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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School


The Department

Curriculum Leader: Miss B Soler


An enjoyment and interest in problem solving and technical challenges is at the forefront of our teaching and learning in Computing.  We aim to equip students with the skills and understanding to thrive in the digital age and be confident users of computer hardware and software.

What will be studied?

Year 7

  • Our STAGS Network: Intro to using our IT resources
  • E-safety: Staying safe online
  • Programming Languages: Scratch and Code for Life
  • Spreadsheet Modelling: Modelling the school Tuck shop
  • Images and Piskel

Year 8

  • Computational Thinking: Decomposition, Abstraction and Algorithms
  • Data representation: Binary
  • Programming languages: Python
  • Spreadsheet Modelling: Financial Models

Year 9

  • How computers work and communicate: Motherboard, CPU, RAM, ROM and other hardware
  • Programming languages: Using Python to solve complex problems
  • Boolean logic
  • Data representation:  Text, sound and images represented in binary
  • BIG Data analysis: Use of software to analyse data

​​​​​​What support is needed?

  • Use of
  • Use of BBC Bitesize
  • Use of
  • Keeping up with technological developments through resources such as BBC Click, BBC Make IT Digital, The gadget man etc.
  • Use teaching resources on Google Classroom

How will they be assessed?

Assessment is mainly through unit project work which  is kept in students' online portfolios.

GCSE: Computer Science

Exam Board:   OCR

Specification Number: J277

What will be studied?







This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study and encourages students to:

• understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation  

• analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs 

• think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically 

• understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems 

• understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society 

• apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science

How is the course assessed?

Paper 1 - Computer Systems. Written paper, 1.5 hours, 50%

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Paper 2 - Computational Thinking, algorithms and programming.  Written paper, 1.5 hours, 50%

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

Practical Programming - Students are given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular paper 2.

What references are recommended?

The department has OCR textbooks, workbooks and revision guides that we would recommend. Parents can contact the department if they would like the ISBN numbers. There is a vast amount of resources on Google Classroom.

What websites are recommended?

BBC Bitesize, Seneca Learning and Teach-ict for theory learning and OCR for past papers. for learning programming languages.

What equipment is needed?

A calculator is useful for testing results of programs.

A Level Computer Science

Exam Board: OCR

Specification Number: H446

What will be studied?

This qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. It develops the student’s technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking.

How is the course assessed?

  • Unit 1 – Computer Systems,  140 marks, 2hr 30 minutes, 40%

    Students are introduced to the internal workings of the (CPU), data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin their work in component 03.

    It covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software

  • Data exchange between different systems

  • Data types, data structures and algorithms

  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

  • Computer architecture (processors, input, output and storage devices)

  • Software development and low and high level languages

  • Exchanging data (compression, encryption, hacking, databases, networks and web technologies)
  • Data types, data structures and boolean algebra
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Unit 2 – Algorithms and programming, 140 marks, 2hr 30 minutes, 40%

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving.

It covers:

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)

  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems

  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.

Unit 3 – Programming project (coursework / Non-exam assessment), 70 marks, 20%

Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science. We support a wide and diverse range of languages.

What texts are recommended?

Computer Science: An Overview by J. Glenn Brookshear

Algorithmic Puzzles by Anany Levitin and Maria Levitin

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzod

What websites are recommended?

What equipment is needed?

Computer at home is very useful for accessing work and tasks as well as installing programming software. A calculator is also very useful.

Wider reading materials are referenced in the attachment below:

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134