All First Form pupils follow an introductory course in Computer Science. We introduce the concept of algorithms, simple programming using Scratch, how to effectively search the internet, create and use a database, manipulate digital media and count in binary.

The Third Form course is optional, and builds on the basics taught in the First Form. Pupils create a website using HTML and CSS, learn to write programmes to solve simple problems using Python, investigate the world of digital marketing via social media, disassemble a computer to see what is inside, and explore the realm of physical computing using a Raspberry Pi.

At GCSE the course introduces pupils to the fundamentals of computer programming, teaching logic, and problem-solving skills. Whilst there is a sizeable practical content, there is a requirement to learn applications of computing in industry, business and commerce.

At A level the course follows a natural progression from GCSE, and focuses on system production to solve problems using a programming language, and also looks at the architecture of computers, algorithms, and health and safety.

In external competitions, one pupil qualify for the finals of the 2016 Bebras computational thinking challenge. In the TCS Oxford Computing challenge we secured three places in the intermediate age group, and had one pupil in the top ten in the elite age group. A team of Lower Sixth Form pupils came equal fourth in the National Cypher Challenge.

This year saw the first Computing and DET trip to Silicon Valley in California where we visited the headquarters of Facebook, Google, Box and Mozilla, as well as the national supercomputing centre at NASA’s Moffett field complex where we saw a functional Quantum computer. A visit to Tesla was rewarded with a ride in a development model of their latest car and in Los Angeles we visited the room from where the first message on the Internet was sent.

Mr RI Cunniffe
Head of Department