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The North School

Computing & ICT

Subject Overview

“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it is not that good” - Martin LeBlanc.
In computing & ICT we love being able to impart knowledge, skills and experience to our students.  We consistently demonstrate a passion for the subject and show an enthusiasm for something students may one day be working on in the field.  It is great to know that the journey began in our classrooms.  Computing & ICT are hugely relevant subjects and ones that will have an impact in all forms of future study and in most areas of employment; it is difficult to think of an area where computing & ICT are not used. 


In Key Stage 3, students will follow the National Curriculum for Computer Science, students will be assessed on computer hardware and software, number systems and data representation, computational thinking & logic, networking, programming in Python, HTML, CSS & website design, computer graphics, cyber security, flowcharts data modelling and the human computer interface. The topics learnt are designed to give students the best start at KS4 qualifications.


At Key stage 4, the computing and IT department offer two different qualifications – GCSE in Computer Science and a BTEC Tech Award in Digital Information Technology.

GCSE Computer Science:

Computer Science recognises the well-established methodologies of computing, alongside technological advances. With six comprehensive topic areas, assessed through two externally-examined papers. One of these is a written paper focused on computational thinking, data, computers, networks, and issues and impact of computing in the world today. The other is a practical onscreen assessment, which focuses on the ability to analyse and solve problems by designing, writing, testing and refining programs.

BTEC Tech Award Digital Information Technology:

Digital Information Technology – is a BTEC Tech Award consisting of three components. The first two components are assessed through a series of internal assignments (coursework). These are awarded grades from a Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction and will make up 60% of the total grade. Component 3 is an externally assessed unit through a 90-minute examination.

Component 1 - Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
Component 2 - Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
Component 3 - Effective Digital Working Practices

Students will complete these courses equipped with the logical, computational and IT skills necessary to succeed at level 3 qualifications, the workplace or beyond.


We have a very successful sixth form provision; students will study either the BTEC National Diploma (equivalent to 2 A-Levels) of the BTEC National Extended Certificate (equivalent to 1 A-Level) both of which are studied over a 2-year period with many of our students going onto apprenticeships or university. You will have the opportunity to study the use of social media in business, database development, and the role of computer systems and the implications of their use in personal & professional situations as well as many other interesting & valuable topics.  

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities

For many students progression to a university course is a requirement for their chosen career path. We have strong links with our local universities in Kent with students going to study computer science and other disciplines. Employment opportunities are available in many different disciplines:

  • Games Design
  • Software Engineer / Programmer
  • IT Technician
  • Database Developer
  • Web Authoring
  • Solution Developer
  • Nano-Computing
  • DNA Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence / Expert Systems
  • Nature-inspired computing
  • Quantum Computing
  • Consulting