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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Computing & ICT

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

Year 8

  • Computational Thinking: Decomposition, Abstraction and Algorithms
  • Data representation: Binary and binary operations
  • Programming languages: Flowol and 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: J276

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. Students 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.

How is the course assessed?

  • Computer Systems. Written paper, 1.5 hours, 50%
  • Computational Thinking, algorithms and programming.  Written 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?

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.

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.

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.

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