Computer Science and ICT

Head of Department - Mr. D. Hope

Computer Science - Mr O. Crawford

ICT - Mr P. Westbury


The Computing and ICT department at Holy Family Catholic High School aims to equip pupils with the skills to participate in a rapidly-changing world through ambitious, challenging and engaging topics. Pupils will develop an understanding and application in the fundamental principles of Computer Science by having the opportunity to write programs using two different languages, produce digital products and participate in unplugged activities. Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.  


The Computer Science and ICT curriculum has been designed so that it is inclusive and allows pupils to succeed at any ability level. We try to ensure that all pupils, including the high ability and those with SEND are able to access and succeed in Computer Science and IT. The specific needs of SEND pupils are communicated by the SENDCO and through Provision Map SEND plans.  

At KS3 we support students by ensuring all pupils, including those with SEND have access to Computer Science at both Key Stage 3 and Key Sage 4 (Option). The curriculum is designed to be challenging for all, with high expectations and a significant emphasis placed on a subject that finds itself at the heart of modern life.  


The schemes of work are selected based on the Key Stage 3 curriculum to give a balanced and varied programme of study, incorporating a full range of tasks and opportunities to meet all our students’ needs ensuring, there is a range of theory, practical and unplugged lessons. The curriculum is aimed to develop a deeper understanding of skills which have been introduced throughout the KS2 National Curriculum. 

The sequence of units has been set out to build knowledge gained in Key Stage 2, which we discover though baselining pupils and ensures the curriculum is accessible for all pupils to progress throughout Key Stage 3, with a clear endpoint for pupils which is outlined in our curriculum map. Progression through the Key Stages leads to students being expected to apply greater understanding and develop into independent learners. Our efforts at Key Stage 3 mean that our subject is a popular choice at Key Stage 4 for students of all abilities.  


In Computer Science and ICT we support the whole-school priority to improve the literacy of all students by implementing literacy strategies into our lessons. This can be seen in our curriculum planning and specifically in our programming lessons through PRIMM programming. 


Our endpoint is to foster curiosity and thinking skills in all our learners, preparing them to learn how to look at a problem and working out a way a computer might be able to help you solve it. We aim to prepare our students to become logical thinkers and problem solvers and to ensure that students develop and achieve ICT capability that is directly transferable, not only to other subjects, but also to the future learning pathways and beyond, developing a wide range of digital skills that will prepare learners for their future needs. 



Within Computer Science, our curriculum has been constructed through an approach that draws together the National Curriculum, the knowledge of our curriculum lead and that of external experts using the latest pedagogical research. Our vision is to provide all students with the opportunities to learn computational thinking, IT and Computer Science through a balanced curriculum which will support both pupils who are disadvantaged and those with SEND needs. Our curriculum is designed to enable our pupils to become digitally literate in a fast-changing world and equip all of our pupils with the skills they will need in the future.


The curriculum is aimed to develop a deeper understanding of skills which have been introduced throughout the KS2 National Curriculum. At Holy Family these skills are further developed and revisited, allowing for students to know and remember more. It has a clear endpoint for pupils which is outlined in our curriculum map. There is a focus on students’ ability to develop their skills in Computer Science so that these skills can be applied in other curriculum areas. This is in addition to skill application in future employment.


The National Centre of Computing Educational National Curriculum was introduced for the first time in September 2021 to KS3 in order to ensure that the transition from KS2 into KS3 is smoother and that we are providing the full spectrum of the wider curriculum for Computer Science. This is used and adapted to suit the needs of the pupils and the Key Stage 3 curriculum provides challenges and new experiences in computing, digital literacy and digital media, regardless of their prior knowledge of using computers. Careful sequencing ensures pupils have covered the essentials of Computer Science before moving on to the demands of GCSE.



As a result of the pandemic, curriculum planning is designed to address gaps in knowledge and skills and place significant emphasis on areas of weakness, with careful planning taking place to ensure appropriate topics are taught at the appropriate times. 

