Computer Science

In the last few decades computing has completely redefined the society we live in, leaving virtually no area of life untouched.

At Norlington, we have three dedicated computer science rooms each containing 30 student PC’s with a variety of programming languages available starting at block programming and moving up to Python.

Computer Science is compulsory at KS3 and students opt to take the subject for their GCSE/A-Levels.


Mr. L Farrance - Head of Computer Science

Mr. J Thomas (2i/c - Computer Science)

Mr. K Chetty

 KS3 Computer Science

 At KS3 Students will receive 3 x 60 minute over a two week period during in year 7 and 2 x 60 minutes in year 8. During which time they will cover the content identified below :

Cycle Year 7 Year 8
1 Computer Safety Computer Crime & Cyber Security
2 Undestanding Computers Python Next Steps
3 Spreadsheet Modelling HTML & Web Design
4 First steps in small Basics Databases
5 Introduction to Python Networks
6 Sound Editing in Audacity Data Representation


KS4 Computer Science
At KS4 students opt to take computer science at GCSE. They will follow the OCR (9-1) J276 specification (download here). Below is a breakdown of the overall assessment for the GCSE course.

Assessment Overview

Component Marks Duration Weighting
Computer Systems (01) 80 90 Mins 50%
Computational thinking , algorithms and Programming (02) 80 90 Mins 50%

* Algorithm questions are not exclusive to component 02 and can be assessed in all components.

Component 01: Computer systems: (50%)

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming: (50%)

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

Programming Project:

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

Students should be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course.

Cycle Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
1 Undestanding Computers Programming NEA
2 Systems Architecture Logic & Languages Systems Architecture ¦ Algorithms
3 Algorithms Wired & Wireless Networks Data Representation
4 HTML & Web Design Systems Software & Security Logic & Languages ¦ Ethical & Cultural Issues
5 Data Representation Systems Architecture Revision ¦ Exams
6 Python Next Steps Practical programming in Python  


KS5 A-Level (OCR H446) Computer Science

Specification download

Our A Level Computer Science qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. Our A Level will develop the student’s technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking. The course is made up of 3 component parts which are outlined below:

Component 01: Computer systems

Students are introduced to the internal workings of the (CPU), data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin their work in component 03.
It covers:
• The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
• Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
• Data exchange between different systems
• Data types, data structures and algorithms
• Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Component 02: Algorithms and programming

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving.
It covers:
• What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)
• Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
• Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.

Component 03: Programming project

Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science. We support a wide and diverse range of languages.

Below are the list of individual topics they will look at over the duration of the course.

Cycle Year 12 Year 13
1 Computational Thinking Systems Software Programming Techniques

Practical Project / NEA 

(Units will support the development of this)

2 Components of a Computer Networks & web technologies Algorithms
3 Data Structures Exchanging Data Computational Thinking ¦ Data Structures
4 Software Development Data Types Revision
5 Algorithms Programming Techniques Revision
6 Boolean Algebra Legal & Cultural Issues Revision


Extra-Curricular/Enrichment opportunities:

The computing department offers some exciting enrichment opportunities for the students throughout the year.

Code Club: (open to KS3 students)

During the school year students will have the opportunity to get involved with code club where they will further develop their programming and computational thinking skills.

Bebras Computing Challenge:

Students will be given the opportunity to take part in the Bebras Computing Challenge which runs annually in November. The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students. It is organised in over 40 countries and designed to get students all over the world excited about computing. Students who reach the top 20% nationally will be invited to take part in the The TCS Oxford Computing Challenge.

Further information can be found at: 


iDEA (Duke of York) Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award

iDEA is a programme that helps you develop digital and enterprise skills for free. Through our series of online challenges and events, you can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry recognized awards that help you stand out from the crowd. iDEA is for anyone who wants to develop their skills.

Further information can be found at: