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I am unable to praise it enough or to express how supportive and nurturing I have felt the entire staff to be.

Computer Science

Introduction

"Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." (Edsger Dijkstra). In the world we live in, it is clear that technology plays an ever increasing role. Understanding how computers work and how technology is developing is important for all of us, and is why we ensure that all our students gain a basic understanding in Key Stage 3 and have the option of building on this understanding in Key Stages 4 and 5. Analytical thinking, problem solving and perseverance are some of the transferrable skills that are developed through computer science lessons.

Facilities

We have two dedicated classrooms for teaching computer science both with modern PCs which are equipped with all of the necessary software for both our specific computer science needs as well as those of other departments. Our programming environment is Microsoft Visual Basic .NET which is used from Y7 all the way through to Y13.

Curriculum

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 receive two hours a week of tuition in Computer Science as a discrete subject. During this time students learn about being eSafe, the Web/Internet and Networks as well as programming and data representation.

Students in Year 9 have the option of embarking upon a three year course leading to AQA's GCSE Computer Science which embeds the fundamentals of computer science as well as allowing the students to become competent programmers. Students in Year 12 are able to study the two year AQA A Level Course. The A Level course allows students free choice for their programming project which allows them to explore their creativity as well as use a different programming language should they choose to. Recent projects have included: Neural Network for identification of numbers, Sudoku puzzle solver, Pac-man and a self-driving remote controlled car.

General

Computer Science clearly has a dual role in the school. It is a subject in its own right, but also supports teaching and learning across the curriculum.

All departments make use of our bespoke virtual learning environment which parents are also given access to. On our VLE students and parents are given access to a wide range of resources which complement and enhance the content that is delivered within lessons. We have also developed our own App, QEGSAnywhere, which is available on both the Google Play store as well as the Apple App store. QEGSAnywhere gives students and parents access to home learning tasks as well as information such as the number of merits gained.

Students have very open access to our facilities, before school starts, during the day and after school. All pupils have their own email address and access to the web and for our sixth form students we also offer a BYOD device scheme allowing students to use their own devices on our network to easily continue with work they have started at home.

This open access brings with it significant responsibilities and these are enshrined in our Acceptable Use Policy. Responsible use of ICT is a very important part of ICT education. As part of our commitment to helping our students stay safe online we run a series of assemblies each year targeting specific areas and have an open door policy where students are encouraged to voice their concerns if they are unsure about something they see or hear about when using technology. We aim to make students aware of potential dangers and how to use technology responsibly.

Staff

Computer Science, as a discrete subject, is taught by Mr A Ainsworth, Mr M Johnson and Mrs L Storr. Mr M Johnson is also the Subject Leader for Computer Science and manages both the curriculum and the technical aspect. He is assisted in the technical role by Mr A Ainsworth, Mrs L Underdown and Mr C Wright, our ICT Technicians, as well as Mr S Wattam, our programmer.