Cardinal Allen
Catholic High School



The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science, and Design and Technology; providing insights into both natural and artificial systems. Computing will ensure that pupils become digitally literate – able to use and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.


Students will be taught to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world situations. They will use two or more programming languages to solve a variety of problems and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions. Students will also undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals.

Underpinning all of this is the need to understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting one's online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.

Year 7

Students will learn about the responsible use of computers, develop their understanding of computer hardware, construct a computer game that includes a range of objects and characters, create a range flowcharts to control a range of systems and produce a series of programs that create images and animations.

Year 8

Students will code a website using HTML and CSS, use the programming language Python to create a range of programs including a sleep calculator and a guess my number game, learn about local and wide area networks and use a program called Sonic Pi to create a range of music tracks through the use of code.

Year 9

Students will practise a range of different photo editing and image manipulation techniques, build upon their knowledge of Python from Year 8 to create a range of programs including a pocket calculator and a mobile phone app, develop a database and finally learn about computer crime and cyber security.

GCSE Computing

Learning to program is a core component of the Computer Science course. Students will become competent at reading and writing programs and be able to reason about code. They will be able to apply their skills to solve real problems and produce robust programs. Learning how types of data are represented in a computer is an intrinsic element of the course as well as gaining practical experience of using the Linux command line to carry out a range of system administration tasks.

Course Components

Computer Systems and Programming (30% of total GCSE)

This first component is an exam focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory. Students will develop a mental model of a computer system which comprises hardware and software. Students will study how computers work, how they convert and represent data and how they communicate with each other. They will also be taught some of key techniques behind programming including how to approach problems and how to express ideas in sequences of steps.

Practical Investigation (non-exam assessment) (30% of total GCSE)

This component is the non-exam assessment and is designed to provide students with an opportunity to carry out a practical investigation into a computing issue and engage them with computing in the real world. Students will be expected to carry out a practical investigation on a topic supplied by the examination board. Students will produce a report in which the topic is analysed, justified and evaluated showing evidence of the practical work undertaken.

Programming Project (non-exam assessment) (20% of total GCSE)

This component is the non-exam assessment that requires students to design a coded solution for a series of tasks supplied by the examination board. Students will need to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution for each task before coding them in a suitable programming language. The solutions must be tested at each stage to ensure they solve the stated problem using a suitable test plan with appropriate data.

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After school clubs are provided for keen students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is also offered on a one to one basis where necessary. Some of the support sessions, clubs and activities offered are:

  • Year 7 Computing Club – Wednesdays from 3.05pm
  • GCSE Programming Catch-Up – Mondays from 3.05pm
  • Drop in sessions – after school Tuesday and Thursday
  • UK Bebras Computational Challenge
  • All computers suites are available to students after school
  • Independent study – all resources are available on the schools VLE


Download Prospectus

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    The links below will take you to subject specific information outlining the current Key Stage 3 and 4 Course Guide.

  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4

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