To equip students to be compassionate users and curious innovators of technology.

Vision and Values

The Computer Science department at St Joseph’s Catholic aim to equip students with the skills to become confident leaders of innovation of technology to participate in a rapidly changing world. The Computer Science curriculum aims to achieve this, as Sir Ken Robinson said; in the 21st century people need to be able to ‘adapt, see connections, innovate, communicate and work with others’.   To become disruptive solution providers. Students will develop an understanding and application in the fundamental principles of Computer Science by developing their:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Programming Techniques
  • Creative & Design Thinking skills
  • Computer System Theory

Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and imagination would be encouraged, students are expected to apply the academic principles they have learned to the understanding of real-world systems. This will enable students to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that students have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this. This will especially in Slough help social mobility.

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident, and creative users of information and communication technology.

In Computer Science we are dedicated to ensuring our students leave with the skills to fully embrace a future of rapidly advancing computer technology.


  • To be able to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems. To be able to Computational skills to solve real-world problems.
  • To be able to understand key algorithms that reflect computational thinking e.g linear and binary searching, bubble sort, merge sort, insertion sort and use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.
  • To be able to program in a minimum of two programming languages (block and text based) to solve a variety of computational problems.
  • To have an understanding simple Boolean logic [AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming. To understand how numbers can be represented in binary and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers.
  • To understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system. To have an understanding how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.
  • To be complete projects using and combining multiple applications, across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.
  • To be able to create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability

To be able to understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly, and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns

Year 7 Justification

In year 7 we will concentrate firstly on Digital Literacy skills; Basic Office skills using E-safety context– The reason for this is that students arrive at St Joseph’s bearing various levels of skills and also a lot of students have only had access to Apple iPads at primary school.  This unit helps students to be confident in using Microsoft Office Suite and have a clear understanding of selecting the correct piece of software to complete a given task. Using the E-Safety context students will develop their Digital Citizenship skills; they would be able to use the internet safely. This also allows for quick assessment and judgement of the gaps in students’ practical ability from the start.  The reason for this is because as students start to transition into teenagers, they become more confident with using social media applications and the internet.  Students need to be aware of the dangers of using these gadgets and applications.

The remaining Units we do throughout year 7 are Computer System: components of a computer – What hardware is inside a computer, then Software; Operating system. We then look at Computational thinking skills- problem solving, writing algorithms which then sets students up for basic programs skills using Scratch, this is then linked to Python Turtle using PRIMM pedagogy which gives a smooth transition between block and text based programming.

Year 7 Content

Unit 1: Digital Literacy – E-safety content

Unit 2: Computer Systems 1

Unit 3: Computational Thinking

Unit 4: Visual Programming (Programming a Game of their choice)

Unit 5: Text Programming 1 (Python Turtle)

Year 8 Justification

In Year 8 we look at My Digital World 1; sorting out folders, learning the key skills of The Internet and the Web, effective researching skills and reliability of websites. This allows us to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the World Wide Web equipping them for the world of work.  Further to this we then study a range of units; mainly looking at creating a website using HTML& CSS, then Spreadsheet Modelling which is also useful in the world of work. Students then continue on more programming skills using PRIMM pedagogy for Python Programming. Programing skills develop from beginning to more complex tasks through the units of work.

Year 8 Content

Unit 1: My Digital World 1

Unit 2: Web Programming (HTML)

Unit 3: App Design (AWS Get It Competition)

Unit 4: Data Modelling (Spreadsheet)

Unit 5: Text Programming (Python)

Year 9 Justification

In Year 9 we look at My Digital World 2 a follow on from MyDigital World 1. This unit focuses on ethical, environmental and legal issues and would work well with PSHE lessons where the pupils talk about keeping themselves safe and their legal rights. Further to this, students study, Introduction to iMedia which will introduce them to iMedia a GCSE option. Computer Systems 2 & 3 will introduce them to Computer System theory; Data Representation which is the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science; looking at Binary, how text, images and sound are presented as Binary, Logic gates, then Networks. Back to the future where students will concentrate firstly on Back to the Future; where they look at Leaders of Computer Science like; Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Charles Babbage, George Boolean, Alan Turing to inspire them to become innovators. They look at Computer Science Careers.

Year 9 Content

Unit 1: My Digital World 2

Unit 2: Introduction to iMedia

Unit 3: Computer Systems 2: Data Representation and Boolean Logic

Unit 4: Computer System 3 (Networks and Cyber Security)

Unit 5: Text Programming (Python)

Unit 6: Back to the Future

Key Stage 4

Option 1: Computer Science (GCSE 9-1 OCR)

What are the main skills and knowledge required at each key stage to fulfil your CIS?

