Science and is a STEM subject.  This means it is an academic, theoretical course with practical application.  Some of the areas of study will include cyber security, logic gates, radix of numbers and programming.

A LEVEL AQA Curriculum (7517)

In Year 12 and 13 students follow the AQA specification in Computer Science which provides them with the problem solving skills required in everyday life, as well as preparation for degrees courses in Computer Science, Mathematics, Software Engineering, GIS, Economics and many other subject areas.  The course has a substantial programming component with two written examinations and a Non Exam Assessment (NEA), which allows the flexibility to investigate any computing problem and create a solution.

Our Computer Science Community

Digital Leaders

The Computer Science department has a highly selective group of Digital Leaders, within the student body, whose roles include supporting and mentoring other students, publicising technological innovations, promoting digital and E-Safety and supporting the other co-curricular clubs.

Computing Club

The club allows the students the opportunity to develop additional skills that they themselves wish to develop; with a broad range on offer, students can select, as examples, programing with Raspberry Pi, Cyber Discovery and the Big Bang national challenge.

 

To keep up to date with all of our latest news and activities of the New Hall Computer Science department, please follow @NewHallCS on Twitter

Six of the top ten jobs held by graduates are related to computer sciences

Co-Curricular Opportunities and Trips

Educational visits underpin the theoretical learning from the classroom.  Previous years have visited Silicon Valley USA, Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing.

The subject area provides opportunities for students to develop both their interest and explore skills outside the curriculum through participating in lunchtime Computing Club, our enrichment activities and external challenges such as Bebras, TCS Oxford Computing, CyberFirst, British Informatics Olympiad, Big Bang and Cyber Discovery competitions.