Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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IT & Computing

The vision of the department continues to develop in line with that of the government’s. The department now offers both an ICT and Computer Science qualification at GCSE.

  • Pupils are prepared for a world in which Computing is seen as a natural part.
  • Every child leaves able to use computing efficiently and effectively at an appropriate level.
  • Pupils are aware of the dangers associated with the development of computing and their E-Safety.
  • Pupils understand what is meant by programming and have a basic knowledge of coding and algorithms.
  • Curricular and extra-curricular activities that enhance learning and enjoyment of the discipline.
  • Pupils are aware of the possibilities created by the developments within computing.
  • Pupils have an understanding of careers and opportunities in Computing and ICT related jobs.

Curriculum Content - KS3

The current first years are undertaking the new two year KS3, the department have devised a Computing curriculum based on the programme of study by the DfE. This includes a number of practical programming units using both visual and textual based and theoretical units investigating Hardware and Software and Data representation. All pupils also participate in an e-Safety unit accredited by the British Computer Society.

The School’s Computing (ICT) curriculum has always been dynamic and the department’s staff have always tried to provide a rich curriculum, we therefore do not foresee a complete redevelopment of the curriculum, rather some amending and fine tuning. The department has refined and redeveloped its unique tracking and assessment systems so that they encourage greater pupil reflection and provide pupils with a clearer understanding of pupil’s performance in a unit and across the key stage

Curriculum Content - KS4

Computer Science GCSE (AQA)

This qualification gives pupils an understanding of key computing concepts and the fundamentals of programming.  The program of study consists of one controlled assessment tasks worth 20% and two examinations worth 40% each. The controlled assessment will consist of pupils working independently, demonstrating their ability to code a solution to a given problem.

In essence, studying this specification will free the candidate from dependency on other people creating applications for them to use. They will have developed the skills and understanding which underpin the creation of their own applications

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving

What's assessed

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

How it's assessed

·         Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes

·         80 marks

40% of GCSE

Paper 2: Written assessment

What's assessed

Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3–7 above

How it's assessed

·         Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

·         80 marks

40% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment

What's assessed

The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content above.

How it's assessed

·         Report: totalling 20 hours of work

·         ​80 marks

·         ​20% of GCSE


The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.

 (The AQA Computer Science GCSE and the OCR Information Technologies GCSE differ significantly in content, study, outcomes and post-16 opportunities. For further information on which course is more suitable for you please speak to a member of the Computer Science and ICT Department.)

GCSE Level 2 Information Technologies (OCR)

This qualification is about applying understanding and skills to use technologies to select data, manipulate, store, analyse and present it as information, and follow a project life cycle to structure how it’s done.

The learning outcomes (LO) and teaching content are not separated into individual units of teaching. There are two assessments to be taken and we refer to these as units of assessment. (We show you in the table below how the content is assessed.) This is not linear assessment, each assessment can be taken in different series and there are no terminal rules.

We’ve taken this direction to support a holistic approach to delivery and a synoptic approach to assessment. We want learners to develop their appreciation and understanding of the connections between the different elements of learning and show they can to go on to apply what they learn from this qualification to new and different situations and contexts.

OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Information Technologies

There are two units of assessment.

To claim the Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate Information Technologies qualification, learners must complete both units of assessment.

Performance in both assessments will be underpinned by acquiring the knowledge, understanding and skills specified for the qualification through learning by doing. We encourage holistic delivery and require the synoptic application of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Entry code R012 - Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions

  • 1 hour 45 minutes written examination
  • 80 marks (120 UMS)
  • OCR-set and marked
  • Exam assessment in June 2018 and then every January and June.



This will directly assess the learning outcomes titled as ‘Understand’:

LO1: Understand the tools and techniques that can be used to initiate and plan solutions

LO3: Understand how data and information can be collected, stored and used

LO4: Understand the factors to be considered when collecting and processing data and storing data/information

LO6: Understand the different methods of processing data and presenting information.

Entry code R013 - Developing technological solutions

  • Approximately 20 hours
  • 80 marks (120 UMS)
  • An assignment set by OCR, marked by teachers and moderated by OCR
  • The assignment will include a context and set of tasks
  • A new assignment will be released each series and published on the OCR website
  • Assessment series in June 2018 and then in two series each year, January and June.

This will directly assess the learning outcomes titled as ‘Be able to’:

LO2: To be able to initiate and plan a solution to meet an identified need

LO5: To be able to import and manipulate data to develop a solution to meet an identified need

LO7: To be able to select and present information in the development of the solution to meet an identified need

LO8: To be able to iteratively review and evaluate the development of the solution.

Curriculum Content - KS5

This A-level can help lead to a wide range of degrees at university including: computer science, software engineering, mathematics, engineering, information systems, computer security, game development and other sciences.

It is an exciting time to be a computer scientist! We are living in the midst of a revolution powered by computers. This revolution has invaded all aspects of society. It is a communication revolution, a transportation revolution, a medical revolution, an entertainment revolution. Consider the things one would need to give up to live a day without computers:

  • Social networking: email, IM, Facebook, texting, cell phone, landline phone
  • Transportation: GPS, car, planes, trains
  • Medical systems: electronic health records, nearly all medical tests
  • Commerce: ecommerce, ATMs, credit cards, debit cards

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is pleased to offer Computer Science as a brand new A-Level course beginning September 2016. The course will follow the AQA specification, which is a new and up-to-date syllabus that focuses on the skills students need to progress to higher education or thrive in the workplace.

A-Level specification at a glance:

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture




What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge.


What's assessed

This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions through extended writing.

What's assessed

The non-exam assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem.


On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A-level


Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A-level


75 marks

20% of A-level


Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document


Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.