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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Computing & ICT

The Department

For more information, please contact: Miss 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: Logo, Scratch and Python 
  • Spreadsheet Modelling: Modelling the school Tuck shop

Year 8

  • Computational Thinking: Decomposition, Abstraction and Algorithms
  • Programming languages: Flowol and Python
  • BIG Data analysis: Use of software to analyse data
  • Website development and Internet Knowhow: HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Year 9

  • How computers work: Motherboard, CPU, RAM, ROM and other hardware
  • Programming languages: Using Python to solve complex problems
  • Spreadsheet Modelling: Financial Models
  • App development: Social media app programming

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 and occasionally through end of module tests.

GCSE: Computer Science

Exam Board:   OCR

Specification Number: J276

What will be studied?

This practical qualification encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in Computer Science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs. Relevant to the modern changing world of computing, it is designed to boost the computing skills essential for the 21st century.

At KS4 we celebrate success by rewarding effort in lessons by awarding house points and nominating computing students of the month.

We also organise visits to allow students to experience the world of computer science outside of school.

How is the course assessed?

  • Computer Systems theory paper, 1.5 hours, 50%
  • Computational Thinking theory paper, 1.5 hours, 50%

Additionally, students will undertake a 20 hours in-school programming project which will support their understanding across the whole specification. For this project a real life problem will be set up by the exam board and students will program a solution and document its development.

What references are recommended?

We have OCR textbooks that we would recommend. Parents can contact the department if they would like the ISBN numbers. We have a vast amount of resources on Google Classroom.

What websites are recommended?

BBC Bitesize and Teach-ict for theory learning and OCR for past papers.

Codeacademy and W3schools for learning programming languages.

What equipment is needed?

A calculator is useful for testing results of programs.

Cambridge National in Information Technologies

Exam Board:   OCR

Specification Number: J808

What will be studied?

This qualification is equivalent to one GCSE in both size and rigour.

The Cambridge National in Information Technologies gives students a real understanding of their digital environment, helps to develop key skills and prepares them for their future use of IT in their chosen careers across a wide range of job roles. The course is broken down into four main themes:

  • Project initiation, planning and review
  • Collecting, manipulating/processing and storing data
  • Creatively developing meaningful information for costumer distribution
  • Awareness of the importance of legal, moral, ethical and security factors

How is the course assessed?

  • Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions theory paper, 1hr 45 min, 50%
  • Developing technological solutions (practical task-based assessment), centre-assessed unit, 50%

What websites are recommended?

Teach-ict for theory learning and OCR for practice papers and specification. All resources are shared with the students on Google Classroom.

CIDA (Certificate in Digital Applications) (Level 2 Qualification)


Exam Board: Edexcel

Specification Number: 600/6627/1

This is a Level 2 qualification meaning that the qualification is intended to lead to a GCSE equivalent grade C or above. This course builds on some of the multimedia work students have covered at KS3. It has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing, for example digital graphics and animations and interactive multimedia products. It has been designed to teach digital design skills and enable young people to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way. It also enhances students overall digital literacy and gives them a solid foundation for further study and employment. There are two Units of Work – Developing Web products and Creative Multimedia.

Students study units such as:

There are two Units of Work – Developing Web products and Creative Multimedia.

Unit 1 – Developing Web products

This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention-grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features.

Unit 2 – Creative Multimediacomputing2

This Unit aims to give you the skills to use the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring software to design and create effective multimedia products for specified purposes and audiences. This Unit will enable you to gain practical ability in a range of multimedia applications such as text, images, sound, video and interactive components such as buttons and hyperlinks

How is the course assessed?

Unit 1 is assessed via a practical 2½ hours computer-based examination set by the exam board in which you will need to demonstrate your ability to design, build and test a web product. For example pupils are given a scenario to develop a web page for a business. They will need to ensure they use the given information and key images/videos and develop a sophisticated web page with pop ups, hot spots and other advanced features to make it fit for purpose. Students will have 2.5 hours to plan, implement, test and evaluate their web pages.

Unit 2 is assessed by the creation of an e-portfolio of digital evidence – there is no written examination for Unit 2 and the assessment is therefore based 100% on coursework.

Please note: This qualification is of the same level and size as one GCSE.

What websites are recommended?

Creative commons and Adobe education has tutorials to learn practical skills.

What equipment is needed?

Laptops or computers to extend work at home.

A Level Computer Science

Exam Board: OCR

Specification Number: H046

What will be studied?

The course is focused on problem solving using computers and has an emphasis on the use of programming languages and mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes. It aims to develop critical thinkers that understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

  • Unit 1 – Computer Systems
  • 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

  • Computational thinking (thinking: abstractly, ahead, procedurally, logically and concurrently )
  • Problem solving and programming (Java, C, Python)
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms (Efficiency of algorithms and sorting and searching algorithms)

Unit 3 – Programming project (coursework / Non-exam assessment)

  • User-driven systems lifecycle project
  • Analyse a problem and design a solution
  • Implement the solution
  • Test and evaluate the solution

How is the course assessed?

Paper 1 – 2.5 hour theory written paper (40%)

Paper 2 – 2.5 hour practical programming exam (40%)

Non exam assessment – independent programming project (20%)

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.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134