Computer Science and Business Faculty
Head of Department
Mrs Catherine Coulthard
Bachelor of Science First Class (Hons) degree in Business and Management Studies
PGCE in Business Education with QTS
“Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”
Overview and Vision
The Key Stage 3 (KS3) National Curriculum in Computer Science and GCSE Computer Science and Business at Pleckgate High School is designed to equip students with essential skills and knowledge in the field of technology and business, preparing them for a dynamic, digital future. This curriculum places a strong emphasis on foundational computer science concepts and their application in real-world business contexts. Students will develop a wide range of skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for both higher education and the ever-evolving job market.
Our vision is to empower the next generation with the digital and business acumen they need to succeed in an increasingly technology-driven world. Through an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, students will not only master core computer science concepts but also gain a deep understanding of how these principles can be leveraged to solve real-world problems and drive business success.
Our curriculum for Key Stage 3 (KS3) and GCSE Computer Science is designed to empower students with a deep understanding of computer science principles, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. We aim to inspire a lifelong passion for technology and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in our increasingly digital world.
At KS3, our curriculum focuses on building a strong foundation in computer science through engaging and hands-on activities. Students will explore key concepts such as programming, algorithms, data representation, and computational thinking. We encourage them to develop computational creativity by designing and implementing their own projects.
As students’ progress to GCSE Computer Science, our curriculum delves into more advanced topics, including data structures, cybersecurity, and software development. We challenge students to analyse real-world problems and apply their knowledge to create innovative solutions. Practical programming skills are developed further, and students have the opportunity to complete substantial projects that showcase their abilities.
Our curriculum emphasises not only technical competence but also ethical and responsible use of technology. We encourage students to consider the societal impact of computer science and the importance of digital citizenship.
Overall, our curriculum for KS3 and GCSE Computer Science aims to empower students to become confident, competent, and responsible digital citizens, ready to excel in further studies and contribute positively to an increasingly digital society.
A mastery approach ensures that pupils are engaged and able to access the most challenging content with appropriate support. Teachers enhance their practice by developing their specialist knowledge through sharing good practice, well led CPD and collaboration with other departments through effective networking. Insightful assessment for learning strategies are used to assess, identify and quickly address any gaps in knowledge. Activities, which allow pupils to investigate the wider context and practical nature of the subject, are a feature of computer science and business lessons at Pleckgate High School.
Continuous assessment within the classroom allows teachers to regularly monitor pupil understanding and adapt the curriculum to ensure all pupils have secure understanding of each topic before moving onto more complex knowledge. At KS3, pupils complete unit-based assessments to ensure they have understood and retained key component knowledge of each topic. These assessments are a mixture of written papers and practical assessments in class. To make sure pupils are fully prepared for KS4 assessments are written to mirror GCSE examinations and taken at the end of each unit of work. Pupils also have classwork assessments which are short exam style questions to quickly check knowledge and understanding of a topic. In year 11 students undertake mock examinations which are as rigorous as their final GCSE examinations ensuring pupils understand the process they will undergo.
Support and Inclusion
We are committed to providing support and inclusion for all KS3 National Curriculum students in computer science and GCSE computer science and business. This commitment extends to offering intervention sessions and lunchtime support, ensuring that every pupil has the resources and opportunities needed to succeed in these vital subjects. Intervention for pupils at KS4 is open to all Computer Science, Business and Creative iMedia pupils to provide bespoke intervention for pupils who need further guidance and practice on particular topics.
There are numerous opportunities at Pleckgate High School for pupils to engage with computer science and business outside of the classroom. Pupils in Year 10 and 11 can volunteer to be Computer Science Ambassadors and work with younger pupils to support them with their basic practical computer understanding and help them to gain confidence. These ambassadors help with events in school and also by going into Year 7 forms to help solve practical issues.
Computer Science runs 2 clubs: Girls only coding club has been introduced to build girls confidence in computer science in a safe environment and helps to promote inclusion into the computer science profession. The girls have the opportunity to take part in the CyberFirst programme and competitions which involves trips out of school to compete against other schools. Computer Science club is open to all pupils in KS3 and 4 and pupils are encouraged to improve their programming skills and use hardware like Microbits, Raspberry Pi and Arduino’s to solve practical problems. All Key Stage 3 pupils take part in the Bebras Challenge with the opportunity to qualify for the Oxford University Computing Challenge. All KS3 pupils also take part in the Hour of Code Challenge.
In Year 10 pupils in Business have the opportunity to take part in Young Enterprise and build links with the local business community to take part in the Launch Pad programme. Pupils can then apply to join a team in order to create their own business opportunity through the Young Enterprise Company Programme.
Computer Science involves high level reading of programmes and many key terms and words which are exclusive to the world of computer science. Pupils read about real world scenarios and are encouraged to develop solutions to problems as a computer scientist. Within Business pupils regularly read real world case studies of a wide range of businesses to improve their understanding of the subject and develop The Computer Science and Business Department encourages pupils to read for fun by providing the opportunity for pupils to borrow books about famous entrepreneurs and computer scientists from the department.
- Learning Journey – Year 7
- Learning Journey – Year 8
- Learning Journey – Year 9
- Learning Journey – Year 10
- Learning Journey – Year 11