Curriculum Overall Intent

The Computer Science curriculum aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop core IT skills and Computer Science concepts throughout KS3. 

These skills will both enrich their life and educational choices when using digital technologies and prepare students for the world of work.

We teach two distinct strands at Friesland during KS3 which gives the students the opportunity to experience the two distinct routes available to them through KS4 & 5.

We aim to encourage the majority of students to pick one of the strands as an option at KS4 to enhance their future employability and support those who then want to continue their education in the subject through KS5 and onto higher education.

We use Google Classroom at Friesland School and students complete their work within the Google platform in the cloud.


The core purpose of the year 7 curriculum in CS & IT is to build a set of core skills and knowledge to prepare students for further study both within the subject and across other areas of the school curriculum.

Term 1: Key Skills, E-Safety & Scratch Programming

We begin the year with a scheme which helps build up the key skills around how and why we use computers. Covering items such as file/folder structures, e-safety, security, email & using the internet effectively.
This first half term also includes the setting up of accounts and getting used to managing these as independent learners.

Scratch is delivered in the first term as a method of linking to past experience at primary schools. It also builds knowledge and skills related to the core programming constructs of sequence, selection and iteration.

Students have the opportunity to create a game of their own which combines these skills and provides a platform for them to demonstrate their skills and imagination independently.

Term 2: Computing Theory & Programming

The spring term builds further programming skills by using online programming courses like Google’s CSFirst, TuringLab and These platforms enable students to progress at their own pace while providing support to those who need it and extra challenge to those who excel at programming.

The Computing theory topic enables students to identify everyday hardware and software components and their purpose. We also study the basics of Networking and Software. We finish the term by looking at the history of computing and the key figures involved.

Term 3: Data Modelling, Algorithms & Data Representation

The summer term begins with students developing their skills in data modelling and analysis using Excel to create a model to solve a problem using formulas, formatting and suitable manipulation of data.

The second half of the term we look at Flowcharts and Algorithms to prepare students for using high level programming languages in year 8 and also study the binary number system learning how to convert denary and binary numbers.

Term 1: Python Programming & Graphics

We begin the year by providing students with an experience of both our distinct KS4 subjects so they can make informed decisions on which option to pick at the start of term 2.

Students are introduced to Python as a programming language and learn how to code small programs using the core programming constructs of sequence, selection and iteration.

Students then move on to learn how to use Illustrator and Photoshop effectively to produce a range of products to match given scenarios of specific audience and purpose.

Term 2: Web Design & Programming

The spring term begins with students looking at existing websites and the components which they are made up of. Once they have analysed and evaluated websites built for a range of purposes we then use online web design tools to produce a small website to a given brief.

The second half of the term is made up of further programming practice following courses upon the CSFrist platform provided by Google to further develop their core programming skills and stretch those interested in programming further.

Term 3: Computing Theory, Presenting Information & Programming

We begin the summer term by studying networks, network Security and computer components further building upon year 7 work in this area and expanding our understanding of how computers communicate and operate to enhance our working lives.

We complete the year by producing a presentation upon a given topic to demonstrate what we have learned over the course of KS3 with meeting specified audience requirements.

Finally we spend time going back to complete further advanced courses using the online learning platforms for programming TuringLab & which we first explored in year 7.


2 Exams 50/50 split


The Computer Science course provides students with a comprehensive set of skills to prepare them for future careers in and outside the computing/IT industry. Students who want to go onto study Computer Science at A Level should aim to take GCSE to prepare them.

The course is a traditional exam based GCSE which is interesting, engaging and fully explores all aspects of computing from the most basic knowledge to practical application of programming skills.

Year 9

In Year 9 we aim to build programming skills and initial knowledge of all the core concepts within the computer science GCSE.
We spend time learning how to program in Python and how to write pseudocode effectively.

Students get hands-on experience with assembling computer’s to learn about the components and their functions.

We cover the following main topics alongside brief introductions to others:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Networks
  • Data Representation
  • Software

Year 10: Component 1 & Component 2 

During year 10 students work their way through the exam board specification for both exam components studying each component’s topics in greater detail.
Students perform regular topic based assessment as we progress and then consolidate their learning with termly combined assessments.

The whole course is delivered electronically and all work is set and marked on Google Classroom. Students are provided with access to relevant e-books, materials and courses. 

We encourage students to use a dedicated notebook for the course where they make their own notes for future revision. This encourages students to become independent learners and take responsibility for their own learning from the very start.

We spend regular time throughout the year carrying out programming practice which is both teacher led and independent using online and book courses.

Topics Covered Year 10 & 11

  • Systems Architecture, Memory & Storage
  • Data Representation
  • Computer Networks
  • Network Security
  • Systems Software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural impacts of technology
  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • Logic & Languages

Year 11: Component 1 & Component 2 

During Year 11 we again split our time between studying the whole of the two components again to further reinforce and revise prior learning.

We deliver a different set of course materials in year 11 to ensure students receive multiple styles of learning and delivery of knowledge.

