Computing (Computer Science and ICT)

Computing (Computer Science and ICT) are important subjects at DESC. With more and more technology becoming important parts of our lives, it's important that our students are fully prepared for our ever-evolving, technological world.

Computer - Key Stage 3

Introduction to Key Stage 3 Computing

Learners who study Computer Science will have the opportunity to develop their computational thinking skills whilst exploring the main principles of problem-solving using computers. They will apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and high-level programming languages. Learners will develop a range of technical skills, as well as being able to effectively test and evaluate computer systems. Studying Computer Science helps learners appreciate current and emerging computing technologies, the benefits of their use and recognise their potential risks. 

Computer Science helps learners develop an interest in computing and gain confidence in computational thinking. It is an ideal foundation for further study at GCSE or Advanced Level, and the skills gained can be used in other areas of study and in everyday life.

Key Stage 3 Unit of Study


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


Cyber Security

Hardware Programming

Python Programming


Digital Literacy

Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies

Web Design and HTML


Games Programming

Machine Learning

Video Editing and Animation

Assessment Information for Key Stage 3 Computing

Assessments are held at the end of each unit through an online test, written test, the development of a product for a client or the creation of an e-portfolio.

Useful links for Key Stage 3 Computing

BBC Bite size:

Code Academy:

Games Programming:

Hour of Code:

Online Safety: 


Computer Science - Key Stage 4

Introduction to Key Stage 4 Computer Science

The aims of the Computer Science course are to develop:

  • Computational thinking, that is thinking about what can be computed and how.
  • Understanding of the main principles of solving problems by using computers.
  • Understanding that every computer system is made up of sub-systems, which in turn consist of further sub-systems.
  • Understanding of the component parts of computer systems and how they interrelate, including software, data, hardware, communications and people.
  • Skills necessary to apply understanding to solve computer-based problems using both low level and high-level programming languages.

Key Stage 4 Computer Science Units of Study


Year 10

Year 11


High Level Programming

Database Management

Project Management

Data Representation


Computer Architecture

Artificial Intelligence

Software Development

Cyber Security


Boolean Logic

Operating Systems

Internet Operations


Assessment Information for Key Stage 4 Computer Science

Paper 1 – Written assessment focusing on theory (50% – 1 hour and 45 minutes)

Paper 2 – Written assessment focusing on programming (50% – 1 hour and 45 minutes)


Useful links for Key Stage 4 Computer Science

Computer Science Theory:

Code Academy:

Khan Computing Academy:


Python Exemplars:

Python Tutorials:

Computer Science - Key Stage 5

Introduction to Key Stage 5 Computer Science

Computer science is the study of the foundational principles and practices of computation and computational thinking and their application in the design and development of computer systems. This syllabus aims to encourage the development of computational thinking, that is thinking about what can be computed and how by the use of abstraction and decomposition. It includes consideration of the data required. Learning computational thinking involves learning to program, by writing computer code, because this is the means by which computational thinking is expressed.

The key concepts for Computer Science course are:

  • Computational thinking: Computational thinking is a set of fundamental skills that help produce a solution to a problem. Skills such as abstraction, decomposition and algorithmic thinking are used to study a problem and design a solution that can be implemented. This may involve using a range of technologies and programming languages.
  • Programming paradigms: A programming paradigm is a way of thinking about or approaching problems. There are many different programming styles that can be used, which are suited to unique functions, tools and specific situations. An understanding of programming paradigms is essential to ensure they are used appropriately, when designing and building programs.
  • Communication: Communication is a core requirement of computer systems. It includes the ability to transfer data from one device or component to another and an understanding of the rules and methods that are used in this data transfer. Communication could range from the internal transfer of data within a computer system, to the transfer of a video across the internet.
  • Computer architecture and hardware: Computer architecture is the design of the internal operation of a computer system. It includes the rules that dictate how components and data are organised, how data are communicated between components, to allow hardware to function. There is a range of architectures, with different components and rules, that are appropriate for different scenarios. All computers comprise of a combination of hardware components, ranging from internal components, such as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and main memory, to peripherals. To produce effective and efficient programs to run on hardware, it is important to understand how the components work independently and together to produce a system that can be used. Hardware needs software to be able to perform a task. Software allows hardware to become functional. This enables the user to communicate with the hardware to perform tasks.
  • Data representation and structures: Computers use binary and understanding how a binary number can be interpreted in many different ways is important. Programming requires an understanding of how data can be organised for efficient access and/or transfer.

