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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy


Head of Department: Mr L. Gillion


In the rapidly-developing world of the 21st century, a high degree of IT literacy is crucial to success. Now more than ever before, it is essential for school-leavers to have the ability to keep up with evolving trends in digital media and technology: if a long-lasting career is wanted, the IT and computing industry is a safe bet to enter. The study of Computer Science is a wide-ranging subject, encompassing practical elements of computing, such as coding and programming, as well as broader questions such as the ethics of technology. All students at Barclay will be computer literate by the time they leave, having developed skills pertaining to Microsoft Office programs, graphic creation, and some form of coding.





In year 7, the focus at the start, is how to navigate around a computer system, ensuring knowledge of strong passwords and folder structures. We move on to the increasingly important aspects of e-safety and how to stay safe online whilst discussing the importance of netiquette – being polite online and making the internet a less antagonistic place.  Utilising Microsoft Word students will create posters about online dangers and know where to find help. We then move on to studying ethical world issues utilising PowerPoint presentations; the idea is to allow students to cover topics that are personally important to them whilst learning important MS Office applications.

In year 8, students study the creative side of computing using an online version of the professional package: Photoshop. They create digital content that will later be utilised in their websites, which is their first experience of a coding language.  E-Safety is revisited again.

Year 9 can be considered GCSE ‘lite’. We cover several aspects of the GCSE in a more lightweight form, so students who progress onto GCSE have a basic knowledge before they start it, and also a greater understanding of the topic, so they know if it something they would like to study at a higher level.


GCSE Computer Science follows the OCR specification, a rigorous course which helps them to develop and refine their skills in technical areas such as algorithms and programming. They also begin to consider the broader picture, exploring the key legal and ethical concerns which surround our modern-day society and its growing reliance upon technology. The course specifically focuses upon developing students’ computational thinking and problem-solving skills, as they learn how to code for specific purposes and with specified outcomes. Students are encouraged both to develop their understanding of core concepts and also to apply this knowledge through the devising of creative solutions. The language we study is Python.


At key stage 5, the course aims to expand and improve upon previous knowledge gained, going further into the depths of programming  and giving the students a deeper ability to solve problems and code solutions. The A-Level is a great foundation for further study at university or to gain access to some form of computing apprenticeship. We continue with OCR  course to allow a continuation and smooth incremental gaining of understanding and knowledge.

Computing Curriculum Journey

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