Within Computer Science we aim to deliver a broad curriculum where students will learn a wide range of skills from Digital Literacy, Computer Science and Information Technology. The schemes of work are selected to give a balanced and varied programme of study, to meet all our students’ needs.  Progression through the key stages leads to students being expected to apply greater understanding and develop into independent learners. Computer Science and IT is an option open to all pupils.

Key assessment points at Key Stage 3 have been adapted from GCSE examination questions and are used, at an early point, to introduce the key skills required in at Key Stage 4. A good uptake of pupils at Key Stage 4 and the introduction of a new A-Level Computer Science course suggests the curriculum is having a positive impact at Holy Family.

Key Stage 3

The Computing syllabus has been designed to cover the three main areas of Digital Literacy, Computer Science and Information Technology. The curriculum aims to enrich the pupils love of Computer Science and to inspire them to use the three main areas confidently. IT and Computer Science is fast developing in our school and our aim is to offer students the opportunity to be involved in this so that they have a strong foundation for Key Stage 4. The overall scheme is based on the National Curriculum in Computing and progresses into the KS4 curriculum 

Over the course of Key Stage 3, students will have experienced and studied many different areas of Computer Science to give them a taste of what the subject entails. We endeavour to make the curriculum as enjoyable and as interesting as possible with a high level of challenge for pupils of all abilities. Our aim is to ensure that students develop Computing and IT capability that is directly transferable, not only to other subjects but also to the Key Stage 4 Curriculum and beyond. The subject supports the least able as well as stretching high ability students through a variety of independent learning activities. 

Computer Science and IT - Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4 Computing Curriculum Options

OCR GCSE Computer Science

At Key Stage 4 we aim to develop a course that promotes critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming. Giving students a fun and interesting way to develop skills which can be transferred to other subjects and applied in day to day life.

Content will be divided between practical and theory lessons during their Computer Science lessons where they will learn about algorithms, programming techniques, the creation of robust programs, computational logic, translators & facilities of languages and data representation. The development of programming skills is a key feature of the curriculum and students complete multiple projects designed to increase their skill set.

Regular assessment takes place throughout Key Stage 4 and students become more confident self-reflectors and take increasing responsibility for their own learning.


Year 10 Computer Science

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

1.2 Memory & Storage

1.3 Networks and Protocol

1.4 Security

1.5 System Software

1.1 System Architecture

2.5 Programming Languages & IDE


Year 11 Computer Science

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

2.1 Algorithms

2.4 Boolean Logic

1.6 Ethical, Legal & Cultural





2.2 -Python
2.3- Python

These units will be taught throughout Year 10 and 11 to build up programming skills

OCR GCSE Computer Science - Unit map – Intent, Implementation, and Impact


GCSE Computer Science

Click here to see course specification

Key Stage 4 ICT



The Level 1/2 Vocational Award in ICT (Technical Award) is an engaging and practical educational program that equips students with valuable skills and knowledge in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Designed to cater to students at different skill levels, this course covers a range of ICT topics, including computer hardware, software applications in society, networking and digital media. There are many benefits of this qualification, as it not only prepares students for potential careers in the technology sector but also provides a strong foundation for further studies in ICT-related fields.

Students can expect to gain hands-on experience and proficiency in digital skills, enhancing their employability in a technology-driven job market and empowering them to actively participate in the digital age.


Unit 1

Pupils will investigate how information technology is used in a range of contexts, including business and organisations, education and home use.

  • How IT can be used to fulfil the needs of organisations and individuals
  • How data and information is used and transferred
  • Legal, moral, ethical, cultural and environmental impacts of IT and the need for cybersecurity

This unit is externally assessed through a written examination.

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Number of marks: 80

Format: Questions requiring objective responses, short and extended answers, based around applied situations. Learners will be required to use stimulus material to respond to questions.

