Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, how to apply computational thinking and how to make best use of Information Technology.

At Westhoughton High School, our computing curriculum is constantly developing to encompass new technologies alongside important elements of Digital Literacy. The curriculum will bring new challenges and opportunities that will excite and empower both our students and teachers, which will ultimately allow creativity, inventiveness and imagination to be nurtured.

Key Stage 3

When students join us in Year 7, we consolidate experiences gained during their primary years. Year 7 and 8 students learn about the hardware/software associated with computing devices, undertaking programming units in both Scratch and Python to prepare them for further study in the subject.   Students begin to grasp the importance of algorithms with regards to computational thinking.  They also engage in the mastery of spreadsheet skills.  We also cover the vital topic of internet safety.

In Year 9 students follow programmes of study to prepare them for their GCSEs, including units on programming code, algorithms, apps and binary code. In addition, they also develop their understanding of staying safe on the internet/mobile devices.

Key Stage 4

The GCSE Computer Science course requires students to develop solutions to an IT based problem using programming code. Students will complete one NEA (None examined unit) and two examinations. Paper 1 - Principles of Computer Science and Paper 2 - Application of Computational Thinking.

The GCSE ICT course, which will end in 2018, requires students to study a unit covering all aspects of the Digital World (Digital Devices, Internet Technologies etc.) and also a project that develops practical ICT skills. Students will complete one coursework unit and one exam.

Students not opting for Computer Science or ICT complete a non-examined curriculum that encompasses a range of computing skills and e-safety is also re-visited.