Bablake has a thriving computer science department in which pupils follow a curriculum that is inspiring, engaging, exciting and challenging. Pupils develop digital literacy, computational thinking, coding and IT skills. We encourage pupils to develop the learning skills of resilience, teamwork, problem-solving and independence as well as the safe and responsible use of ICT systems.
The department consists of four special purpose computer suites. Each suite has 14 networked computers, a colour laser printer, a scanner and a variety of other devices.
The main software currently used in the Computer Science department is:
- Microsoft Office (which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Publisher, Access and Outlook)
- Imagine Logo
- Visual Basic
All Shell and Second Year pupils have timetabled Computing lessons, 150 minutes per fortnight for Shells and 100 minutes per fortnight for Second Years. Computer Science is an option for pupils in Third Year that want to progress their understanding of the subject in preparation for GCSE and A level.
Computing lessons enable pupils to develop the skills of computational thinking, algorithmic design and coding as well as learning about how computers work, how data is stored and how computers communicate with each other, in a fun and engaging way.
Pupils continue to develop their digital literacy and IT skills by using common software packages such as the Microsoft Office Suite and the Adobe Creative Suite, and will create digital artefacts to demonstrate their skill development.
Pupils will learn how to use ICT systems safely and responsibly.
At KS4, pupils can opt to take the OCR GCSE Computer Science (9-1) qualification. This is an exciting and engaging, but academically rigorous GCSE, which is highly regarded and provides an excellent preparation for further study in the subject at a higher level.
At KS5, pupils can opt to take the OCR A level Computer Science qualification. This is also a highly regarded academic course, with 20% coursework and 80% terminal examinations.
Computer Science has never been more important in today's society, as is the need to understand the basic computational thinking and how computers work. Everyone will need to be confident users of computer systems and common software. They will need to be able to select and use appropriate software to solve problems and understand how to use computer systems safely, both in the workplace and in their leisure activities. Many will need to be able to plan and develop algorithms or write programs to create software.
The aims of the department are to engage and enthuse pupils in this exciting subject, allowing them to be creative problem solvers. They will make progress at their own rate with help and advice and will learn a range of transferable ICT skills in order to become autonomous users of ICT. Pupils are also encouraged to be analytical in their approach to problem-solving and to be able to judge their own work critically. More able pupils will be able to extend their skills, knowledge and understanding through a range of carefully prepared extension materials to ensure they are fully challenged.
We promote Computer Science as being a cross-gender and multi-cultural subject. We also aim to discuss moral, ethical and legal issues associated with the use of ICT and, as such, have a comprehensive and regularly updated ICT Code of Practice for all users.
The vast majority of Bablake students go on to university and it is pleasing to see the number of our students embarking upon degree courses relating to Computer Science. All of our students will benefit from the high level of ICT skills developed in school to aid them with their research and work at university, in apprenticeships or jobs.
The department believes in creating as many opportunities as possible to promote the use of ICT throughout the school. We encourage pupils to come to Computer Science workshops to help build skills and boost their confidence in their use. Wherever possible, we encourage pupils to take part in any relevant competitions that we are made aware of. We work closely with Warwick University and Coventry University and other members of the CAS (Computing At Schools) network. There will be opportunities for pupils to become involved in a variety of programming activities.