This assessment contributes 40% to the overall qualification grade.


Unit 2

The goal of Unit 2: ICT in Context is to provide students with a broader understanding of how ICT is integrated into the world around them and to highlight its significance in modern society. This knowledge can help students appreciate the relevance of ICT skills and concepts beyond the classroom and in their future careers.

Pupils will look at ICT Applications, understanding practical applications of ICT in different settings.

  • Impact of ICT and how ICT has changed industries, improved efficiency, and changed the way people work and communicate.
  • The legal and ethical aspects of ICT, including issues related to data privacy, security, and intellectual property.
  • Make the use of software and apply it to a scenario, allowing pupils to develop skills in a range of real-world software.
  • Case studies will be used to illustrate the practical applications of ICT in various contexts, helping students understand how technology is used in different industries.

Number of marks: 120

Format: Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)

This assessment contributes 60% to the overall qualification grade.


Year 10

Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

  • Introduction to the qualification
  • Completion of Unit 2 content delivery
  • Introduction to the Unit 2 assessment brief
  • Unit 2 Assessment
  • Unit 2 Assessment
  • Completion of Unit 2 assessment
  • How IT can be used to fulfil the needs of organisations and individuals


Year 11

Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

  • How data and information is used and transferred
  • Legal, moral, ethical, cultural and environmental impacts of IT and the need for cybersecurity
  • Revision for Unit 1 examination
  • Unit 1 examination to be taken

ICT - Key Stage 4



A Level Computer Science

A Level Computer Science here at Holy Family is a robust qualification that helps students gain a deeper understand of the core academic principles of computer science. Computer Science is a discipline which requires thinking both in abstract and in concrete terms. On a higher level, Computer Science is concerned with problem solving modelling and analysing problems, designing solutions, and implementing them. Problem solving requires precision, creativity, and careful reasoning. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project.  


Computer Science has strong connections to many other disciplines. Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, and Economics combine well with Computer Science. 

  • Exam Board – OCR  
  • Course Code - Computer Science - H046, H446 
  • Level - AS and A Level 

Below you will find the breakdown of all the theory content (Component 1 & 2) that will be delivered over the 2 years of study. This will be accompanied by two hours per week minimum working towards the programming project (Component 3). For this component students will work on a substantial project. Doing so will provide the student with the opportunity to advance their software development skills over an extended period of time. This topic will introduce the student to the key steps involved in a software project - 

  • Analysis 
  • Design 
  • Develop 
  • Evaluation  

The Programming Project is worth 20% of the final mark. 

Computer Science - Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Key Stage 5 IT

BTEC National Level 3 Extended Certificate in Information Technology is designed with several key aims in mind to boost career prospects and ensure relevance in the fast-paced tech industry. Our primary focus is on skill development, providing students with practical, hands-on IT expertise that's immediately applicable in real-world scenarios. Our curriculum is aligned with the latest trends and demands to ensure you're well-prepared for the job market. By completing this program, you'll not only enhance your employability but also gain a versatile foundation in various IT domains. This qualification is as a strong stepping stone if you plan to pursue further education. With an emphasis on practical experience and key IT knowledge, our goal is to empower you to excel in your IT career.

What will I study?

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

In this unit, students will delve into the fundamentals of information technology systems. They will study the components of computer systems, including hardware and software, and gain insights into how these systems function. Topics may include IT in the real world, IT Systems, operating systems, and network basics. This unit provides a foundational understanding of the IT infrastructure that underpins modern technology.

Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information

Unit 2 focuses on the practical aspects of managing information within IT systems. Students will explore database design and management, learning how to create, manipulate, and query databases. They will work with database software and develop skills in designing information systems to meet specific business needs. This unit equips students with the ability to organise and manage data effectively, a crucial skill in today's data-driven world.

Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business

Unit 3 introduces students to the role of social media in the business context. They will study the impact of social media platforms on marketing, communication, and customer engagement. Topics may include social media strategy, content creation, analytics, and online advertising. This unit provides valuable insights into how businesses use social media to reach and engage with their target audiences.

Unit 6: Website Development

In Unit 6, students will explore the world of website development. They will learn the principles of web design looking at things like HTML, CSS, and Java. Students will have the opportunity to create their own websites, gaining hands-on experience in designing and building web pages. This unit equips students with essential skills for designing and maintaining websites, a critical aspect of the digital world.


IT - Key Stage 5 Curriculum


Our enrichment and extra-curricular activities help all pupils develop the skills and characteristics that will provide a solid foundation for the qualification.

We offer a range of enrichment opportunities with ICT rooms being available during lunchtimes and at the end of the day. The Department offers subject-specific enrichment clubs during lunchtime and after school, encouraging pupils to take part in Computing.

Intervention sessions are offered to pupils studying Computer Science and IT at GCSE and A-Level. Sessions offered help to consolidate prior learning and ensure maximum progress and enjoyment of the subject.

A Computer Club runs every week and is staffed by members of the department to promote an atmosphere of independent, cross-curricular study and help pupils to develop key computing skills. A gaming club has been created to allow pupils to enjoying the gaming side of computing. This offers pupils the chance to socialise in a computing environment.

Pupils are also able to complete task in the Technology area of the STEM club run after school.




STEM Club 

  • STEM Club is out-of-timetable sessions that enrich and broaden the curriculum, giving our young people the chance to explore subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math in less formal settings. 


Code Club

  • Code Club is a global network of students and young people who are dedicated to learning to code. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced code club is an inclusive space where you can learn and create the next big thing in tech. We link with other code clubs around the world to share best practice and compete in termly challenges


 Warhammer Club 

  • Designed to support young people improve their engineering, arts, and math skills, a Warhammer club is a great creative outlet that will easily fit into any development offer for young people aged 12 and above 



Websites  - This is a highly effective revision website that tracks pupil progress through the specification  – BBC Bitesize revision theory and questions  – programming practice challenges  – tutorials, references for programming languages  – learn technical skills in an interactive environment

Computer Science Independent Study

Here you can start to develop your coding skills. You can select different languages however I would recommend focusing on Python as this is what we do at GCSE.


Smart Revise (Year 10 and 11)

Here you have all of the options to answer exam questions on specific topics. I can edit the filters for you if you want to focus on specific areas. You can also use the ‘Learn’ tool to gain a better understanding of the key terminology by creating flash cards and testing your self



You are able to complete task on specific Pods. If you have an area you want to focus on use Cornell not taking method on the Pods. You can also answer questions on selected Pods


Oak National Academy
The link below will take you to a range of topics that look at Key Stage 4 Computing. You can follow any of the topics you have an interest in.


Seneca Learning
You can follow a number of tutorials and questions on topics you might have an interest in.


Oak National Academy

The link below will take you to a range of topics that look at Key Stage 3 Computing. You can follow any of the topics you have an interest in.

Subject Reading

Computer Science and ICT Reading List

Welcome to our Computer Science and ICT Reading List! At Holy Family Catholic High School, we believe in the importance of not only practical skills but also a strong foundation in theoretical knowledge. The books listed below cover a range of topics within computer science, providing a valuable resource for both Key Stage 3 (Y7, Y8 & Y9) and Key Stage 4 (Y10 & Y11) students.


Key Stage 3 (Y7, Y8 & Y9) Recommendations:

1. "How to Code: A Step-By-Step Guide to Computer Coding" by Max Wainewright

   - An interactive and beginner-friendly book that introduces coding concepts using Scratch and Python.

2. "Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World" by Reshma Saujani

   - Inspiring young minds, this book introduces coding and emphasizes the positive impact it can have on the world.

3. "The Manga Guide to Computer Science" by Mana Takahashi

   - A unique approach using manga to teach computer science, making complex concepts more accessible and enjoyable.