Key Stage 5 Computer Science Units of Study


Year 12

Year 13


Information Representation
Internet of Things
Hardware and Software
Logic Circuits

Communication Technologies
Boolean Algebra
Systems Software


Assembly Language Programming
Artificial Intelligence
Data Security, Privacy and Integrity
Big Data

Cyber Security
Monitoring and Control Systems
Computational Science
Algorithm Design Methodology


Machine Learning
Stepwise Refinement and Structure Charts
Low-Level and High-Level Programming
Software Engineering

Object Orientated Programming
Declarative Programming
IT Project Management

Assessment Information for Key Stage 5

Paper 1 – Written assessment on theory (25% – 1 hour and 30 minutes)

Paper 2 – Written assessment on programming skills (25% – 2 hours)

Paper 3 – Written assessment on advanced theory (25% – 1 hour and 30 minutes)

Paper 4 – Practical assessment on advanced programming skills (25% – 2 hours and 30 minutes)

Useful Links for Key Stage 5 Computer Science

Computer Science Course:

Computer Science Theory:

Programming in CSS:

Programming in HTML:

Programming in JavaScript:

Programming in PHP:

Programming in Prolog:

Programming in Python:

Programming in SQL:

ICT - Key Stage 4

Introduction into Key Stage 4 ICT

In a world where our dependence on technology is constantly evolving, the importance of digital literacy cannot be understated. The impact of ICT on society is enormous and as the worldwide number of households and businesses that are connected to communication networks such as the internet grows, so does the need for individuals to understand these new and emerging technologies at an advanced level.

The Information and Communication Technology qualification encourages learners to develop lifelong digital skills, which will benefit them in their formal studies as well as prepare them for the digital future. They will develop an understanding of the implications of technology in the world of business, healthcare, leisure, politics, law and education.

The syllabus combines theoretical and practical studies focusing on the ability to use industry standard software applications to solve real world problems. Students will use a range of software including word processor software, spreadsheet software, database software, interactive presentation software, web browser software, graphic design software, video editing software, sound editing software, animation software and web authoring software. Learners will have the opportunity to analyse, design, implement and test a range of digital solutions to variety of problems.

The aims of the course are to develop:

  • Knowledge of new and emerging technologies
  • Independent and discerning use of ICT software
  • Skills to enhance work produced in a range of contexts
  • Skills to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate ICT systems
  • Skills to consider the impact of technologies in the world of business, healthcare, leisure, politics, law and education.
  • Skills to consider social, economic, ethical and moral issues surrounding technology
  • ICT-based solutions to solve problems
  • The ability to recognise potential risks when using ICT, and use safe, secure and responsible practice.

Key Stage 4 ICT Units of Study

TermYear 10Year 11


New and Emerging Technologies

Operating Online

Cyber Security

Developing IT Solutions 


Graphics and Website Design

IT Project Management


Multimedia Skills


Building Computers

Technology and the Law

Digital Devices

Software Skills

Assessment Information for Key Stage 4 ICT

Paper 1 – Written assessment on theory (40% – 1 Hour 30 Minutes)

Paper 2 – Computer based practical assessment (30% – 2 Hours 15 Minutes)

Paper 3 – Computer based practical assessment (30% – 2 Hours 15 Minutes)

Useful links for Key Stage 4 ICT

BBC Bitesize:

BBC Click:

ICT Theory: 

Online Safety:

ICT - Key Stage 5

Introduction into Key Stage 5 ICT

This qualification encourages learners to become effective and discerning users of ICT. It helps them to develop a broad range of ICT skills, knowledge and understanding. Learners study the structure and use of ICT systems within a wide range of organisations, including the use of a variety of computer networks. As a result, learners gain an understanding of ICT system life cycles, and how these affect the workplace. They also learn about the wider impact of ICT on society in general. At A Level, learners also study simple programming for the web relevant to their own use of ICT.

The key concepts for Cambridge International AS & A Level Information Technology are:

Impact of IT

The application of technology to process information impacts all aspects of our lives. The enormity of the impact can be seen in industry and commerce, transport, leisure, medicine, in the workplace and the home. Communications using technologies have made the world seem smaller.

Hardware and Software

Hardware and software interact with each other in an IT system. It is important to understand how these work, and how they work together with each other and with us in our environment.


Computer systems can be connected together to form networks allowing them to share data and resources. The central role networks play in the internet, mobile and wireless applications and cloud computing has rapidly increased the demand for network capacity and performance.

The Internet

The internet is a global communications network that uses standardised communications protocols to allow computers worldwide to connect and share information in many different forms. The impact of the internet on our lives is profound. While the services the internet supports can provide huge benefits to society they have also introduced issues, for example security of data.

System Life Cycle

Information systems are developed within a planned cycle of stages that cover the initial development of the system and continue through to its scheduled updating or redevelopment.

New Technologies

As the information industry changes so rapidly, it is important to keep track of new and emerging technologies and consider how they might affect everyday life.

Key Stage 5 ICT Units of Study


Year 12

Year 13


Video and Sound Editing

Expert Systems


Emerging Technologies

Project Management

Graphic Design




The Digital Divide


ICT and Society

Computer Hardware


E Safety and Security

Systems Life Cycle

Monitoring and Control

E Business


E Safety

Assessment Information for Key Stage 5 ICT

Paper 1 – Written assessment on Theory (25%  - 1 Hour 45 Minutes)

Paper 2 – Computer based practical assessment (25%  - 2 Hours 30 minutes)

Paper 3 – Written assessment on Theory (25%  - 1 Hour 45 Minutes)

Paper 4 – Computer based practical assessment (25%  - 2 Hours 30 minutes)

Useful links for Key Stage 5 ICT

Animation Software:

Coding in HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Explaining Computers:

Graphic Design Software:

How Stuff Works:

Khan Academy:

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