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Computer Science

Welcome to Computer Science 

We aim to develop the mind-set of a computer scientist through equipping students with the skills to participate in a rapidly changing world. The curriculum journey incorporates challenging and engaging topics, giving students the opportunity to develop their capability, creativity, and subject knowledge.  As such we hope our learners will develop digital skills that are directly transferable, not only to other subjects, but also to their future learning pathways and beyond.

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Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all learners must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world.  At Upton-by-Chester High School we believe that our learners should have the opportunity to follow an IT and Computing curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain and take advantage of all opportunities this can offer them in both Britain and the wider world. The curriculum for computing, with computer science at its heart, has been developed to equip learners with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. 

Good quality IT skills enable students to engage positively within the modern workplace, while Computer Science skills enable learners to take an active part in the design, development and creation of new technologies to be used in the world in which they live. 

Our Computing curriculum focuses on a progression of skills in digital literacy, computer science, information technology and online safety to ensure that learners become competent in safely using, as well as understanding, technology.  Our curriculum journey incorporates challenging and engaging topics, giving learners the opportunity to develop their capability, creativity and subject knowledge.

Technology advances constantly and people are always working on new and inventive ways to use it. Our Intention is that our learners will become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of technology. We aim to foster curiosity and thinking skills in all our learners, preparing them to learn how to look at a problem and working out a way a computer might be able to help you solve it. We aim to prepare our learners to become logical thinkers and problem solvers.

Steve Jobs said “Everyone should learn how to code, it teaches you to think.” Computational thinking is an essential skill for everyone to have and will develop our learner’s ability to ‘Shape the Future’.  Our Learners receive equal opportunities to develop their computational capabilities across the curriculum.  As such our curriculum reflects that not all learners have the same access to Computer Science  at KS2  and we aim to close the gap by building on key foundations of programming and digital literacy  and addressing misconceptions at the earliest opportunity. We aim to remove learning barriers by offering academic and vocational pathways, utilising software and technology that is free to use to enable our learners to extend their learning beyond the classroom.

It is a practical subject where students learn about the real world impact of computer systems on individuals, organisations and society. It is also a creative subject, combining invention and excitement. Computer science helps learners develop problem-solving skills, design and program systems and understand the power and limitations of human and machine intelligence, as well as the capacity to deal with new technologies yet to be invented.

Key Stage 3

At KS3 we follow the national curriculum focusing on key skills in Computer Science, Digital Literacy, and ICT to prepare those learners who wish to study Computer Science or ICT at GCSE level but also to provide a strong foundation for students to progress in their digital future.

Further details: Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

At KS4 all learners are given the opportunity to study two option choices:

  • Route 1 – AQA GCSE Computer Science
  • Route 2 – OCR National in Information Technology

The units at KS3 intend to build an understanding from which they can build on throughout the two year course.

Further details: Key Stage 4

Key Stage 5

At KS5 Learners follow the AQA Computer Science A Level Specification.

Further details: Key Stage 5


There are many opportunities for learners to engage in computing beyond the classroom from utilising a variety of equipment such as VR, Lego Mindstorms and coding clubs.

The department also runs a variety of competitions such as:

  • Bebras Computational Thinking
  • Mission Space
  • Cyber First 
  • Code Breaking 
  • Idea Award

Department Staff & Responsibilities

  • Miss A Mclean - Head of Department
  • Mrs K Biggins - 2nd in Department
  • Mrs S Larkin
  • Mr G Collier
  • Miss R Simpson

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.


Key Stage 3 - 1 x 20/30  minute piece per fortnight 

Key Stage 4 - 1 x 30/45 minute piece per week

Key Stage 5 - Regular consolidation questions, programming development and  NEA Completion.

Whole School Policy


The Computer Science department follows the whole school feedback policy. Feedback is regularly given in lessons during retrieval practice and questioning. 

At Key stage 4 and 5 Written feedback is provided for specific pieces of work and assessments, which are recorded and kept separate to class notes in their assessment and feedback folder/book.


Key Stage 3 - complete assessments at the end of each unit - depending upon the topic this may be in the form of quizzes designed to test knowledge and understanding of theory or practical projects where they create an end product using the skills they have developed for example they program a game using Scratch in Year 7.

Key Stage 4 and 5 assessments will replicate the assessment requirements of AQA and will incorporate both theoretical topics and programming skill. In conjunction with this learners will also undertake two PPE exams each year in line with the whole school assessment schedule.

2023-2024 Upton by Chester Assessment Schedule