Dereham Neatherd High School

Dereham Neatherd High School

Traditional, Inclusive, Supportive

Computer Science

For more information about the curriculum, please click here.

The Computer Science and ICT department covers both subjects. Whilst the national curriculum has shifted the emphasis to a more computer science based focus rather than ICT, we provide students with the benefits of both throughout key stage 3. We strive for students to develop a strong sense of independence in their learning and to take on high levels of challenge.

In years 7, 8 and 9 students take term long modules on Computer Science. The emphasis is on becoming competent at problem solving and computational thinking. This extends to programming solutions to suit a range of different applications. Students work in Scratch (block based) and high-level programming languages such as Python and VB.NET.

In Year 9 students may opt for either Computer Science or iMedia for their GCSE should they wish to follow this subject area. The courses start in Year 10. Both are popular subjects and we run full groups in each. The inclusion of computer science by Russell Group universities as a “facilitating subject” is a more recent phenomenon but one which reflects the increasing thoroughness of the course both at GCSE and A Level.

The department uses Edmodo extensively to provide a structure for students to help them organise their work and this is well received and feedback from students is very positive. Students complete their work in online evidence journals hosted in Google Drive through Norfolk County Council’s nsix domain.

The department strives for all students to enjoy their computer science experience at Neatherd, in lessons and extra-curricular clubs. We want everyone to develop their digital strength whilst having fun and gaining transferable skills that are relevant to students' own lives and experiences.

Staff
The strength and focus within the department is underpinned by the teaching and learning. Each unit of work is fully resourced with consistent lesson material for all teachers.

Neatherd is a Lead School for Computer Science and Mr Gibson is a Computing at School (CAS) Master Teacher. CAS supports the development and professional development of teachers requiring support to deliver computer science and he works with several other schools in Norfolk to do this.

Performance
Over the last few years our results have been consistently very good in both subjects and we perform much better than national averages.

Accommodation
The department has four dedicated computer suites for use within the department, as well as access to five other computer suites assigned to other departments across the school. Each suite fully equipped suite has the same level of access to the software on the network and we benefit from industry standard programs such as the Adobe suite which includes Photoshop and Microsoft Office. Students have full access to printing facilities.

Extra-curricular opportunities
As well as computer suites being open every lunchtime for students to complete work, we run a Minecraft Club every day. PICO-8 Games Design club takes place once a week at lunchtime and we also run a branch of the international Code Club for students in all years once a week. Code Club runs regular competitions and students can also complete certificated courses languages such as Python, html and .css.