Computer Science

Curriculum Intent

At Holcombe we aim to deliver the following ambitious outcomes for our students through our curriculum. Students will:

  • Be aspirational and ready for the next step in life
  • Achieve high quality academic outcomes
  • Develop as effective, efficient, resilient learners who can work independently towards ambitious goals
  • Develop an awareness of their own strengths and acquire effective habits to be successful at school and beyond
  • Develop long term knowledge and skills which can be effectively deployed in new circumstances.
  • Develop the cultural capital to be able to successfully engage with a wide variety of social situations
  • Develop an awareness of their place as a citizen in the school, wider community and the world beyond
  • The specific aim of the computer science department is to equip students with the core skills that they need in order to effectively utilise computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world”.

Key Stage 3

We cover a Computing course at Key Stage 3 with an aim to equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with Maths, Science as well as Design Technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of Computing is Computer Science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are encouraged to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of different content. Computing also helps to provide a backbone of ICT ensuring that all pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

By the end of Key Stage 3 all students should be able to:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • Analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • Evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology



Year 7

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Computer NetworksPrimary and Secondary Storage TechnologiesRepresentation of data in computer systemsComputational ThinkingWorking with scratch 2.0System Software



Year 8

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Computational Logic




Ethics, The Environment and Legislation




Introduction to programming with python 3.x




Extending programming skills with python 3.x



The Central Processing Unit, Buses, registers and the FDE Cycle



Primary and Secondary Storage Technologies – how they work.





Year 9

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
System Architecture, Memory and Storage TechnologiesWired and Wireless NetworksSystem Software and Network SecurityEthical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental ImpactsPython basics – from selection through to iterationPython Advanced – Lists, Function, File Handing and SQL.

Key Stage 4

Computer Science is a very practical subject – students will be able to use the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom on real-world problems. It is also a highly creative subject that calls on learners to be inventive.

THE THREE COMPONENTS OF THE COURSE (these build on the content taught in Key Stage 3):


  • Study how processors work.
  • Investigate computer memory and storage.
  • Explore modern network layouts and how they function.
  • Build skills in the ever important realm of cyber security.
  • Investigate how types of software are used within computer systems.
  • Stretch wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues.


  • Study fundamental algorithms in computer science.
  • Build a firm foundation in programming techniques.
  • Produce programs through diagrams.
  • Thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse.
  • Explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Understand how we store data within computers in binary form.


  • Use new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem.
  • Students will spend 20 classroom hours engaging with the Programming Project.
What will a student gain from this course?
  • Valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace.
  • A deep understanding of problem solving and experience in creating logical and efficient solutions.
  • Ability to write down solutions to problems for other people to understand.
  • A good grounding in mainstream computing theory and understanding.


Year 10

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Computational Thinking and Common AlgorithmsProgramming concepts and SQLTypes of programming language, defensive design, errors and testing, logic circuits and boolean algebraBinary, Hexadecimal, and Representing DataControlled Assessment TaskControlled Assessment Task



Year 11

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Long Answer Questions – practice answering with a focus on environmental and ethical issuesStructured Question – Practice answering with a focus on Types of Software features and functions and speeding up computersStructured Question – Practice answering with a focus on Networking and system testingClear explanations and showing working – Representing data, binary and hexadecimal manipulations and SQLPersonalised Program of SupportGCSE Exams

Years 12 and 13

Computer Science (this is not ICT, ICT is totally different from Computer Science) is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, that can look at the natural world through a digital prism. Computer Science qualifications will value computational thinking, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.


Year 12

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Programming in python – command line interface. Components of a computer and their uses, System Software and Application DevelopmentProgramming in python – using external data sources
Exchanging Data,  Software Development
Programming in python – moving into GUI development
Networks and Web Technologies
Legal Moral and Ethical Issues
System Development – Analysis for Coursework Problem
Data Types and Data Structures
System Development – Design and Implementation for coursework Problem
Boolean Algebra
System Development – Implementation and Testing for Coursework Problem
Review and Reflection of All Topics Pre and Post Assessment



Year 13

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
System Development – Evaluation and Final Writeup for Coursework Development
Computational Thinking
Programming Techniques
Extended Answer Practices using component of a computer system and ethical and environmental issues
Focus on easy marks with data types, data structures, Boolean algebra



Review of algorithms and computational thinking



Personalised Program of Support




Online Learning Support

On top of the obvious range of resources supplied to students in class, work packs, copies of class PowerPoints published onto teams, pdf textbooks, pdf question packs etc we also provide access to 3 outstanding online resources Seneca Learning (range of KS3, 4 and 5 interactive learning and testing), Test and Track (self-review and assessment to track knowledge and understanding helping the development of independent study) and CODIO (web-based IDE to support the development of programming skills which includes learning tasks as well as some theory).


You will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. The project approach is a vital component of ‘post-school’ life and is of particular relevance to Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace. Irrespective of your final choice of workplace or further education place Computer Science helps you to develop the analytical skills essential to success.

British Values

Students reflect on their work and develop their understanding though appropriate questioning. They take account of the views of others and respect their opinions even when they differ from their own.