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Computer Science


The department is staffed by four full time teachers:

Mrs A. Welsh - Subject Leader
Mrs A. Evans
Miss E. Stanley
Mrs S. Larkin

All teachers have responsibility for teaching KS3, KS4 and Sixth form Computer Science and ICT. Staff are available at break times and most days after school to give help and support to students wanting to improve their work. Over the year a number of extracurricular activities take place from using Raspberry Pis, to coding clubs.

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KS3 Computer Science and ICT

In Years 7, 8 and 9, lessons focus on key skills in computer science to prepare those students who wish to study Computer Science or ICT at GCSE level. Students are taught in a way that promotes and utilises knowledge and understanding of computing. Programming will be a core activity at KS3 because it enables the students to access and release the potential of the computer they are using.

At Upton High School, students show a keen interest and are stimulated by the use of Computer Science and ICT and are very enthusiastic about exploring new software systems. As a result of this, we are developing materials to guide our “interested, gifted and talented” students towards extending their capability beyond what they experience in lessons. Students who are interested in this development can visit gaming web sites such as and

Year 7

In year 7, emphasis is placed on improving students' skills, confidence and awareness of Computer Science and ICT. Some of the modules that students complete are:

  • Introduction to Computers
  • Digital Literacy
  • E-Safety
  • Visual Programming with Algorithms (Game Creation)
  • Introduction to Text-Based Programming

Years 8 & 9

During Year 8 & 9 a greater emphasis is placed on developing students' capability to solve problems using the software skills they have acquired. Some of the modules that students complete are: 

  • Heroes of Computing
  • Small Basic with Algorithms
  • Binary
  • Web Design using HTML & CSS

Options KS4

GCSE Computer Science

The Computer Science department is offering GCSE Computer Science as an alternative to ICT. This course will give the students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and what goes on behind the scenes.

  • Engaging and Contemporary – We’ve talked to companies like Microsoft, Google and Cisco, organisations like Computing At School (CAS)
  • Focus on Cyber Security – It looks at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems, which students will study for the first time at this level.
  • Providing a Greater Emphasis on ‘Computational Thinking’ - It allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. We can then present these solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand.
  • Encourages Mental Versatility – Students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.

The course is assessed over three units:

  • Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving, including Programming
  • Paper 2: Computer Networks, Cyber Security, Ethical, Legal and Environmental impact of Digital technology
  • Non-Exam Assessment: The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem.

Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Information and Creative Technology

This has been designed primarily for young people aged 14 to 19 who may wish to explore a vocational route throughout Key Stage 4. It has been developed to:

  • Inspire and enthuse learners to become technology savvy
  • Give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the Information Technology sector and some aspects of the creative industries e.g. electronic publishing or multimedia production.
  • Allow for a flexible choice of units to meet the needs of learners with different interests and inclinations
  • Explore the fundamentals of technology and gain the practical skills, knowledge and understanding to design, make and review:
  • Information technology systems and products, e.g. a relational database
  • Creative technology products, e.g. a digital animation
  • Products that combine information technology and creative technology, e.g. a website
  • Giving learners responsibility for their own projects
  • Give learners the potential opportunity to enter employment within a wide range of job roles across the Information Technology sector and some aspects of the creative industries, such as Website Content Manager, Computer Animator and Graphic Designer.

The Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Information and Creative Technology is taught over 120 guided learning hours (GLH). It has core and optional specialist units. Learners must complete unit 1 and unit 3 and a choice of optional units to reach a total of 120 GLH. This BTEC First Award has units that your centre assesses (internal) and one unit that Edexcel sets and marks (external).

Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Information & Creative Technology
Unit Core Units Assessment method GLH
1 The Online World External 30
3 A Digital Portfolio Internal 30
  Optional specialist
4 Creating Digital Animation Internal 30
5 Creating Digital Audio Internal 30
6 Creating Digital Graphics Internal 30
7 Creating Digital Video Internal 30
9 Spreadsheet Development Internal 30
10 Database Development Internal 60
13 Website Development Internal 60

ECDL for Schools

A skills based qualification with on-screens tests that allow the students to develop their Office Software skills and understanding. This is a qualification that is highly recognised by both education establishments and industry.

Students will study:

  • Improving Productivity using IT
  • Word Processing
  • Presentation Software
  • Spreadsheet Software

Year 12 & 13

AQA A Level Computing

AS Computing Outline 
At AS, students follow the AQA specification. There is no need to have prior knowledge of Computing or ICT. In the specification there are two units which allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of Computing.

This AS consists of two papers which tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject. Paper 1 is assessed on-screen exam and lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 50% of the AS. The second paper is a written exam and lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 50% of AS.

A2 Computing Outline 
The A2 specification consists of two exams and a non-exam assessment, which assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.

The first exam paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science. The second paper tests a student's ability to answer questions on such topics as: data representation, communications and networks and databases.

AS ICT Outline 

The AS specification has 2 units:

Unit 1 – INFO1 Practical Problem Solving in the Digital World
50% of AS, 25% of A Level
1 hour 30 minutes examination

This exam uses Sample Work that the students develop using a variety of software. Students have the opportunity to pick their own end user and develop a solution to suit the problem they have been given, this can be a mobile app, a website or spreadsheet.

Unit 2 – INFO2 Living in the Digital World
50% of AS, 25% of A Level
1 hour 30 minutes examination

This exam is based on theory, looking at how ICT impacts on society.

A2 ICT Outline 
At A2, students will study the concepts associated with the use of ICT in the 21st century. They will also have opportunities for acquiring skills needed in the IT profession such as co-operative working and project management. These practical skills can be developed in areas of ICT that are of interest to them. Students can also use these newly acquired skills as a springboard into other qualifications and working environments.

Unit 3 – INFO3 The Use of ICT in the Digital World
30% of A Level
2 hour examination

Unit 4 – INFO4 Coursework: Practical Issues Involved in the Use of ICT in the Digital World 
20% of A Level Coursework project report. Students complete a project involving the production of an ICT-related system over an extended period of time, students get to select their end user and the problem they are going to solve.