Computer Studies

“Everyone should know how to program a computer as it teaches you to think!”

Steve Jobs, 1995

Computer Studies Vision

At Alde Valley Academy we firmly believe that our students should have the opportunity to follow an IT and Computing curriculum that prepares them for modern day life and take advantage of opportunity this can offer them locally, nationally and internationally.  

Good quality IT skills enable student to engage positively within the modern work place, while Computer Science skills enables students to take an active part in the design, development and creation of new technologies to be used in the world in which they live.  The KS3 curriculum has been designed to ensure learners have sufficient knowledge to stay safe online and use computers safely in life.  The KS3 curriculum also provides a focus on developing resilient learners who are able to recover from mistakes and effectively solve problems.  At Alde Valley Academy, we are ICT rich; 4 dedicated ICT suites, interactive white boards and dedicated software used in industry, such as Adobe Master Suite CS6. During Key Stage 3, students have ample opportunities to develop and refine their skills.

The core to the subject is the understanding of how technology works, can be developed and utilised, and we draw and extend understanding from a range of other subjects outside of IT and Computing including DT, Graphics, Maths, Science and PHSE and embed clear and high quality literacy and numeracy skills through software development, problem solving and evaluation skills.

We provide a broad range of skills and experiences at KS3 which are then further developed as students enter KS4 ready for progression into KS5.

At KS4, we offer Computer Science at GCSE where they will develop key problem-solving skills useful in a range of disciplines as well as the coding and software development skills that will give them an opportunity to work or for further study in the developing area seen to be key in the modern world.

How is the Key Stage 3 Computing Curriculum Implemented?

In Key Stage 3 we endeavour to teach content that enables our students to use and develop their computing skills in a real world context. These skills are taught via topics listed below:

Each topic will be assessed by the completion of a test that covers the materials and checks the students’ ability to apply and use their knowledge. All assessed tasks will be marked and the results recorded on Go4Schools. Homework is set via the iDEA platform where at the end of the year, the goal is each student will have completed enough homework badges to earn their Bronze Award.

The impact of the Computing Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

The key impact of the KS3 Computing curriculum is to increase student confidence and knowledge in key areas, providing them with a good foundation for further study at KS4.

What is GCSE Computer Studies?

Computer Science allows you to understand and apply the underlying fundamental principles and concept around Computer Science.  You analyse problems in computational terms via problem solving projects.  You will also understand the components that make up current digital systems and how they communicate with each other, as well as their impact on individuals and wider society.  You will also apply relevant mathematical skills within the course as well.

Who might enjoy this course?

Anyone with a keen interest in the technical use of computers and how they work. You must also have an aptitude for planning and writing your own computer programs.


You will develop analytical skills, problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills and resilience

What about exams? What will I study?

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).

What could I do next with GCSE Computer Studies?

Progress to AS and A Level Computing at 6th Form. You could also progress to further courses at college. 

Potential careers:

Web Designer, Computer Games Developer, Software Developer, Network Engineer, Systems Analyst, Network Manager, Database Administrator, Archivist, Cartographer, Information Scientist, IT Support, Media Researcher, Data Entry Clerk, Technical Author, Security Service personnel 

AVA - KS3 Computing Learning Journey.pdf
AVA - OCR GCSE Computer Science Learning Journey.pdf