“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.”
David Warlick

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology.

At Westhoughton High School, our computing curriculum is constantly developing to encompass new technologies alongside important elements of Digital Literacy. The curriculum will provide 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. According to Douglas Engelbart (early computer pioneer) “the digital revoloution is for more significant than the invention of writing or even printing.”

Key Stage 3

Overview of the course

Through using a range of different software and hardware, students will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to create and manipulate digital products to suit specific audiences and purposes. Students will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and practical skills for both ICT and Computing.

What will I learn?

As part of their work with Computing and ICT, students will be taught how to use a range of professional software packages and equipment and be able to apply this knowledge to their wider learning throughout the school.

What will I do?
Year 7

Computing is taught via a carousel timetabling arrangement.

What will I do?
1 Getting Started!
2 E-Safety & Cyber Bullying
3 Scratch Programming

What will I learn?
1 Learn how to log onto our systems
Learn how to manage Passwords effectively
Understand the AUP.
2 You will learn how to stay safe on line and how to recognise and deal appropriately with different types of Cyber Bullying
3 Using the Scratch Programming environment you will learn how to code a simple game and a Virtual Tour of our school.

Year 8Term 1
What will I do?
1 E-Safety & Cyber Bullying
2 Data Representation

What will I learn?
1 You will learn how to stay safe on line and how to deal with the issues surrounding sexting and peer group pressure.
2 Binary and Hexadecimal Number Systems/Conversions etc.
Images and Sound (Understanding Digital Signals)

Term 2
What will I do?
1 You will build a Website using HTML/CSS sheets
2 You will take part in a Band Project, designing
Logo’s/CD covers and band members

What will I learn?
1 You will learn how to use HTML tags and Cascading Style Sheets
2 You will learn how to use Fireworks graphics software.

Term 3
What will I do?
1 You will take part in a Project, designing a flash animation for a prescribed organisation
2 You will take part in a Project, designing an application for a prescribed organisation

What will I learn?
1 You will learn how to use Flash Animation software.
2 You will learn how to Build Applications using software such as APP Inventor.
Year 9Term 1
What will I do?
1 E-Safety - Trolling / Gaming
Assessment - Newspaper Article (Comic Strip)

2 Python - Text Based Programming
Introduction to Computing Science

What will I learn?
1 You will learn how to stay safe on line and how to recognise and deal appropriately with trolling. In addition recognise the issues surrounding excessive gaming.
2 You will learn how to program using a text based language and build an interactive quiz featuring variables and constants.

Term 2
What will I do?
1 Computing Networks
2 Spreadsheets - Booking System

What will I learn?
1 You will learn about the different types of computing networks, network topologies and the issues surrounding cyber security.
2 In preparation for the BTEC Digital Tools course (and valuable life skills.) You will learn how to build formulas and functions. You will learn how to manipulate a given data set and produce reliable data.

Term 3
What will I do?
Relational Databases

What will I learn?
You will learn how to build a flat file and a relational database. You will learn how to search for information and create meaningful data. You will learn how to create a dashboard to assist navigation of your system.

Key Stage 4 (Year 11 only)

GCSE Computer Science

Overview of the course

The course involves hands on practical work, problem solving, research and system design. This course is particularly suited to those students who have logical and analytical mind ready for independent problem solving and debugging. They should have a fascination with what goes on “inside” computers and an ability to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts.

Assessment details

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA - this does not now count towards the examination but has to be completed) 100% Examination 2 papers.

What will I learn?

  • to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • to understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems 
  • to understand the impact of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • to apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.

What will I do?

  • Topic 1 – Problem Solving – including algorithms, pseudo code etc
  • Topic 2 – Programming – Python (the learning of a new language)
  • Topic 3 – Data – Data Representation (Binary, Hex numbers)
  • Topic 4 – Computers (How the CPU works, Memory, Storage etc)
  • Topic 5 – Commuinication and the Internet (Networks, Network Protocols etc)
  • Topic 6 – The Bigger Picture (Ethics, Computing and the Environment etc) 

BTEC TECH AWARD – Digital Information Technology

Overview of the course

The BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology is a practical introduction to life and work in the IT industry.

What will I learn?

  • developing technical skills and techniques
  • planning a digital solution for a given brief
  • developing an understanding of what cyber security is and the importance of legal and ethical considerations when using modern technologies.

The course has two internally assessed components, and one that's externally assessed:

What will I do?

Component 1: Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
Aim: How to project plan the design and development of a user interface.

During Component 1 students will:

  • explore user interface design and development principles
  • discover how to develop and review a digital user interface
  • investigate how to use projectplanning techniques to manage a digital project

Component 2: Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
Aim: process and interpret data and draw conclusions

During Component 2 students will:

  • explore how data impacts on individuals and organisations
  • develop a dashboard using data manipulation tools
  • draw conclusions and makerecommendations on data intelligence

Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices
Aim: explore how organisations use digital systems and the wider implications associated with their use.

During Component 3 students will:

  • explore how modern information technology is evolving
  • understand what cyber security is and how to safeguard against it
  • consider legal and ethical issues in data and information sharing