Computer Science

In Years 7 to 9 all girls have timetabled lessons in Computer Science.

The syllabus offers a mixture of Computer Science, ICT and Digital Literacy. The girls are taught important ICT skills such as spreadsheet modelling, database, data analysis and graphing, which are important in supporting teaching and learning across the school. Digital literacy encourages the safe and productive use of technology.

The Computer Science modules cover a wide range of skills. Year 7 are introduced to the principles of coding by producing sequenced scripts and creating games using Hopscotch. They also enjoy learning about Swift programming in the self-paced problem-solving Swift Playgrounds environment. Year 8 learn to use the turtle module in Python to sequence instructions and draw beautiful shapes, exploring the connections between programming and art. In addition to this, the girls design web pages using HTML and CSS. In Year 9 the girls develop their understanding of the principles of computational thinking and programming, again using Python.

All girls in Years 7 to 9 and GCSE are entered in the Oxford University computational thinking challenge annually. They also sign up to iDEA, the international Digital Enterprise Award programme, which helps them develop and demonstrate digital, enterprise and employability skills. This is the digital equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

Year 8 have one collaborative STEM lesson a week as part of the design, electronics and computing carousel.

GCSE & A-Level

At GCSE, girls follow the OCR IGCSE course in Computer Science. They develop their understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers, and apply this to creating computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language. They also cover how computers work, how to represent data, connect to networks and transfer data, and associated security issues and solutions.

A Level Computer Science follows the AQA syllabus. This course helps girls to understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning leads to creating real-world systems through the development of an independent programming project. Girls also develop their technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking.

In the Sixth Form, all girls are given the opportunity to take a Computer Technology course in which they receive support for pursuits such as web or app design, programming, advanced spreadsheets, CAD (computer-aided design) and 3D printing. This programme is designed to support pupils who want to increase their knowledge and understanding of computers, or who have interests they may want to pursue at university such as engineering, architecture, graphic design or computer science.

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