Computer Science


Advancements in the field of Computer Science have dramatically changed the world in the past century and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The Computer Science Department at The Campion School aims to prepare students for life in the ‘information age’, while providing them the opportunity to make their own contributions to the field of Computing.

Through studying the subject at The Campion School, students will not only develop a working knowledge and appreciation of electronic systems applicable to the real world, but will develop their logical and computational thinking skills through development of both hardware and software. The department is made up of specialist teachers using facilities which include an exclusive lab for Key Stage 4 and 5.

Across all years, students not only study a range of programming languages, but will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of the subject; whilst also covering online safety, the effects of computing on society and computational thinking.  Not only will they have the opportunity to develop the digital literacy skills that they require for modern life and employment, but many of our students opt to study this popular subject at GCSE and A level; with many going on to study further at University.


Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to not only build up digital literacy skills which have traditionally been taught in schools, but also create an understanding of how computer systems work and how they contribute to our daily lives.  Students are encouraged to explore for themselves, recognise and approach the subject as the scientific one that it is. 

At the core of our subject, alongside learning about the principles of operation of computer systems, we aim to promote students as programmers, with our philosophy being that we are not teaching a programming language per se, but rather teaching the transferable skills which can be applied to fields and logical problems outside of software development.

Year 7 

The Year 7 curriculum is about building an understanding of what the subject involves and how it should be approached.  At The Campion School, Computer Science becomes more than just learning how to operate a computer, use common productivity software and write some trivial programs. 

Students will begin to use the correct terminology for Computer Systems and will develop an understanding of them in terms of a model for input, process and output.  They will be able to recognise peripheral and internal components of a typical computer system and describe the roles of these components. 

They will develop an understanding of how the internet works, and early on will be taught online safetya topic which is also delivered through the pastoral curriculum at school. They will gain experience using software which will help them in their studies; most notably how to use a word processor. 

Finally, they will make their first steps into programming using the visual language ‘Scratch’.  We build upon the experience that they may have gained in primary school where they may have produced some simple animations and games by introducing the core skills which are prevalent throughout programming in all key stages.  If your son has had no experience of using Scratch before then this will not be a problem as they can learn to construct impressive programs very quickly.

Year 8 

In Year 8 students will develop the understanding of the fundamentals that they first built up in Year 8.  They will look into the history of the field of Computer Science, and will take their first step into low level hardware by learning how data is stored on a computer using the binary number system. By the end of the first term, students will be able to represent numbers and perform simple calculations in binary. 

Students will also study web development and learn to write web pages using HTML. This unit will also enhance their understanding of the World Wide Web and also client-server systems. 

As well as further lessons in digital literacy, the programming language Small Basic is taught. This is a powerful language with easy to learn syntax and a user friendly development environment.

Year 9 

The final year of year 9 sees an in depth investigation into the principles of operation of computer systems, understanding how the components work together to process information.  Students will encounter 2 more programming languages in this year; JavaScript which is a popular language for those interested in web development, but also Python which is another language that is widely taught in schools but offers an alternative look at how programmes are constructed using the same core skills.


Computing is popular with students who often look to develop their programming skills outside of lessons.  This is encouraged and there are a range of activities that students can engage in, from being able to develop their skills at lunch time to entering national competitions for both programming and developing Computer Systems.  The school also has a suite of Raspberry Pi Computers which allow them to work on projects and get to grips with low level computing if they so wish.

GCSE Computer Science

Exam Board

Subject Leader


Mr L Fitzmaurice

The AQA exam provides a broad and rigorous education in the field of Computer Science. Across two exam papers, students will study programming which comprises of not only practical tasks but also logical, mathematical and problem solving skills. As well as this, they will learn theory of the subject.

There are currently two units for assessment, along with a third practical programming unit which is mandatory but unassessed. This will change in the near future as all exam boards are updating their assessment criteria to ensure a fair and equal method of assessment across all centres.

The language taught at Key Stage 4 is Python – This is an ideal beginners programming language which will allow the students to get to grips with all aspects and should allow a natural transition having first encountered the language at Key Stage 3.


The first exam paper, entitled ‘Computational thinking and problem-solving’ will see students posed with a variety of computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied programming tasks as well as theoretical knowledge of algorithms and data representation.

The second exam paper, simply entitled ‘Written assessment’ sees a variety of short and long answers based on the fundamentals of computer systems, networks, cyber security, databases and ethical, legal and environmental issues in Computer Science.

Both papers are 1hr 30 minutes long and make up 50% of the assessment each.

Skills and Commitment 

The subject is popular but those looking to take the subject should be competent mathematicians. It may also be that students have a strong interest in any field of computer science, ranging from development to the gaming industry, but others enjoy studying the subject because it is challenging and rewarding. Those who study the subject will be expected to develop their programming skills so that they can complete the third unit of assessment independently.

A-Level Computing

Exam Board

Entry Requirements

Subject Leader


Grade 6 GCSE Maths AND Grade 6 GCSE Computing (if Computing not taken, entry will be at the Subject Leader’s discretion on a case-by-case basis)

Mr L Fitzmaurice

This course has been designed to prepare students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of computer science would be beneficial.

The course is designed to encourage candidates to:

  • Develop their problem-solving ability in a computing context using an algorithmic approach

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of programming through a problem solving scenario

  • Develop an understanding of the hardware and software aspects of computing.

Unit 1

This unit tests students’ ability to answer questions from subject content.

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices.
  • Software and software development
  • Networking and Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues


  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A level

Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.

Unit 2

This unit tests students’ ability to answer questions from subject content, and solve computational problems that require programs to be written or modified in the exam.

 Fundamentals of data representation

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms


  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A

Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions, including questions requiring students to demonstrate their programming knowledge and skills through tracing, modifying and writing algorithms and programs.

Unit 3

Non-exam assessment

This assesses students’ ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.


The documentation produced by the student, including a complete code listing of their solution.

  • 20% of A level


See above as different for each unit.

Progression into Higher Education/Vocational Destinations

Students may wish to continue studies in a computing related course in further education or seek employment in the ever growing computer related industries.

Please be aware when considering options that Computer Science is very different to the discontinued ICT A Level, in that it is about the scientific understanding of how computer systems work, rather than how they are used.  A GCSE in Computer Science is not necessary but is helpful and experience of writing simple computer programs in any procedural or object-oriented language is advantageous.

If you have not taken GCSE Computer Science, you should use the preparation resources below to help you gain experience as a programmer. To gain access to this file, contact the Subject Leader for Computer Science through the school contact form.

Preparation resources for novice programmers

Subject Documents Date  
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 7 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 8 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 9 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 10 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 11 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 12 11th Jan 2023 Download
Computer Science Curriculum Map Yr 13 11th Jan 2023 Download