St Columba's Catholic Boys' School

Computer Science

Computer Science

Purpose of study

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and 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 equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that 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.


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 in order 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.

Year 7  Networks – from semaphores to the Internet
Year 7  Programming essentials in Scratch – part I
Year 7  Programming essentials in Scratch – part II
Year 7  Using media – Gaining support for a cause
Year 7  Digital Literacy & E-safety
Year 7  Modelling Data
Year 8 Computing systems
Year 8 Developing for the web
Year 8 Intro to Python programming
Year 8 Vector graphics
Year 8 Mobile app development
Year 8 Representations – from clay to silicon
Year 9 Animations
Year 9 Cyber security
Year 9 Data science
Year 9 Physical computing
Year 9 Python programming with sequences of data
Year 9 Representations – going audiovisual

Year 10 GCSE Computer Science (OCR) 6 lessons a fortnight

Paper 1 and Paper 2

Half-Term Topic Summary
Autumn term Primary and Secondary Storage  



















Software and System Software








Legal, Ethical, Cultural and environmental issues









Computer Architecture


Pupils develop an understanding of:  

Primary storage: RAM and ROM

Virtual memory

Secondary storage: Magnetic, Solid-state and optical

Secondary storage considerations

End of topic test: Memory and storage



Introduction to Networks

Topologies and Protocols


The Internet

End of Topic Test: Network topologies protocols and Layers


End of Topic test: Network Connectivity


End of Topic Test: System security & vulnerabilities



Proprietary v Open-Source

Off-the-shelf v Custom made

Operating Systems


End of topic test: System Software




Pupils understand the Legal, Ethical, Cultural and environmental issues associated with Computing

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act

Data Protection Act

Freedom of Information Act

Computer Misuse Act

End of topic test: Legal, Ethical, Cultural and environmental concerns



Pupils cover:

CPU and its functions

Cache Memory

CPU performance factors

End of topic test: Computer architecture








Spring Term Computational thinking and algorithms  












Programming techniques






Robustness of coding, Design Considerations and Testing







Data Representation











Computational logic, translation & Editors








Data structures, Types and searching using SQL







Pupils develop an understanding of:  

Project Life Cycle; Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing


Pseudo code




End of topic test: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming



Pupils will put their Python programming practical skills into theory based activities:





Pupils will cover:

Testing programs for faults


Syntax and Logic errors

End of Topic Test: Robustness of coding, Design Considerations and Testing


Pupils will cover:



Denary conversion

Sound sampling


Storing images

Assembly language

End of topic test: Data Representation



Pupils understand:

The need for translators and the different types

IDE features

Binary/Hexadecimal/Denary number systems

Logic Gates: AND, OR, NOT

Truth tables

End of topic test: Computational logic, translation & Editors


Pupils will cover:

Data types

SQL searches

Program outcomes

End of topic test: Data structures, Types and searching using SQL


Summer Term Python Programming Pupils develop the skills required for the Programming Project  


Data types (integer/string/float/boolean)

Functions (print/input)

Loops (For and While)

Selection (If and Else)

Functions and Procedures

Libraries (Math/Random)

Assessment: Python challenges and algorithms


Year 11 GCSE Computer Science (OCR)

Half-Term Topic Summary
Autumn Term Python Programming NEA project  








Revision for both papers

Pupils will commence their CA (20 hours)  

Controlled Assessment conditions:

No talking

No use of the internet

Use of specialised user account

Own work only/No plagiarism



December mock examinations (Paper 1 and Paper 2)

Spring Term Revision for Exam 1  

Revision for Exam 2

Summer Term Revision for Exam 1  

Revision for Exam 2

OCR GCSE examinations (Paper 1 and Paper 2)


Last updated: November 25, 2021 at 7:45 am