Compting for Advanced Performance Pupils

The subject of computing is a complex and challenging one. It is a problem-orientated discipline requiring pupils to understand and apply the processes associated with computational thinking. These are thought processes used in the formulation of a problem and expressing its solution in such a way that someone else, be it a human or a machine, can effective carry it out. Computing requires the able pupils to understand the processes by which this is achieved through the decomposition of a problem, the identification of patterns, the abstraction of a solution and then evolution of an algorithm to solve the problem.

These skills once learnt represent an academic discipline which is capable of being applied to all subjects in the curriculum. Programming and logic are at the heart of our teaching and we stretch pupils to engage in a number of languages and see the similarities and connections between them, so that later in life they can confidently develop their interest in any of them. Able pupils are expected to develop complex program routines that call arrays and use functions (sub routines) to structure and efficiently solve complex problems.

The computing department encourages able pupils to become familiar with how a computer works and how the one billion transistors within a central processing unit operate. This is supported by opportunities to take computers apart and rebuild them and then install and configure the operating systems before connecting them to other computers and creating small networks. We encourage able pupils to use a range of operating systems and acquire a Micro:Bit or Raspberry Pi computer to develop their interest which is fully supported in the classroom. Extracurricular activities take place which develop pupils’ interest in all aspects of the subject and have included stop frame animation, creating 3D graphics, Raspberry Pi and the use of the Linux operating system, computer control, a Micro:Bit club, computer creative skills and programming.