Subject Intent

Computing combines the study of two intertwining subject areas but sits at the forefront of a modern culture of persistent technological evolution. Computer Science looks at how computers work fundamentally, delving into the hardware inside, the mathematical workings and leads into opening up creative avenues with programming. ICT looks at how computers are used in culture, society and day to day life and how to use the programs and hardware that already exist.

A firm understanding of Computing will allow students to thrive in a world where reliance on technology is growing, a need to create is being cried out for and a deeper understanding of how computers work is becoming increasingly important. Students are being prepared to take on a world that relies on technology, to be able to overcome technical difficulties, adapt to a constantly evolving landscape and be able to create new and exciting solutions to problems that haven’t arisen yet.

Technology can be frustrating, infuriating even, but through breaking down problems by using computational techniques, such as decomposition and abstraction, students will develop their resilience, tenacity and self-confidence. EVERY pupil should have aspirations to be able to use technology to empower their careers, their day to day lives and not be held back by difficulties with technology.

The topics across both strands are broken down into key areas, with the key areas being built upon year by year in KS3 until the strands separate into option subjects at KS4. Each topic is carefully planned to allow pupils to question devices they use on a day to day basis, create and invent new ideas and grow their knowledge year on year until they have a deep understanding of the technology that surrounds them. The curriculum aims to include all by providing all students with an interest in computers, improved digital literacy and a solid foundation of understanding on how to use computers and the workings behind them.

Derby is a unique city for technology, with a high percentage of employment in hi-tech industry, tech hubs being planted in the city and the city regularly being high up on lists for start-up cities and technological firms, such as Rolls Royce, Bombadier, Eco-Bat and Toyota. The growth of technology in Derby should act as a catalyst to inspire students, and each year they will take on team projects to encourage them to build their team working skills and fellowship.

Computing is a subject that contains both a practical and theoretical element: on the practical side, pupils learn multiple programming languages just at KS3, such as Python, Scratch and Javascript building toward even more at KS4 and KS5, where they look at HTML, CSS, SQL, Java and more. Programming is difficult and requires patience, humility and a great deal of trial and error. Once a love for programming takes hold the possibilities are endless, and can become a place of amazing creativity, achievement and growth.

On the theory side, computers work, fundamentally, by mathematics. The theory behind the devices we take for granted is difficult, and it takes integrity to overcome stumbling blocks and respond to feedback on how to develop a deeper understanding of the technology that surrounds us.

The main goal of the computing curriculum is to spark a love of learning more about technology. Technology is immensely useful, but it can be much more than that. We aim to produce students who want to create the next big technological advancement and be at the cutting edge of this ever changing subject.

Computing and IT Curriculum Plans

Updated: 01/11/2021 457 KB


Mrs S Spencer - Head of Computing

Mrs D Patel - Teacher of Computing


Homework in Computing will use online software, such as CodeCombat, iDEA and PhotoPea, to reinforce learning from lessons but also engage students in exciting and interesting ways that probe into misconceptions. The homeworks will be a mix of practical topics, such as programming, IT skills and digital imaging, but also reflecting on the theoretical side via self marking quizzes.


Computing will assess both the theoretical and applied side throughout the academic year and address misconceptions and gaps through this process. Formative assessments are spaced throughout the year, with some happening on computers and others being paper based. Lesson starts use generative recall to look at a cross section of questions from Recent, Past and Challenging learning, providing the teacher with a lesson by lesson overview on if learning has been sticking.

Study skills & Revision

For the practical side of the subject, students can access Python 3 programming widely online and it’s encouraged throughout the year, alongside the other online resources we make use of. At KS4 Computer Science this is further encouraged, whereas KS4 Creative iMedia sees a push toward practicing digital skills such as photo and video editing.

When revising for the theoretical side of the subject, Seneca learning will be used to identify gaps, and alongside the learning available on Seneca and other useful resources, such as BBC bitesize, is a great way to address those gaps..


A calculator

An internet connected device for home learning (optional)