Department of Computer Science
Our students encounter vastly differing experiences of Computer Science prior to year 7. Therefore, our KS3 curriculum ensures a solid foundation of computational thinking, programming and problem solving are robustly implemented. This enables our students to fully engage with 21st century technology and to not just have the self-belief that they can succeed in Computer Science but to also experience and to know they will enjoy this challenging subject when pursued as an option.
We encourage students to work independently in order to solve complex problems. This in turn fosters creativity in the students’ approach to solving problems and ability to think laterally. A growth mind-set is deeply embedded into our curriculum; enabling students to be consistently challenged, develop tenacity and resilience; skills vital for success in and beyond the school setting. The early adoption of these most vital of life skills, further serves to ensure students take full responsibility for their studies and that they can see clearly the link between hard work and success. This ultimately raises students’ aspirations and leads to more success in and outside of the classroom.
Using technology in a safe manner is a consistent topic throughout the key stages. KS3 covers the basics of protecting the user’s personal data and using social media safely. Key stage 4 sees the students understanding the responsibilities a company has when using personal data. Whereas at key stage 5, the focus is on the technical aspects of data security through the use of technologies, for instance – encryption and hashing. Throughout the students’ time at CHS, we embed the notion of respecting the working environment and respecting other students to nurture an atmosphere of harmonic cohesion in order to leverage optimum progress.
Computer Science can readily be broken down into two distinct disciplines: programming and the theory of computing. However, the two are not mutually exclusive; we have had great success in stretching the students through coding some of the more complex theories. KS4 builds upon the students’ autonomy through an NEA, which affords them 20 hours of independent programming. KS5 serves to enable students to work completely independently to solve a bespoke real-world problem through programming. Students are encouraged to stretch themselves at this point by choosing a project which is inherently complex in nature. The department’s industrial experience in the IT sector ensures students are fully supported in their choice of project even if it goes well beyond the scope of the course.
“Our objective is to ensure students achieve well throughout their time at Crossley Heath in Computer Science. Teach the transferable skills needed in later life, skills such as problem solving and logical thinking. To provide and teach the tools and knowledge needed to achieve the higher grades in the public examinations. To feel confident we offer an exciting yet challenging experience for our students. “
Mr M Weston (Department Leader)