4. "Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming" by Jason R. Briggs

   - A kid-friendly resource for learning Python programming through engaging and interactive activities.

5. "Adventures in Raspberry Pi" by Carrie Anne Philbin

   - An introduction to physical computing and programming using the Raspberry Pi, with hands-on projects for exploration.

Key Stage 4 (Y10 & Y11) Recommendations:

1. "Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine" by Hannah Fry

   - Explores the impact of algorithms and artificial intelligence on our lives, encouraging critical thinking.

2. "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold**

   - A fascinating book explaining the fundamentals of how computers work, suitable for curious minds.

3. "Computing: The Human Experience" by Robert L. Glass

   - Explores the history and impact of computing, providing a broader perspective on the field.

4. "Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans" by Melanie Mitchell

   - A thought-provoking exploration of artificial intelligence concepts, fostering a deeper understanding.

5. "The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity" by Steven Strogatz

   - Explores the beauty of mathematics, foundational to computer science and information and communication technology (ICT).


Department of Computer Science

OCR Computer Science Textbooks:

GCSE Level:

1. "OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science" by George Rouse and Sean O'Byrne

   - This textbook is specifically tailored to the OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science specification. It covers all key concepts and includes practice questions to reinforce understanding.

2. "GCSE Computer Science for OCR Student Book" by David Waller and Ann Weidmann

   - This book provides detailed coverage of the OCR specification, with clear explanations, examples, and practice questions. It also includes programming tasks to develop coding skills.


A Level:

1. "OCR A Level Computer Science" by George Rouse and Sean O'Byrne

   - This textbook is designed to support the OCR A Level Computer Science specification. It covers the theoretical content in depth and includes practical activities to reinforce programming skills.

2. "OCR A Level Computer Science: Programming Skills Workbook" by David Waller

   - Complementing the main textbook, this workbook focuses specifically on programming skills required for the A Level course. It includes practical exercises and coding challenges.

3. "OCR A Level Computer Science: Exam Board Revision Guide" by David Waller and George Rouse

   - A revision guide that summarizes key concepts and provides practice questions to help students prepare for exams.

4. "OCR Computer Science for A Level" by Sue Sentance, Sean O'Byrne, and George Rouse

   - This book provides a comprehensive coverage of the OCR A Level Computer Science specification, covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of the course.


Importance of Reading and Literacy in Computer Science and ICT:

Literacy is a fundamental skill that plays a crucial role in the field of Computer Science and ICT. Reading not only enhances students' understanding of coding languages, algorithms, and hardware but also fosters critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

In an ever-evolving technological landscape, students need to be equipped not only with practical skills but also with the ability to comprehend complex concepts, communicate effectively, and think analytically. The books on this reading list serve as valuable companions in the journey of acquiring both practical skills and a deep theoretical understanding of Computer Science and ICT.

Happy reading!



The GCSE qualification offered within the Computing and IT Department opens a new world of possibilities in regard to both job prospects and future Level 3 qualifications. This course can lead onto traditional A levels and Vocational equivalents. Almost all careers require some use of IT resource, and the subject will equip you with life skills that will stand you in good stead for any future job. Computing supports a number of further education and career pathways. As computing and IT encompasses all aspects of study, our courses support a very wide range of career paths at University and into Apprenticeships. Pupils can follow paths into Computer Programming, Software Engineering, Website Development App Design, Computer Game Development and Cybersecurity. 


The Computer Science and Information Technology department aim to equip all our young people with the necessary skills they need in the modern world of work. Digital literacy is at the core of everything we teach in the department. These skills can be transferred into many other subjects and disciplines. Throughout our student’s time at Holy Family, we teach students to think computationally and outside of the norm. These skills allow our students to become highly employable.   


Pupils can follow paths into Computer Programming, Software Engineering, Website Development App Design, Computer Game Development and Cybersecurity.