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Lutterworth College

Computer Science

At Lutterworth College we are determined that students leave education with the skills required to live and function in the digital world.  Students will leave the college with a robust understanding of the issues associated with the use of social media as well as building skills for the budding computer programmer or having skills to use technology in the workplace. Hopefully along the way, students will gain passion and enjoyment in our subject.

We work alongside our Church of England CHRIST values to enrich how our students experience Computer Science and IT, preparing them for a life outside of education. Students are able to demonstrate these values at various points across the three years in the following ways:

  • Being Courageous in the way students tackle computational thinking and new programming languages without fear of “getting it wrong”
  • Being Hardworking in the way they approach all of their work, taking time outside of the classroom to practice programming languages to improve their ability and skills
  • Being Reflective in self-evaluation, such as whether their programming designs meet the success criteria.
  • Being Inspirational to think of a career in computer science and the opportunities this would give to develop new applications/technology that would improve society
  • Being Supportive when undertaking paired programming to allow each other to improve their programming skills
  • Being Tenacious when a computer program is not working; trying to find those syntax or logic errors

Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3, all students will be introduced to a range of Computing and IT which will build on the primary curriculum.  As a school, we are aware that all students will have a different starting point, so at Lutterworth we ensure that no student is left behind.  Students will have exposure to a balanced curriculum, that not only focuses on computer science and programming but will also provide valuable life skills for education and the workplace.  Students will be able to develop their Scratch skills gained from primary school.  Programming will be structured moving on from coding in blocks to writing in Small Basic and Python as well as creating their own web pages using HTML.  Students will understand the importance of basic IT skills, gaining transferable skills for use in other subject areas, such as making a graph in Excel or using Word to write a formal report.   Students will also be made aware of the risks associated with the use of social media.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students have the option to study GCSE Computer Science or BTEC Tech Award in Digital IT. Both courses follow on from the work in Key Stage 3.  In GCSE Computer Science, the course allows students to develop their knowledge and understanding of concepts in computer science.  Students will be able to write programs in Python and build upon their problem-solving skills.  Students will need to be able to work independently, practicing their own skills in programming. Students will also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.  This course is very practical in nature, however students will study ethics and laws as well as the basic fundamentals of computers, such as binary and the CPU.

The BTEC Tech Award in Digital IT is designed to give students the skills for employment.  Currently, around 1.46 million people work in digital companies. Digital skills span all industries, and almost all jobs in the UK today require employees to have a good level of digital literacy. The course will assess students skills in data modelling and data processing (producing a dashboard) and working with a large dataset, but also give students skills in design of graphical user interfaces and their importance in everyday life.  As well as the practical skills, students will also gain knowledge of a range of IT concepts, analysing information in a range of vocational contexts so that students can develop a greater understanding of the use of digital systems by organisations. Students should be able to make reasoned judgements on systems. This component builds on Key Stage 3 where you will have learned how to use technology responsibly; how organisations can use technology safely and about the cyber security issues when working in a digital organisation.

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students can choose to study A Level Computer Science and BTEC National Extended Certificate in IT.  Both these courses allow students to broaden their understanding gained from the Key Stage 4 options.  In A Level Computer Science, students will study three components.  The first two, examination based, look at the topics studied at GCSE in greater depth.  Students will use their mathematical skills to support them with advanced binary and logic, while also being able to evaluate the ethical impact of computers in society. Students will also complete a Non-Examination Assessment, worth 20% of their final grade. This will allow students to apply their practical skills to a real project, whether this is designing their own platform game or developing a new app for their phone.  Students will use their analytical and design skills to plan out their project idea and then use their programming skills to develop their idea in an appropriate programming language, such as Python or C#.

For the BTEC National in IT, the focus is on gaining skills to match todays digital world.  Following on from the Digital Information Technology award, at Key Stage 4, students will be required to complete four units.  The first uses the skills associated with data modelling and processing to complete a practical assessment on the building and use of advanced databases.  The second focuses on how businesses can use social media to support their business, looking at a range of apps including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The theory is studied for Unit 1, covering all aspects of IT - ranging from ethics to how networks work.  Finally, students will gain experience in designing and producing a website.  Students will gain skills in HTML and CSS as well as embedding JavaScript within a webpage.  This course combines academic assessment with report-based skills.