IT & Computer Science
What are your aims?
IT and Computer Science at Stanborough offers students a dynamic insight into the world of IT and computer science. We offer students a range of activities on a number of software platforms, learning through the use of a range of websites and online interactive activities.
The aim of the IT and computer science faculty is to ensure students and staff at Stanborough School are autonomous users of IT. That students develop into creators of IT through computer science, preparing them for life in an ever-changing world.
What will students study?
Over the course of Key Stage 3, students will develop the skills required to use technology effectively in their lives – whether it is for personal, educational, community, social or business purposes. Students will also learn about the fundamentals of computer science behind technology.
During their one hour lesson per week, students explore a variety of issues from how we use technology in our daily lives to using web tools effectively within an online business. Students will also explore the issues surrounding the ‘digital divide’, become digital designers, discover how computers really work and learn how to code using different languages. Throughout these units of work, students will also develop their digital literacy skills needed for the 21st century workplace. This is achieved using Microsoft Office and Serif Creative Suite, alongside other open source software packages.
Throughout Key Stage 3, students study key concepts from within both IT & Computer Science, so that they can select the most appropriate course at Key Stage 4. The IT & Computer Science staff can guide students to make the most appropriate choice.
Students at KS4 are given the opportunity to study GCSE Computer Science – exam board OCR.
GCSE Computer Science is aimed at students who are logical in their approach to problem solving and want to gain a greater understanding of the computer science side of IT. Students learn and refine their programming skills and knowledge.
The course covers two components: Component 01 – Computer systems and Component 02 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming. The final award consists of two exams, which are equally weighted at 50%, for each component.
Students can choose to continue their learning in either of the two routes, computer science or information technology.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology: this Edexcel course is intended as an Applied General Qualification equivalent in size to one A Level. The course carries the same UCAS points and weight as a practically orientated A Level course. Alongside an appropriate choice of other courses, it gives progression to university as well as expertise and skills for IT and for business more broadly.
A Level Computer Science: this qualification encourages students to develop an understanding of, and ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science. This includes abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. The course allows students to think creatively, analytically and logically about the relationships between different aspects of computer science, whilst understanding the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.
How can I support my child in this subject?
The best way to support your child for this subject is to go through the work they have completed in lessons, regularly check over homework and review the skills learnt using a particular software.
Below is a list of useful websites:
At Key Stage 4 and 5, students prepare for their BTEC, GCSE and A Level exams following an objective specification, related to their course and exam board. Students receive a copy at the beginning of their course and each lesson will reflect these objectives. All specifications are available online for you to read.
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
For this subject it can be very useful to have a computer at home, but if this is not available we do open up a computer room every lunchtime for students to use and the LRC is open before and after school.
There are many open source, free software options available to be used at home, which are the same used during lesson time. To download these at home, follow the links below:
Students are required to have the same stationery equipment in line with Stanborough School expectations for planning and design work.
Celebrating successes in this subject:
The IT & Computer Science Faculty continues to be a hub for computer science in the local area. Our Lead School status and being part of the Computer Science at School Network of Excellence was renewed after our recent academic achievements. We have developed a Computer Science Support Network for local primary schools, where we provide CPD and Computer Science and Robotics Masterclasses. Students across different year groups support in the success of these events.
The Stanborough Robotics Club has continued its success nationally and internationally. We took part in a World Robotics Competition in the USA for the 5th year running. One of the teams impressed the judges and won the well-respected Judges’ Award. On the national front, we hosted a number of very successful Robotics Competitions for both Lego Robotics and VEX Robotics. One of our VEX teams qualified for the National Robotics Finals, hosted in the NEC Birmingham which they went on to win, officially becoming UK National Champions. These achievements have really consolidated our status as a leading UK school for Robotics boasting a trophy cabinet and a budget made up of donations and sponsorships.
We have also entered a number of other enrichment competitions and challenges.
We promote e-Safety in the school via two big events: Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day. We want to ensure our students understand the importance of staying safe online and also how to ensure that students conduct themselves appropriately online.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
IT & Computer Science is a subject that prides itself in offering students a wide range of out of class opportunities. These include clubs, leadership responsibilities and educational visits.
- Digital Leaders
- Robotics Club (FLL Lego Robotics and VEX Robotics)
- International Robotics Visits
- Programming Club
- Raspberry-Pi Master classes
- Think Computer Science Trip
- After school and lunchtime catch-up sessions for students in all year groups