Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives at home and at work. The Computing/ICT department aims to equip girls with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.
At Key Stage 3 the girls learn how computers and computer systems work, design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of digital content. The curriculum is based around three strands:
Computer science – in which girls develop an understanding of how to use computational thinking to solve problems and implement their own creative ideas. Girls have the opportunity to learn how to use computer programming (with a variety of languages) to bring their ideas to life.
Information technology – in which girls learn about how computers and telecommunications equipment work. They use a range of software applications and we aim to ensure that they become increasingly independent use of ICT tools and information sources.
Digital literacy – girls learn how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely. We aim to prepare girls to thrive in an increasingly digital world by ensuring that they are safe, happy and confident users of technology with a good understanding of how ICT can help their work in other subjects and in the future workplace.
At Key Stage 4 we offer GCSEs in both ICT and Computer Science. Our engaging ICT GCSE course gives emphasis to the development of transferable skills, such as thinking logically, creatively and critically. It explores how technology works and the effects it has in a wide variety of contexts. We achieve excellent examination results with a very high percentage gaining A* and A grades. Our GCSE Computer Science course will build upon the knowledge and skills that girls have developed through key Stage 3 Computing lessons and provide them with an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It is an intellectually challenging yet very practical and rewarding discipline. Girls learn how to make computers do exactly what they want them to, through the application of problem solving and computer progamming skills.
The key points of this specification are that:
• It allows greater opportunities for practical work than previous specifications
• Practical work can be carried out using a much wider range of software and hardware
• It allows for greater flexibility in modes of delivery
• Students can be truly engaged in their studies by becoming active investigators rather than passive learners
The specification has been developed for students who wish to progress to higher education or to the world of work, where understanding how ICT can be used in society and organisations, and the implications of its use, will be a valuable asset.
The department offers extra-curricular activities such as a Computer Club for Year 7 girls, coding club for all Key Stage 3 girls and residential visits for GCSE and A-level students. Various clinics also operate throughout the week offering extra support and advice at all key stages.