We treat computer science as a ‘fourth science’ and our curriculum is grounded in a rigorous and academic approach, exactly like any other science. The course comprises both theory and practical elements.
Our computer science course introduces the subject in a structured and accessible way to the younger years, giving all pupils a strong foundation in Years 7 and 8 from which to progress to IGCSE and A level computer science, if they choose to, from Year 9 onwards.
- Learning journey - Years 7-9
The course has been carefully designed to be accessible to all, regardless of previous formal computer science teaching.
Lessons are held in rooms equipped with either desktop or laptop computers to accommodate frequent practical activities. The course also places a strong emphasis on thinking skills and theoretical concepts alongside the more practical programming tasks.
- A thorough and systematic grounding in algorithms and programming with open-ended and easily accessible practical tasks to help students master their new skills
- Mathematical and digital technology concepts explored through programming tasks
- An exploration of theoretical concepts of computer operation and communication
There is plenty of practical work such as programming Python, the micro:bit (mini-computer) and HTML/CSS as well as an introduction to databases.
- Learning journey - IGCSE
Students who elect to take computer science to IGCSE develop their understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers. They apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language. They develop a range of technical skills, including the ability to test and evaluate alternative algorithmic solutions.
The course helps students appreciate current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use, and they learn to recognise the ethical issues and potential risks when using computers.
The course is open to pupils who have studied computer science at The Perse in Year 9.
- Providing stretch
We regularly set optional tasks for pupils who would like to do more to deepen their knowledge or skills, from writing a program to find the Highest Common Factor of two integers to researching the origins of the World Wide Web. Certain coding websites such as projecteuler.net, code.org or hackerrank.com are popular places to develop programming skills.
We enter the Bebras Computing Challenge and consistently perform strongly at the national level. We also enter the Think Computer Science Oxford Computing Challenge with national success in multiple age groups. We have several additional team-based competitions during the year, including PCTC – The Perse’s own national team coding challenge. We publish an extension booklet to students to inform them of all the opportunities to get involved.
- Beyond the classroom
There is plenty of scope for extension for those who develop a passion for the subject. The Perse Programmers club runs weekly, offering a range of certificates, extension problems and competitions.
We also offer Digital Literacy club to enable students to achieve industry-approved Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications.