Computing & ICT



The aim of the Computing Department is to:

Develop confident digital Pupils to understand the power of their digital world. 

They will develop a greater autonomy and confidence through using accessible, challenging and engaging projects that empowers the productive use of ICT and Computing from Year 7.


Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum builds on previous learning experiences in primary schools.  Not all pupils will continue to study Computing beyond Key Stage 3 and with this in mind the topics covered are designed to give pupils the broadest possible grounding in the basic skills of the subject in addition to equipping them with the skills required for Key stage 4 success.


Pupils will study 4 topic areas during Year 7.

  • Algorithms using of Flowol
  • Databases using Microsoft Access
  • Understanding how computers work including binary
  • Game making using Scratch


Pupils will study 4 topic areas during Year 8.

  • Computer programming using Python programming language
  • Computer Security – what to look out for and the consequences
  • Graphics using Photoshop/Fireworks
  • Game making using Game Maker

Key Stage 4

Option 1: OCR Computing Science (J276)

This is becoming a very popular course and numbers are increasing on a yearly basis.

Pupils complete 2 written exams at the end of Year 11 and a programming project. The components covered are:

  • Component 01: Computer systems – 50%
  • Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 50%

Content overview

Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces pupils to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, 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

Pupils apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

Programming Project

Pupils use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Pupils then code their solutions in a suitable programming language (Python), and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course

Option 2: OCR Cambridge Nationals – Creative iMedia Certificate (J817)

This is a new course being offered from September 2018.

Digital Media is a key part of many areas of our everyday lives and vital to the UK economy.  Production of digital media products is a requirement of almost every business so there is huge demand for a skilled and digitally literate workforce.  This qualification will help students develop specific and transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts. The qualification’s hands-on approach has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.

 The course consists of 4 units:

  • R081 – Pre-production skills (written paper)
  • R082 – Creating digital graphics (centre assessed task)
  • R085 – Creating a multipage website (centre assessed task)
  • R092 – Developing digital games (centre assessed task)

Content overview

Unit R081: Pre-production skills

This first unit underpins the other learning in this qualification. Pupils will learn about how to plan pre-production effectively including understanding of client requirements and reviewing pre-production briefs.  They will use this knowledge in the optional units when they develop their own media products. This unit also provides excellent transferable skills such as project planning which will be useful in a wide variety of contexts.

Unit R082: Creating digital graphics

Digital graphics are a key part of most digital products and this mandatory unit will help support the other optional units in the suite. Pupils will learn the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector, considering client requirements that they learnt about in R081.

Unit R085: Creating a multipage website

This unit enables students to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. Pupils will use their creativity to combine components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website against a client brief.

Unit R092: Developing digital games

In this unit Pupils will plan a digital game, create and edit and then test the game with a focus group, identifying any areas for improvement.

Year 11 only

Certificate in Digital Applications (CIDA)

Year 11 will be completing CiDA (2018/2019).  It is delivered as a two year course in which Pupils complete two units. 

  • Unit 1: Developing Web Products (Compulsory 2.5hr external assessment – 25%)
  • Unit 4: Game Making (Coursework – 75%)


Any Year 10 pupils following either Computing course have the opportunity to visit the EGX Gaming exhibition in Birmingham.  EGX is the UK’s biggest games event where pupils are able to get hands-on with the world's biggest PC and console games before they're released.

Tweets Visit Twitter
37 minutes@NThardwick
  • Are you interested in woodland management and #conservation of the great outdoors? Wednesday 20 November, join our…
6 days@NThardwick
  • Checking the nest boxes and clearing them out ready for next year's spring visitors is important #conservation work…
7 days@NThardwick
  • It's an exciting time for the collections team at Hardwick Hall as one of our most famous portraits of Mary Queen o…
8 days@NThardwick
14 days@NThardwick
  • The inspiring #WeareBess exhibition is coming to an end. See if for the very last time on a private tour this Monda…