Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

ICT/Computing Science

Mrs H Christopher (Head of Department)

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3 all pupils have ICT lessons.

Year 7

Term 1

  • Introduction to Hwb - Pupils will look at and use various resources such as Office 365 (which includes email and One Note), Image Quest (for copyright free images), Encyclopaedia Britannica and have to save work using this cloud facility so they can use it at home
  • E-safety Project focusing making a cyberbullying quiz - Pupils will use Office 365 to plan, develop and evaluate an interactive quiz focusing on the question “What is cyberbullying?” and exploring issues and solutions to this
  • Quest for Adventure - Pupils will make a story in English and then make a text based adventure game which will introduce logical thinking
  • Spreadsheets - Pupils will look at designing and developing a spreadsheet for Welsh tourism. This will include graph work as well as formulae and hypotheses
  • Data Representation - Pupils will explore how the computer translates data in binary. Pupils will learn how to convert from number base to binary base and back again. They will use this to look at how images are represented with a computer

Term 2

  • Scratch - Pupils will learn to program using Scratch software. They will create a series of small programs and then look at designing and creating a small game. Pupils will also be introduced to programming constructs and the use of Flow charts to make decisions within a game
  • HTML - Pupils will learn to write basic HTML commands to create a basic webpage. They will explore the difference between a text based language and a visual language

Term 3

  • Multi-media - Pupils will plan, create and evaluate a Transition multi-media product which will see them using skills from English, Welsh, French/German. They will develop video editing, animations and music editing skills and hopefully present it to a Transition audience
  • Microbits - Pupils will develop their programming skills using the BBC Microbits to create a series of activities

Ways in which parents can help

  1. Help pupils with homework
  2. Discuss with pupils what they are currently doing and check home work diary
  3. Encourage pupils to use the resources on Hwb
  4. Look at Microbits website
  5. Encourage pupils to complete work on Office 365 at home

Useful Books/Magazines/Publications

  • Software specific books in library.

Year 8

Term 1

  • Collecting data and analysing in a database
  • Scratch - using interactive boards
  • Analysing a hypothesis

Term 2

Creating a professional leaflet and poster on Social Networking sites , Awareness and knowledge of implications and dangers of social networking sites, Developing an opinion and being able to discuss internet safety, Looking at creating an outcome for different audiences. Exploring the implications of a network, Sending and receiving files electronically.

Term 3

Specific Spreadsheet skills, Looking at testing out a hypothesis in different software. Producing a report based on their outcomes aimed at a specific audience, producing an interactive multi-media product aimed at a specific audience.

Useful Websites for Year 8 and 9

  1. kidSMART
  2. Teach-ICT
  3. Think U Know

Year 9

Term 1

Gamemaker - Create interactive games with the use of programming concepts.

Term 2

  • Ski Trip
  • Designing a logo
  • Create an interactive spreadsheet to calculate cost and payments
  • Mail-merge a letter with a spreadsheet
  • Promote the ski-trip using digital software
  • Using email to improve communications

Term 3

  • Develop knowledge of the misuse of the internet and other technologies.
  • Develop communication skills by presenting work
  • Developing Music Editing and the understanding the copyright implications.
  • Developing knowledge of video editing software and understanding of the copyright law.
  • Produce own assets (images to build video rather than using internet)
  • Design own game for Eisteddfod

Ways in which parents can help

  1. Talking to children about copyright issues
  2. Discuss with the pupils what they are currently doing and check home work diary

Useful Books/Magazines/Publications

  • Software specific books in library.

Key Stage 4

Computing GCSE

In the age of the laptop and the smartphone, it should be obvious that young people want to be able to develop their own software, write their own programs and turn those ideas into great technology companies. In fact, information technologies continue to have a growing importance. This means there will be a bigger demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. If learners want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone.

GCSE Computing is a Science which complements traditional Science and Electronics, opening the doors to Engineering, Mathematical and Scientific careers. It also works well with creative arts as it provides skills that can be used in a range of contexts. For many pupils, it'll be a fun and interesting way to develop these skills which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life.

GCSE Computing differs from ICT by using a programming language to solve problems as well as looking at current and emerging technologies but the two complement each other and provide pupils with a balanced set of skills.

Course Structure

  • Written paper: 1.5 hours (40% of the qualification, worth 80 marks)
    Candidates answer all questions. There is a mixture of short and long answer questions, some of which will require candidates to write program code.
  • Controlled assessment: Approx. 20 hours (30% of the qualification, worth 45 marks)
    An investigative task where candidates carry out a practical investigation of a topic chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR exam board.
  • Controlled assessment: Approx. 20 hours (30% of the qualification, worth 45 marks)
    Candidates create solutions to computing tasks chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR exam board.

Pupils will use a range of programming software which can be downloaded legally and free. This will include traditional programming languages as well as more game orientated software. The types of problems have included:

  • Design, code and test a maze game in which a character is guided through a simple maze by the player pressing keys for left, right, up and down movements.
  • Design, code, test and evaluate a system to accept and test a password for certain characteristics.

Skills Gained

  • Ability to critically analyse problems, design and implement effective computer programs which solve these problems.
  • Model situations, acquire and validate input data, sequence instructions, manipulate and process data and present the results of the processing in an appropriate format.
  • Evaluate the way they and others use computer technology to solve problems.
  • Look at the implications of different technologies.

