ICT (Information & Computer Technology)
Head of Department - Vacant
Computer Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability are essential skills for life and should enable all learners to actively participate in our rapidly changing world. It is at the heart of modern life and is constantly evolving and expanding its role in society.
“Computer Science is essential knowledge for the 21st Century”
Ian Livingstone, President of games publisher Eidos.
The fundamental aim of the Computer Science and ICT department is to give all our students the opportunity to experience and use as broad a range of applications of ICT as possible, and to equip young people with the ability to use technological tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange, and present information responsibly. We seek to prepare students for life as digital citizens, able to use and assess digital resources and also to understand the principals underpinning them.
Our new Computer Science curriculum at Princes Risborough School is an intellectually challenging yet very practical and rewarding discipline with its own body of knowledge that is designed to enable students to become independent learners, evaluators and potentially designers of new technologies. By studying Computer Science, students gain not only knowledge but also a unique way of thinking about creating solutions to real world problems using computational thinking. It will give students an understanding of the digital world in a deeper way, which will allow them to adapt more quickly to the consequences of technological change, develop new technologies themselves, or even to work in jobs that haven’t yet been invented!
Computer Science and ICT are taught as a compulsory subject to all students in Years 7 and 8. The new OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science Qualification and the OCR Cambridge Nationals in IT are offered as separate options depending on whether a student decides to take the rigorous academic Computer Science route or a more vocational pathway via the ICT application based route into KS4.
As a department we will:
- Enrich and extend learning throughout the curriculum, using ICT to support collaborative learning, independent study and re-working of initial ideas, as well as to enable students to work at a more demanding level to obviate some routine tasks.
- Encourage the flexibility and openness of mind in order to adjust to, and take advantage of, technological change, whilst being able to consider the ethical implications and consequences for individuals and society.
- Use the power of computers to help students with special educational needs to develop their interests and abilities.
The team offers lunch time sessions each week for subject specific support. The department is also developing the role of Digital Ambassadors – students with an outstanding attitude to the subject who are able to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to others, offering them the opportunity to become student leaders within the subject.
The department will run an after school club every Tuesday from 3pm – 4pm.
In Year 7 and 8, all students study elements from both the Computer Science and ICT Curriculum in order to give them a firm foundation upon which to further their study at GCSE Level. These are:
- An Introduction to Computer Science and ICT
- Computer Systems
- Games Programming in Scratch
- Introduction to Python Programming
The internet is an incredible resource but is left unmanaged it poses to risks. If used well, the internet is a safe, fun and informative place. But caution is needed because the internet can also be a dangerous place. Students learn how to stay safe online and variety of processes they take undertake, if needed.
Understanding Computers and Computer Systems
A computer system is one that is able to take a set of inputs, process them and create a set of outputs. This is done by a combination of hardware and software. Students learn all about how computers function and operate from the inside. They will learn how to use input/output and devices in the real world, e.g.
Input, output and storage devices
Hardware components and Software applications and use
Binary and denary
Students will be able to use spreadsheet to build financial models. Students will be able to use a spreadsheet to:
- Enter text, numbers and formulas
- Use relative and absolute referencing
- Format cells, insert a graphic
- ‘What if’ analysis to achieve a goal
- Use conditional formatting
- Use a Count if function in calculations
Students will learn what database is and how it is used. Students will conduct several of different tasks. Students will learn the following:
- What is meant by a flat file database, record, and field names?
- Enter data into a database by means of a form.