  • To be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation.
  • To be able analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing, and debugging programs
  • To be able to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically, and critically.
  • To understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.
  • To be able to understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • To have the ability to apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science. Students must be able to calculate using multiplication to a high level without a calculator.

Year 10 & 11

Computer systems – Theory Paper 1

  • Systems Architecture – How a computer processes data in the form of Von Neumann Architecture.
  • Memory – The different types of memory – RAM, ROM, Virtual Memory & Flash
  • Storage – The typical storage devices used by computers – Optical, Magnetic and Solid State.
  • Wired and wireless networks – How data is transferred across networks and the components which make up these networks.
  • Network topologies, protocols, and layers – The two main network topologies, protocols in networking and the different layers of sending data over a network.
  • System security – Common types of attacks/viruses and prevention methods.
  • System software – Common built in software used to enhance the performance of the computer system.
  • Ethical, legal, cultural, and environmental concerns – Ongoing issues regarding computer systems in the world.

 Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming – Theory Paper 2

  • Algorithms * - To be able to write and recognise both searching and sorting algorithms including Bubble Sort, , Merge Sort, Insertion Sort, Linear Search and Binary Search
  • Programming techniques - Understand the three main programming concepts – Iteration, Selection and Sequence, as well as SQL, Data Types ….
  • Producing robust programs – To be able to write programs in pseudocode to solve problems. This will include understanding systems life cycle and each element involved in it.
  • Computational logic – Students will know how to calculate Truth Tables from the three main logic gates, AND, OR, NOT
  • Translators and facilities of languages – Students will be able to identify and understand the difference between Low and High-Level Programming.
  • Data representation – Students will be able to complete mathematical calculations in Binary, Hexadecimal and will be able to calculate file sizes of images and sound files using formulae.

Programming Project – Due to change to online Exam for 2021.

This is a practical project used to enhance skills for paper 2.  Although completed on the computer it needs to be done as an independent report and requires students to personally develop their programming skills outside of the classroom as well as within.

The areas covered are:

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions

Option 2: OCR Cambridge Nationals – iMedia

ICT - OCR Cambridge Nationals Creative iMedia

The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip students with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others, being able to stick to deadlines and targets and communicating creative concepts effectively.

With these skills, students will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products. The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will also challenge all students, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum. Students who are interested in the user experience element of technology are developed: Creative digital industry, game, graphics, web design and Media.


Mandatory Units

Unit R093: Creative iMedia in the media industry

R093 External Exam

48 GLH

1 hour 30 minute written examination

70 marks (80 UMS)

In this unit you will learn about the media industry, digital media products, how they are planned, and the media codes which are used to convey meaning, create impact and engage audiences.

Topics include:

o The media industry

o Factors influencing product design

o Pre-production planning

o Distribution considerations

1.5h Written Exam Year 11

Content taught in Year 10

25% of the course

Unit R094: Visual identity and digital graphics

External Moderated Coursework

30 GLH

OCR-set assignment

50 marks (50 UMS)

Centre-assessed and OCR moderated

This is assessed by completing a set assignment.

In this unit you will learn to how to develop visual identities for clients and use the concepts of graphic design to create original digital graphics to engage target audiences. Topics include:

o Develop visual identity

o Plan digital graphics for products

o Create visual identity and digital graphics

Content taught in Year 10 (Practice Project)

25% of the course

Internally marked & Externally moderated

Optional Units


Unit R097: Interactive digital media

30 GLH

OCR-set assignment

50 marks (50 UMS)

Centre-assessed and OCR moderated


This is assessed by completing a set assignment.

In this unit you will learn how to plan, create and review interactive digital media products. Topics include:

o Plan interactive digital media

o Create interactive digital media

o Review interactive digital media



Key Stage 5: OCR A Level Computer Science

Course Content:

Component 1

  • Characteristics of contemporary processors
  • Software and development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral and ethical issues

Component 2

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms
  • Analysis, design and development of a programming project.

Style of Assessment:

Year 13: Two written papers (2 hours 30 minutes each) forming 80% of the total mark. One portfolio on a programming project forming 20% of the total mark

Super curricular opportunities:

Join a tech community to store your projects and collaborate with other programmers

Create a blog with your online projects The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition

Career Prospects:

Leads to careers in Computer Science, other Science subjects, business, hardware and software development, network engineering and telecommunications.

If I were to take this course I should read:

The Most Complex Machine, by David Eck, Once upon an algorithm, by Martin Erwig, 2017 Wired – a magazine

Trigger Happy: the inner life of videogames – Stephen Poole Accidental Empires – Robert X Cringely

 What the students say:

“I have enjoyed learning the language and mechanics behind a lot of the technologies we use today.” Ruth Amponsah (St Joseph’s Alumni)


For further information regarding Computer Science please contact the following:

  • Ms Ebi Buck (Head of Computer Science) -