In year 11 more time is spent revising each topic on a regular basis following each period of revision with exam practice questions, topic tests and combined tests.

Students practice algorithm writing on a regular basis throughout the year to prepare them effectively for the component 2 exam.

2 Coursework Units (60%)  & 1 Exam (40%)

This qualification has been designed to be both engaging in its content and practical in its application for real-life situations, such as:

  • developing visual identities for clients
  • planning and creating original digital graphics
  • planning, creating and reviewing original digital media products.

This will help you to develop independence and confidence in using skills that would be relevant to the IT and media related industries.

The qualification will also help you to develop learning and skills that can be used in other life and work situations, such as:

  • thinking about situations and deciding what is required to be successful
  • exploring different options and choosing the best way forward to a solve problem
  • exploring and generating original ideas to find imaginative solutions to problems
  • selecting the best tools and techniques to use to solve a problem
  • appropriate use of media to convey meaning
  • use of planning techniques to complete tasks in an organised way which meet deadlines.

Year 9

In year 9 we begin by building skills and the understanding required to undertake future coursework units planned in year 10 & 11.

We cover a range of theoretical & technical aspects. To achieve this students will have a scenario with which they will learn and apply basic planning techniques, create a range of planning documentation, and then see that planning through to the development of a digital product. This enables students to have a full understanding of the terminology, theory and technical skills required for year 10 

Year 10

Students complete two separate units of work (controlled coursework), beginning.

R089: Visual identity and digital graphics, students learn how to develop visual identities for clients and use the concepts of graphic design to create original digital graphics to engage target audiences. Topics include:

  • Developing visual identity
  • Planning digital graphics for products
  • Creating visual identity and digital graphics

R097: Interactive Digital Media, students learn how to plan, create and review interactive digital media products. Mostly consisting of interactive app based products and websites.

Topics include:

  • Planning interactive digital media
  • Creating interactive digital media
  • Reviewing interactive digital media

Both of these units are internally assessed coursework completed within the classroom.

Year 11

R093: This is the exam unit and following completion of the coursework units students move onto studying for their exam at the end of year 11.

Students will learn about the media industry, digital media products, how they are planned, and the media codes which are used to convey meaning, create impact and engage audiences.

Topics include:

  • The media industry
  • Product design
  • Pre-production planning
  • Distribution considerations


2 Exams (80%) & 1 Coursework Unit (20%)

Why choose Computer Science?

Computers are the engine, wheel and driver of our digital age, defining the framework that powers virtually every pillar of modern society.

This course

  • Builds on GCSE Computer Science and emphasises the importance of computational thinking as a discipline, developing a wide range of skills.
  • Develops you as a rounded independent learner ready for the move to higher education or employment.

The course covers a wide range of subject topics examples include:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Software
  • Software Development
  • Programming
  • Data types and representation
  • Databases
  • Web technologies
  • Networks
  • Algorithms
  • Laws

Contains computational thinking at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.

Applies academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner.

Gives students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS, CAS and top universities.

Year 12

In year 12 students study all the theory from both exam components for the majority of their lesson time. This is supported with independent study upon the topics alongside regular assessment to consolidate and build upon memory retrieval of the required knowledge.

Students also complete many online programming courses independently and with support of the teacher to build their programming skills during the first year.

Regular algorithm practice takes place to hone their examination technique.

In the second half of the year students begin to complete their coursework within which they will build a mobile application to solve a problem of their choosing.

Year 13

In year 13 students again work their way through both components of the course guided by their teacher using additional materials and more sustained practice and revision to prepare them for their exams.

Regular exam practice of individual topics and whole components takes place throughout the year to enable them to succeed.

Students complete their independent study coursework during year 13 and submit this completed in the January of year 13.

4 units, 2 Year course assessed throughout Year 12 & 13


1 External Exam Unit (IT systems)

1 Internally sat Externally marked Controlled Assessment Exam (Databases)

2 Coursework units

The course covers a range of topics including:

  •  IT Systems
  •  Creating Systems to manage information
  •  Using Social Media in Business
  •  Web Design

The Level 3 IT course equips students with the required knowledge and skills to progress into the workplace in a variety of sectors or alternatively to seek further higher education in the IT sector.

Year 12

The first year of the course consists of students concentrating on both the exam based units from the course while building relevant skills to approach the coursework units in year 13.

Students study databases and prepare for the internal controlled assessment exam on this topic.

They also complete the theory required to sit the External Exam at the end of year 12. This gives students the opportunity to resit this exam at the end of year 13 if needed.

Year 13

Students study and complete the two coursework units in year 13.

The first of these is Using Social Media in Business and enables students to gain insight into the use of social media in the workplace and apply their knowledge to given scenarios.

The second is Web Design. Students plan, design and develop a multipage website which is fully interactive using HTML 5 and CSS to a given brief.

These two units provide students with essential skills to progress into the workplace or onto further higher education in IT.