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Computing at Key Stage 3


Department Staff

Mrs P. Keane (Head of Department)

Mrs L. Kearney

Mrs L. Curran-Malone


At Key Stage 3 all students undertake computing within St Mary’s. This innovative course allows students to develop their computational thinking an area which has shown to enable students to solve bigger problems throughout the whole curriculum and in life. This is a more efficient and effective way to problem solve and is not just for coding.

So what is Computational Thinking?

Well it is a collection of diverse skills to do with problem solving that result from studying the nature of computation. It includes some obviously important skills that most subjects help develop, like creativity, ability to explain and team work. It also consists of some very specific problem solving skills such as the ability to think logically, algorithmically and recursively. It is also about understanding people.

Computer Science is unique in the way it brings all these diverse skills together. At Key stage 3 we introduce a range of mini group projects. Groups are set problems and we develop the skills of computational thinking throughout years 8-10. Computational Thinking is developed along with our coding using a wide range of software.

Over the last 3 years we have seen the engagement of students especially girls grow as we have introduced coding through games, web design and art utilising student’s creativity as well as their logical thinking skills. We will be uploading some examples of the work undertaken throughout the year.


BTEC First Information and Creative Technology Award

BTEC First Information and Creative Technology Award


The course is a two year programme that introduces you to the rapidly developing world of information technology. Through a combination of practical experience and written assignments, this vocational qualification provides a level 2 qualification.

Whilst studying the Level 2 Information and Creative Technologies course you will have the opportunity to be the creator and producer of IT technology products. You can achieve a level 1 or level 2 qualification after completing the course.

Unit 1 – Online World – Externally assessed compulsory unit

This unit comprises of learning aim A: Online services and communication

learning aim B: The Internet, its hardware, transmission methods and data exchange.

Learning aim C: Legislation

The exam is an onscreen test which lasts one hour and has 16 questions


Unit 3 – Digital portfolio – Internally assessed compulsory unit

The digital portfolio is a combination of work from the online world and optional unit displayed in a digital form.


Unit 13 Website Development Internally assessed

Students create an interactive website by planning, testing and evaluating their work.

Assessment & Qualification

Assessment with take various forms both coursework and exam based. The course provides a range of internally and externally assessed options. Units are not equal in assessment weighting.

Unit 1: Online World – 25% Unit 3: Digital Portfolio – 25% Unit 13: Web Design – 50%

Career and Progression

On successful completion of the course you will have the opportunity to progress onto a level 3 course in IT.

Cambridge Technicals Introductory Diploma in IT Level 3 (2012)


The Cambridge Technical course uses a credit system to complete the award. Students must obtain 60 credits to complete the course successfully. This course is 100% coursework based. The course provides students with a theoretical background reinforced with practical skills that transfer into a modern workplace.

(Equivalent to 1 A-Level)

Students can achieve a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.


Unit 1: Communication and employability skills for IT (10 Credits)

This unit will help you addresses your personal development needs.   You will understand the principles of effective communication and be able to use ICT to do so, while understanding the personal attributes required by employers.

Unit 2: Information systems (10 Credits)

In this unit you will understand how organisation gather, analyse and use data. You will be able to identify characteristics of good data, while selecting and using data to support business activities.   Finally you will be able to present data appropriately for specific purposes.

A further 4 optional units will be selected to complete the course, each worth 10 credits.