Statement of Intent
At John Ferneley College, we believe that our students should have the opportunity to follow a Computer Science curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain and take advantage of the opportunity this can offer them nationally and internationally.
Throughout KS3 and KS4, the Computer Science curriculum aims to develop both the front end (using the computers) and the back end (how they work), giving students a thorough understanding, even if they only do it until the end of KS3 (Year 9). We also want the pupils to have a range of skills when they leave us in Year 11, thus we do not offer just Computer Science focussed lessons. We like to diversify this and give them a range of skills. The topics range from using computers safely and securely, spreadsheets, networks, programming and digital art.
Programming is a big part of the Computer Science journey here at John Ferneley and this is why Programming is introduced in Year 7, with block-based coding for games and algorithm design in the form of flowcharts. In Years 8 and 9, students develop their coding skills using Python and Small Basic, which helps prepare them for Year 10 if they decide to pick Computer Science as a GCSE. This also prepares them for the future, as many companies use Python as a programming language. It also allows students to know how to program in any other language as it gives them the fundamentals they need to continue with it.
We also teach E-Safety and how to use computers properly, allowing students to understand the dangers of being online and how they can mitigate risks. As we offer Creative iMedia as a GCSE at this school, we also think it is important to give students the opportunity to develop digital art skills, as this would make them more prepared for their GCSE if they do decide to continue with it.
At KS4, all students are given the opportunity to study Computer Science at GCSE, where they will learn:
- How computers process information
- How computers are able to store information
- How networks work
- The protocols required for networks to work
- The threats posed to computers and how to defend against them
- Different types of software
- Programming concepts
- How to program
- How computers store data in binary
All of this gives pupils a good foundation so that they can evolve into any form of computing career they wish.