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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 it is clear that computer technology plays a part in all aspects. Understanding how computers work and how technology is developing is important for all of our lives and is why we ensure that all students at Queen Elizabeth's leave understanding the fundamentals of computer science. Analytical thinking and problem solving skills are two main transferrable skills that are developed through computer science lessons.

Facilities

We have excellent facilities at Queen Elizabeth's and these are used extensively by our students. In total we have around 250 computer workstations around the school as well as a suite of over 70 laptops for students to use.

For our sixth form students we also offer a BYOD device sceme allowing students to use their own devices on our network to easily continue with work they have started from home.

We use Microsoft Windows as our operating system and our main office software suite is Microsoft Office. All departments have their own software for specific departmental needs. We also have access to Adobe’s CS4 Design Suite which gives students access to industry standard web, animation and photo editing software.

Students have access to digital video cameras and audio recording devices and are encouraged to use these throughout all areas of the curriculum. These are bookable through the library and even to take out of school should students wish to develop their film or radio making skills.

There is also a large number of interactive whiteboards around the school and every classroom has a projector.

All departments make extensive use of our 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 also have 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.

Curriculum

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

Students in Year 9 embark upon a three year course leading to AQA's GCSE Computer Science. Students in Year 12 are able to embark on the two year AQA A Level Course.

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.

Students have very open access to these facilities, before school starts, during the day and after school. All pupils have their own email address at the school and access to our filtered Internet connection.

This open access brings with it significant responsibilities and these are enshrined in the academy’s Acceptable Use Policy which all students sign. 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 discrete subjects, are taught by Mr A Ainsworth, Mr D Hewer, Mr M Johnson and Mrs L Storr. Mr Johnson is also the Subject Leader for Computer Science and manages both the curriculum and the technical side. He is assisted in the technical role by Mr A Ainsworth and Mr D Hewer our ICT Technicians as well as Mr S Wattam, our programmer.