Computer Science & ICT

KS3 Computer Science

Computer Science



Our aim is to provide a Computer Science curriculum which is engaging, coherent and inclusive of all learners. Teachers aim to provide purposeful lessons, allowing students to develop their skills and knowledge across Computer Science, Digital Literacy and IT. We want to encourage students to become independent learners by developing their problem solving and programming skills, which will allow them to consider taking the subject further in their studies.

Curriculum sequence


Topic 1

Topic 2

Topic 3

Topic 4

Topic 5

Year 7

Digital Literacy: Introduction to the school network


Problem Solving: Encryption


Digital Literacy: System Security


Problem Solving: Programming Using Scratch


Data Representation: Using Binary


Year 8

Digital Literacy: Introduction to the School Network


Data Representation: Logic Gates


Digital Literacy: Computer Hardware


Problem Solving:

Python Programming


Problem Solving: App Development



National curriculum links

National Curriculum


Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems

Year 7

Internet of Things

Year 8

Python Programming

App Development

Understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem

Year 7
Scratch Programming
Year 8
Python Programming

Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions

Year 7
Scratch Programming
Year 8
Python Programming

Understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems

Year 8
Computer Hardware


Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits

Year 7
Year 8
Logic Gates

Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users


Create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability

Year 8

App Development


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

System Security


Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students

In accordance with our whole school policy, Computer Science teachers place SEND and Pupil Premium students at the heart of their lesson planning.  

In Computer Science, we provide for the progress of SEND and Pupil Premium students by:

  • Teachers will ensure groups of learners are identified on seating plans
  • Teachers will ensure that students understanding is checked regularly, through circulating the classroom and using hands-down questioning, directing questions to disadvantaged students.
  • Allow students to act on feedback either by the teacher, or their peers.
  • Students will often work collaboratively, especially using ‘paired programming’.
  • Modelling is used throughout the curriculum, as it provides students with both the structure and approach in developing programs
  • Programming tutorials will be provided to students so that they can work at their own pace
  • Tracking systems are in place to monitor student performance and in and out of class efforts, with interventions provided if necessary.


Our curriculum is taught to be securely learnt. Retrieval practice is embedded into lessons, students’ complete silent starters and multiple-choice questions. Students will have many opportunities to use different software packages multiple times throughout their studies, allowing students to become confident in using appropriate software.

The topics studied at KS3 also show progression, which allows for retrieval of knowledge. For example, Data Representation is covered across both Year 7 and 8, with a development from ‘using binary’ to ‘logic gates’. Students will also develop their knowledge from a block-based programming language to a text-based language, with the key programming constructs being revisited.


Students are assessed through different methods, including multiple choice questions, program testing and peer-assessment of projects, which allows students to make amendments to set work.

Contact details:

Director of Computer Science: Mr N Rees

GCSE Computer Science


This course provides a framework that allows students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in Computer Science. The course allows students to analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

Course outline

Component 01 – Computer Systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.


Practical Programming

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02 (section B).


How it’s assessed


Marks & Duration


Computer systems (01)



Written Exam

80 marks

1 hour 30 mins


Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02)


Written Exam

80 marks

1 hour 30 mins


Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  



Grading system:



Component 1: This paper consists of multiple-choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.

Component 2: This paper has two sections: Section A and Section B. Students must answer both sections.  In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high- level programming language they are familiar with.


Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Computer Science

Future career links:

Web designer, cyber security analyst, software engineer, game developer, big data analyst, accountants, robotics programmer



Director of Computer Science: Mr N Rees

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@DidcotGirls07:35 PM - 12th May, 2021 Eid Mubarak to all our families celebrating 😊 Read more
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@DidcotGirls10:50 PM - 11th May, 2021 take time out and make a connection with nature to help look after your mental wellbeing! ☀️🌿🌺 show us your connections 🙂 Read more Read more
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@DidcotGirls03:49 PM - 10th May, 2021 We are looking forward to our virtual Year 5 taster sessions which are designed to help you find out more about school life at Didcot Girls' School. Information about what you can expect can be found below. Read more
@DidcotGirls08:08 PM - 7th May, 2021 We had a wonderful evening last night at the virtual graduation ceremony with the Brilliant Club. What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work and success of our pupils!
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