- Create queries using multiple criteria
- Use different operators such as >=, BETWEEN, AND, OR, NOT and the wildcard * in queries
- Queries, by using complex criteria and parameter
Input forms and reports
Games Programming in Scratch
Scratch is a visual programming language that allows students to create animations, games using block programming. Students will learn:
- How to create sprites
- Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals
- Use sequence, selection and repetition
- Variables – Input and Output
- Adding sound
Introduction to Python and Python Turtle
Students are introduced to low level programming using Python. They will use complex functions such as arrays to solve problems. They build their knowledge and skills in the following topics covered:
- Variables and Strings
- If, Else statement
- While Loop
OCR GCSE (9-1) in Computer Science (J276)
In Years 9, 10 and 11 students who have opted to study the new OCR 9-1 GCSE Computer Science Qualification will need to complete the following three units of work:
Unit 1: Computer systems (01):
Paper 1: Written paper 1 hour and 30 minutes 40% of the total GCSE (80 marks) – January 2020
Students will learn the following topics:
- Systems Architecture
- Wired and wireless networks
- Network topologies, protocols and layers
- System security
- System software
- Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02):
Paper 2: Written paper 1 hour and 30 minutes 40% of the total GCSE (80 marks) – January 2020
Students will learn the following topics:
- Programming techniques
- Producing robust programs
- Computational logic
- Translators and facilities of languages
- Data representation
Unit 3: Programming project (03): 20 hours
Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) 20% of the total GCSE (40 marks) – May 2020
- Programming techniques
- Testing and evaluation and conclusions
KS4 (Current Year 9-11 Students Finishing Courses in June 2017/2018/2019)
OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in ICT (120 GLH) - J810
OCR Cambridge Nationals are vocational technical qualifications that have been created to support students who want to develop practical skills and knowledge relating to a broad employment area. They involve doing practical activities, learning skills and developing transferable skills like problem solving which are vital for success in employment and higher education and are among the key transferable skills required by employers. This course helps students with different learning styles and abilities to develop these skills and aims to inspire them to develop practical knowledge and skills that they will find useful in the future. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students who have opted to study the OCR Cambridge Nationals Certificate Qualification will need to complete the following four units in order to obtain the full qualification:
Unit R001 – Understanding Computer Systems – Written exam 1 hour
Year 11 - Exam Preparation April
Unit R002 – Using ICT to create business solutions - Controlled Assessment
Year 10 – MStreamIT (ICT for Business Purposes)
Unit R003 – Handling data using Spreadsheets - Controlled Assessment
Year 9 - Make the Grade (Excel Spreadsheet)
Unit R004 - Handling data using Databases - Controlled Assessment
Year 11 – Cards by James (Access Database)
Most of this qualification is assessed by coursework that’s set and marked by the teacher. This will be done throughout the three-year course. So, if you like project work, enjoy research and doing practical things you may find a Cambridge National a better option than a GCSE.
Each unit is worth up to 60 marks making a total of up to 240 marks for the qualification.
Grading: P1 (18+) M1 (24+) D1 (30+) *P2 (36+) M2 (42+) D2 (48+) D* (54+)
Controlled Assessment Units
Students are expected to work with the OCR Cambridge Nationals ICT mark criteria, scenario and task sheets during completion of the controlled assessment tasks.
Students will complete controlled assessment tasks under supervision in the classroom.
Students are expected to use the home-learning resources they have been given to prepare ahead of each lesson so that they can work independently to complete the controlled assessment tasks in the classroom.
After school progression sessions are open for students to improve work or catch up with work. Up to the end of the current academic year these sessions will run on Tuesdays from 3pm to 4pm. Dates for the next academic year will be confirmed in September 2017.
A case-study to prepare for the exam will be given to students in March 2018. Students will be expected to carry out independent research for home-learning. During lesson time students will be taught exam techniques by studying past papers and will be able to familiarise themselves with the OCR Cambridge Nationals ICT exam format. Students will work from their research; revision question and answer cards and also from mock exam papers which will be specific to the case-study.
KS4 (New Year 9 - September 2017 to June 2020)
OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge Nationals Certificate in Information Technologies - J808
The new Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Information Technologies focuses on data, how it is collected, used, processed, interpreted and presented within the framework of an IT project life cycle. It will allow learners to be confident IT users across a range of digital technology, developing their transferable skills and knowledge to continue to be confident IT users with new technology as it emerges. It has been designed to fit into the curriculum and form a key part of a student’s Progress 8 and Attainment 8 approved subjects (subject to Performance Point confirmation from the DfE).
There are two assessments:
Unit Code: R012: Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions
This unit is assessed by students completing one written exam paper in June 2020 which is 1 hour 45 minutes long and is worth 50% of the total qualification.
Unit Code: R013: Developing technological solutions
This unit is an OCR set Controlled Assignment which is internally assessed and externally moderated in January 2020 and worth 50% of the total qualification. The R013 is a large piece of coursework.
On this page you will find links to lots of different websites which will help you practise your languages.
Key Stage 3
BBC Bitesize – Computer Science: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zvc9q6f
BBC Bitesize – ICT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z8mtsbk
Key Stage 4
OCR GCSE Computer Science (J276) website link:
OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in ICT (120 GLH) J810 website link:
OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science course textbook – S. Robson and PM Heathcote - ISBN: 978-1-910523-08-7
GCSE OCR Computer Science for the Grade 9-1 Course Exam Practice Workbook - ISBN: 978-1-78294-603-8
GCSE OCR Computer Science for the Grade 9-1 Course The Revision Guide - ISBN: 978-1-78294-602-1