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Computer Science KS3 Curriculum

Curriculum Intent 

In the Computer Science department, we aim to provide students with up-to-date knowledge and information about the use of technology in the world today. All students to be aware that technology is used in nearly every aspect of our lives and to ensure student are conscientious, sensible and safe when online.

The knowledge that students acquire will help them become confident young women and be able to have conversations about their everyday use and purchases of technology. We also aim to raise the profile of computer science around the school to ensure that more students opt to take the subject at GCSE and A level, which also helps to address the issues in the wider world where women are underrepresented in the computing industry.  Our vision is integral to the Catholic mission of our school which aims to support the development of future women leaders of courage and moral integrity


Every student is given the same starting point which ensures that no student is at a disadvantage. This principle is aligned with our commitment to High Performance Learning that states all students can achieve academic excellence.  All students need to be aware of how to keep themselves safe when online and to be aware of who to report any issues too. All students should be aware of what technology is and how everything we use is based around technology.  Also, they need to gain an awareness that computer systems come in different forms and can be found almost anywhere i.e. at home, in the work place, in industry and in entertainment. 

Students to understand how computer code has been written to automate these computer systems.  Students to understand problem-solving and logical thinking.

Key Stage 3

Students to know the different hardware and software and to be able to understand what goes on inside a computer system and what effects, its performance. Students to understand computational thinking as a means of problem-solving and to be able to solve problems using computational thinking. To be able to design programs using flow charts and pseudocode.  To be aware of the different program languages and be able to write programs. Python programming language will be used throughout key stage 3 enabling students to draw on their experience from the previous year.


From the department ‘Information for Parents’, available on request:  Girls are taught twice per fortnight and will be taught a range of topics including:

  • Staying safe online, including cyber- bullying, hacking, nude images and the law
  • Ethics and the law in relation to information technology
  • Powerfully using Microsoft Office including PowerPoint, Excel and Word; and other packages
  • Programming skills detailed to the right
  • Internet research and presentation skills, including video and mixed media
  • The effects of the Internet and modern technology on contemporary culture
  • Setting up ‘businesses’ and learning about the use of IT in industry

Foci in the teaching on e-safety (as well as statutory requirements) are:

  • The impact of modern technology on friendships and personal responsibility. The reality of data storage and the ‘cloud’.

At all years in Key Stage 3 our curriculum follows termly themes:

AUTUMN TERM ‘Living sensibly’
SPRING TERM ‘Thinking critically’
SUMMER TERM ‘Working creatively’


The National Curriculum states that there are three aspects to Computing provision, and at Sacred Heart these are envisaged in ways which support the school ethos and the Goals of Learning.

  1. Digital literacy. This encompasses “functional skills” such as the use of the computer and basic office and software applications. It is important for all girls to be able to access this level of computing skill. It also includes significant teaching on e-safety which is detailed in this plan also.
  2. Information technology. This builds on digital literacy skills to combine existing technologies to create something new, such as a business project. This area of the curriculum can particularly support group work, pair work and creative independent project tasks.
  3. Computer science. This suggests studying the computer itself, the way it is designed and how programming in particular can be used to create new software (rather than using existing packages). The department aims to make programming accessible and interesting to the girls.

We do vary and update our KS3 programming offer regularly; it currently includes:

  • Website design through HTML, CSS, some JavaScript
  • Interactive art through Python Turtle

Spreadsheet formulae and basic macro design

Modules Taught

Year 7
Year 8
Year 9

Michaelmas term

  • E-safety introductory unit
  • Reflections on social equality and diversity in Computing historically and now

Lent term

Trinity term

Michaelmas term

  • Website using HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Python Turtle artworks
  • Reflections on social equality and diversity in Computing historically and now

Lent term

  • 'Apps for Good’ group app design activity
  • Project work - setting up a ‘business’

Trinity term

  • How mobile phones work (hardware and software)
  • Designing a mobile phone project

Michaelmas term

  • Spreadsheet functional skills
  • Evaluating social media influencers
  • Reflections on social equality and diversity in Computing historically and now

Lent term

  • Python artworks
  • Artificial intelligence and algorithms

Trinity term

  • Cyber-crime, the dark web, faith online
  • Functional skills assessment


IPM1 is examination based. We check for pupil understanding of the concepts and ideas taught as well as factual detail. There are literacy-focussed questions. 

IPM2 is half examination, half project based. The projects assess the development of functional skills and the examination asks pupils to synthesise knowledge. 

IPM3 is fully or mostly examination based. This includes summative assessment and whilst based on Trinity term work, aims also to integrate the year’s work.

Stretch & Challenge

Stretch and challenge questions may invite pupils to research unfamiliar topics, use new software packages and reflect on their own understanding critically.

Pupils particularly interested in programming have access to an Open University / Cisco accredited online course which we manage and can assist with.

They are also supported to use online resources and ‘help sheets’ so they can become confident interrogators and users of the resources widely available.

Enrichment Opportunities

We review each year our enrichment offer and have recently offered clubs such as web design, game design and fun computing activities.