Hathershaw College

Computer Science

Computer Science


Curriculum Intent


  • To foster a love for Computing and to make students safe and responsible users of digital technologies by ensuring they understand how their online behaviour and activities can have an impact on themselves and others.
  • To enable our students to develop skills and knowledge in Computing and Digital Technologies in order to prepare them for a future in a world where the use of this technology is fully embedded.
  • To prepare our students for the next stage of education, employment or training and enable them, as educated citizens, to contribute to creating a better world.
  • To allow students to utilise the benefits of modern technologies and be able to maximise this tool to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them both within and beyond their school life.
  • To allow our students to experience different programming languages to solve problems in order to generate an interest and passion in pursuing this further.
  • To stablish a culture of high aspirations and promote a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • To ensure that all students make outstanding progress in Computing irrespective of their starting points.


Curriculum Overview


System Architecture:
The purpose of a CPU and the actions that occur at each stage of the fetch execute cycle.  Common CPU components and their functions.  Von Neumann architecture and the performance of the CPU.  General and embedded systems.  The need for primary storage.  Key characteristics of RAM and ROM.  The need for secondary storage.  The capacity of storage devices.

Data Representation:
Why data must be stored in a binary format.  How to convert binary to denary.  Understanding ASCII and Unicode.  The need for compression and type of compression techniques.

Computer networks, connections and protocols:
Types of networks like LAN &WAN.  Factors that affect the performance of networks; Bandwidth.  The advantages and disadvantages of different types of networks.  Understanding remote service provisions. Modes of connection e.g. wired and wireless. 

Network security:
Threats to computer systems/devices.  Purpose and forms of attacks on systems.  Identifying and preventing vulnerabilities. E.g. penetration testing, anti-malware, encryption,


System Software:
The purpose and function of operating systems. Features of the user interface.  File management and the key features.  The purpose and functionality of Utility software. 

Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology:
Impacts of digital technology on the wider society.  Legislations relevant to computer science.  The purpose of each legislation and the specific actions. 



Principles of computational thinking. Including abstraction, decomposition and algorithmic thinking. Identifying inputs processes and outputs for a problem.  Identify common errors in programming.



Programming fundamentals:
Using variables, constants, operators, input, outputs and assignments. Use three basic constructs to control the flow of a program. Use the common arithmetic operators and the Boolean operators; AND OR and NOT.

Producing robust programs:

Defensive design consideration by anticipating misuse and authentication.  Understanding issues, a programmer should consider to ensure a program considers all input values.  Understand the purpose of testing

Boolean logic:

Knowledge of truth tables for each logic gate.  Recognition of each logic gate.  Understanding of how to create, complete or edit logic diagrams and truth tables for a given scenario.  Ability to work with more the one logic gate

Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments:

Characteristics and purpose of different levels of programming language. 

·         High Level

·         Low Level.
Practical skills 


Revision Techniques/Exam style questions:

Using different method to recall knowledge learnt.
Understand how to answer exam style questions and apply key terminology and OCR reference language.

 To download this table, please click below.

Curriculum Overview


Medium Term Plans







Computer Science SMSC Statement


In Computer Science, SMSC and British Values are promoted as an important part of the subject. The subject naturally provides students with a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them and allow students to explore how technology has improved our everyday lives. Computer Science also allows students to reflect on how computers can sometimes perform better in certain activities than humans. It opens up opportunities for students to debate on aspects like ‘should humans be replaced with robots for particular jobs’. This makes students think about how evolving technology will shape future generations.

Through real-life scenarios, students are given the opportunity to consider issues surrounding the misuse and access rights to personal data. This encourages students to make informed judgements based on the evidence rather than their preconceptions whilst allowing the students the time to reflect on the origins of their perception of the topic.

Students consider the effects of social networking and the consequences of cyberbullying; they also consider the legal aspects of computing including the Computer Misuse Act and Copyright legislation. They consider the implications of file sharing, downloading illegally and the penalties for engaging in this type of activity. Throughout the computing lessons, students are consistently reminded of the correct protocol and behaviour of using the internet and being online.

Students will also recognise the difference between right and wrong.  The importance of following and respecting the law.  They will understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions. 

The computer science curriculum also helps students to explore aspects of real and imaginary situations and enables them to reflect on the possible consequences of different actions and situations. It can raise issues such as whether it is morally right to have computer games whose aim is killing and violence, and whether it is fair that some people in this country and other countries cannot use the internet. This will allow students to recognise the difference between right and wrong, unlawful acts, understanding the potential consequence of their behaviour and actions. 

Computational thinking is embedded in the curriculum which encourages students to develop and explore their problem-solving skills. Students can apply the skills learnt in programming to other subjects like maths. Students explore how developments in technology have changed our culture, particularly the increasing use of social networking sites and the ability to communicate instantly across the UK and International borders. This allows students to recognise how technology has reduced cultural barriers and improved communication with other parts of the world.