Understand how computer technology works and look at what goes on "behind the scenes".


"It's Sunday night and you've had a big weekend. You've been socialising on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace. You caught up with friends to watch YouTube and battled it out for first place on the Wii. Once again, you had to help your dad with downloading music and surprisingly even remembered to wikipedia that info you need for school".

Why Study Information & Communication Technology (ICT)?

Let's face it, you live in a world of technology and you know how to use it, why would you need to learn it?

  • Well, GCSE ICT is not how you use technology but how it works and the effects it has - not just on our daily lives but in everything from commerce and communication, to politics and the music industry. The world is becoming increasingly dominated by the use of ICT systems which influence every aspect of our everyday lives.
  • It's the way of the future for all careers - so whether you're looking at heading towards business studies, fashion, engineering, graphic or game designing, health or the environment, you will need to know how ICT works and the impact it has.
  • GCSE ICT is still standing out as a well recognised and valued qualification and will get you ready for your next steps, whether that may be college, university or employment.

So, whatever career path you are thinking of choosing, explore ICT to help get the future you want.

The study of ICT will help provide you with the ANALYTICAL (thinking), COMMUNICATION (writing, talking, giving presentations) and TECHNICAL skills (using a computer at a high level) that you will need to compete as as active participant in this exciting and dynamic world. Our GCSE ICT is a practical, skills-based qualification that builds on our Key Stage 3 Curriculum and provides a foundation for students intending to study ICT at a higher level. It is also a subject where you can apply the skills taught to support coursework in many other subject areas.

What will you learn?

You will learn to build on the skills you have already:

  • Using software such as word processors, databases, spreadsheets, web design, Desktop Publishing (DTP), presentation software, Internet etc


There is one tier of entry. Assessment comprises of four modules. Modules 1 and 3 are written examinations and modules 2 and 4 are practical modules. Coursework counts for 60% and written exams count for 40% of the overall course. Don't be put off by examinations - Most of the exam content is applying what you already do practically.


You will also have the opportunity in year 10 to complete the Essentials Skills Wales ICT Level 2 qualification as part of your coursework which means you will achieve a qualification at the end of year 10 and then a GCSE ICT qualification at the end of year 11.


Virtually ANY career you choose to enter, will involve some use of ICT. Some require more ICT than others.

  • Programming, Systems Analysis, Software Design
  • Technical Support
  • Website Design
  • Computer sales
  • Network Management
  • Computer Technician
  • Multimedia
  • Computer Engineering
  • Education and Training
  • Expert Systems Development e.g. medicine/ law
  • Robotics & artificial intelligence
  • Data entry and control

You may be able to use a computer but do you think it would look better if you could actually prove it with a qualification in ICT.

Key Stage 5 Computer Science

Computer Science

Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 601/5391/X
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 601/5345/3

Course Content

There are a total of 5 units, 2 AS units and 3 A2 units. The course is a mixture of practical as well as theory concepts. A programming language will be learnt at AS and further developed in A2 along with the theory elements.

Assessment Procedure

AS (2 units)

AS Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Computer Science
Written examination: 2 hours - 25% of qualification

Computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

AS Unit 2 Practical - Programming to Solve Problems
On-screen examination: 2 hours - 15% of qualification

The practical application of knowledge and understanding and will require the use of Visual Basic. NET, Python or Java as a programming language.

A Level (the above plus a further 3 units)

A2 Unit 3 - Programming and System Development
Written examination: 2 hours - 20% of qualification

Programs, data structures, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

A2 Unit 4 - Computer Architecture, Data, Communication
Written examination: 2 hours - 20% of qualification

Computer architecture, communication data representation, organisation and structure of data, programs, algorithms and software applications.

A2 Unit 5 - Programmed Solution to a Problem
Non-exam assessment: 2 hours - 20% of examination

Candidates discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the candidate which must be solved using original code (programming).

Entry Requirements

It is advisable pupils have studied Computer Science at GCSE but not essential. Pupils who have not studied the subject at GCSE would be expected to undertake a transition project over the summer where they would be given resources to learn how to program. A logical way of thinking, problem solving and patience are the key skills required for this course and therefore a Grade C at Mathematics GCSE is required.


Computing can be linked to many other subjects in higher education as well as specialising in computer programming, system analysis and management. It gives you a sound basis to go on and program in any language.

Key Stage 5 ICT


Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level:
QAN Ref. No. - A Level:

Course Content

This is a very practical course with a large emphasis on coursework. The course will develop your practical skills using predominantly Microsoft Office but also editing and creating movies, recording sound and making animation. There is also a theory paper, which will make you think about how ICT is used in society and the issues surrounding it. You will also look at the future development of ICT and how it will influence future jobs and people.
At AS Level students will produce a working spreadsheet that could be used in a business environment. At A2 students develop their database knowledge and produce a realistic system.

Assessment Procedure


ICT 1 Theory Exam: 2.25 hours - 24% of A2

ICT 2 Practical Project - 16% of A2


ICT 3 Theory Exam: 2.5 hours - 36% of A2

ICT 4 Practical Database Project - 24% of A2

Entry Requirements

No GCSE in ICT is required but would be extremely beneficial.
Knowledge of Microsoft Office would also help.


This course opens many areas such as animation, multi-media, ICT courses, database management and web design.

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