The Computing Department
Our aim at Barton Court is to bring Computing to the forefront of the curriculum. Computing has been taught in the Sixth Form for the past five years and has proved very popular with four pupils per year for the last three years leaving to study Computer Science degrees at top UK universities.
In today’s technology-focused world, most of the pupils have already developed excellent ICT skills and are fully competent in the topics covered under the previous ICT curriculum. Computing offers pupils greater opportunity to be creative and use logical thinking skills that would not apply when teaching the standard ICT curriculum.
Key Stage 3
In years 7 and 8, students are set according to their form group. Each term the students work on a set project focused on a particular area of computing, at the end of each second term, the students are given a summative assessment in the form of a multiple choice test, in years 7 and 8 pupils will be taught the skills required to prepare them for Computing at GCSE level.
Key Stage 4
Students have the choice to choose GCSE Computing as an option, in this GCSE pupils will be taught how to program, including simple games programming, as well as JAVA programming. The examination board is OCR. Pupils will also learn the theory of computing, which includes computer hardware and software, number systems in computing, advanced database management systems and programming theory.
Key Stage 5
Students entering the Sixth Form can choose to study for A level Computing, this course naturally follows on from the GCSE and builds on the knowledge gained to extend pupils knowledge further. The examination board is OCR. This course will prepare students for Computer Science at degree level.
The department is well resourced. The department has three well equipped computer rooms with brand new computers running Windows 7. All computers have Scratch, Java and python programming environments with other software to support the computing courses. The department also makes use of programmable robots, and programmable electrical circuits to build pupils programming skills whilst offering the satisfaction of seeing programs in operation. The department is always looking at new technological advances and bringing in these where they extend students learning experience.
Beyond The Curriculum
The department offers a range of extracurricular activities, including Lego MindStorms club, which involves pupils programming Lego robots to complete set missions, this extends pupils knowledge of programming techniques and requires them to think creatively and logically to solve problems. The department also offers programming clubs in which pupils can take on challenging Java projects to extend their knowledge beyond the curriculum.