Information about Computing.

Information and Communication Technology is used throughout the School. It is important to both the curricular and extra-curricular activities of all students.

The Computing department at Birkdale High School is both dynamic and proactive. The computing facilities embrace new technology and are developing year by year.

The department has 6 well-equipped computer rooms with multi-media projection facilities and interactive whiteboards for class and group activities along with many machines around the academy, which can be used for private research and study. Students have access to scanners, digital cameras and quality colour and black and white lasers, which together enable them to print off professional looking course work.

KS3 Computing

The department follows the aims of the Computing National Strategy to raise standards by strengthening teaching and learning for all 11 to 14 year olds. The school provides a minimum of 60 minutes per week of discrete teaching throughout the key stage to ensure the delivery of the yearly teaching objectives for Computing.

Starting from September 2014 Year 7 students will be taught the new Computing Science curriculum. Year 8 and 9 students will focus on a course in both Digital Literacy and Computer Science. Topics covered in each year are below.

Year 7

  • E-safety
  • Understanding of computers
  • Programming/Coding
  • Animation
  • Web page design
  • Image manipulation

Year 8

  • Databases
  • Scratch programming
  • Animation
  • Python programming

Year 9

  • Logo design
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • Creating a video
  • Creating sound files
  • Python programming
  • Producing a phone ‘app’

GCSE Computing

Computing offers students the opportunity to identify and solve real problems by designing a variety of systems relating to their personal interests.

This course encourages the creation and implementation of Computing in a variety of settings, with controlled assessments following different themes over both years of the course. The boys are given opportunities to develop competence, capability and analytical skills, becoming more independent and discerning users of Computing who can make informed decisions about its use.

The two examinations at the end of the course will enhance and assess the boys understanding of how Computing is used in both a home/school context and its application in a business or industrial environment.

Computing will also develop the skills the boys need to use across a variety of subjects, such as their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.

Year 10

In Year 10 students will complete the first controlled assessment, Unit 4 Multimedia and start Unit 2 Solving Problems with Computing.

Year 11

In Year 11 students will complete Unit 2 and prepare for the examinations, Units 1 and 3.

WJEC Specification

Specification from the examination board.

Computing Science

The department offers GCSE Computing Science from the OCR examination board.

The course enables students to:

  • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of, and issues related to, the use of computer technology in society.

How is Computing assessed?

40% - Computer systems and programming – Written Examination Paper (A451)

30% - Practical investigation – Controlled assessment (A452)

  • An investigative computing task, chosen from a list provided by OCR, which assesses the following: research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, historical perspective, use of technical writing, recommendations/evaluation.

30% - Programming project - Controlled assessment (A453)

  • This involves a programming task. This requires the students to design, develop and test a solution to a problem within the OCR-set scenario.

Year 10

In Year 10 students will cover both the Computing Science Unit A451 and Unit A452 Practical Investigation.

This will include topics such as:

  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Databases
  • Networking
  • Communication
  • Programming

Year 11

In Year 11 students will continue to cover the Computing Science Unit A451 and complete the Unit A453 Programming task.

Students will sit the examination based on Unit A451 at the end of Year 11.

OCR Specification

Specification from the examination board.


ICT resources for all levels.

Revise ICT

ICT revision website.

About Us

Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade


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