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The aim of the computing department at Hill House School is to be a centre of excellence and lead the way in providing cutting-edge, exciting, challenging and inclusive learning opportunities for all of our pupils. Pupils are actively encouraged to be creative and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to understand the everchanging world in our digital age.

Computing is an academic discipline with its own body of knowledge that can equip pupils to become independent learners, evaluators and potentially designers of new technologies. There are three distinct strands within computing, each of which is complementary to the others: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.

At Hill House School we are proud to offer an exciting and new curriculum that is designed to inspire learning and excite our learners in preparing them for further study or vocational opportunities in an increasingly digital workplace.

Year 7

All pupils in Year 7 have one computing lesson each week. Half-termly topics follow a theme and involve elements of computational thinking, practical coding challenges and computing theory. Assessments are taken towards the end of each half-term, concluding with a final assessment in the summer term.

Michaelmas Term

  • Using computers safely, effectively and responsibly (e-safety).
  • UK Bebras Computational Thinking challenge.
  • Database development.

Lent Term

  • Digital literacy and online safety.
  • Physical computing using the BBC micro:bit v2.

Summer Term

  • Understanding computer systems (including opening up a desktop computer).
  • First steps in Python (using the Turtle library).

Year 8

All pupils in Year 8 have one computing lesson each week. Building on the skills and knowledge gained in Year 7, termly topics follow a theme and involve elements of computational thinking, practical coding challenges and computing theory. Assessments are taken towards the end of each half-term, concluding with a final assessment in the summer term.

Michaelmas Term

  • Website development (HTML and CSS).
  • Spreadsheet modelling.

Lent Term

  • Algorithms (Flowcharts).
  • Python programming.

Summer Term

  • Creating Greenfoot games (using Java).
  • Computer crime and cyber security).

Year 9

Computing pupils in Year 9 have two lessons per week focusing on both GCSE theory topics and the development of programming skills including Python and HTML. The primary aim of this programme of study is to inform and prepare pupils for GCSE computer science, and to further their programming and problem-solving skills. During this year pupils may select GCSE computer science as an option for Year 10.


  • Computer systems - CPU performance, memory, storage and embedded systems.
  • Data storage – binary, denary and hexadecimal conversions, binary addition, image and sound storage.
  • Cyber security – malware, network threats, vulnerabilities and protection measures.
  • Python – iteration, libraries, lists, files and graphical user interfaces.
  • Website development (HTML and CSS).


In computing lessons we use a variety of both online and desktop applications and resources to support learning. All resources are freely available to download or access online, either on laptops/desktop PCs or mobile devices such as phones and tablets. is used to develop programming skills, is used for revision and Google Classroom holds all taught content including lesson slides, worksheets and homework activities.


Pupils will follow the OCR GCSE J277 specification.

Computer science is a challenging and exciting qualification that builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the computer science elements of our Key Stage 3 programmes of study. The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage learners and get them thinking about real world applications. This course will be of particular interest to pupils who are passionate about computers and interested in problem solving and programming.

Content of GCSE Computer Science

  • Component 01: Computer systems
    Introduces pupils to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.
  • Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
    Pupils apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.
  • Practical programming
    Pupils are given the opportunity to undertake programming tasks throughout the course which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language (Python). Pupils will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02.

Programming and problem solving

Alongside the theoretical aspects of the course, this is a practical subject where learners can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. It is therefore creative and involves invention and excitement, using computational thinking skills to solve problems and design systems. With regard to compatibility between home and school, it is worth noting that school computers use the Windows operating system.

Learning resources
Textbooks are provided, and all learning resources including worksheets, homework, videos, programming tools and revision aids are all accessible to pupils online via Google Classroom.

Scheme of assessment

Written paper 1: Computer systems
50% of GCSE, 80 marks, 1 hour and 30 minutes (no calculators allowed)

Written paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
50% of GCSE, 80 marks, 1 hour and 30 minutes (no calculators allowed)

Looking to the future

This course provides an excellent grounding for computer science at A level and study at further and higher education. Career opportunities for computer science students include: games designer, web developer, programmer, systems analyst, database administrator, cybersecurity analyst, forensic computer analyst, machine learning engineer, network engineer, IT sales professional, social media marketing, multimedia production, apps developer and many more.