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Computing Course Details

It is my sincere hope that many Canfordians will have enjoyed their Computer Science immensely and that they go on to further study in either Computer Science at degree level or use their ability to program to support their study and work across a wide range of disciplines … After all in a connected, digital world, programming could be your super-power too! 

Simon Rood, Head of Computing


In the Shell year a completely revised programme brings a balanced mixture of Computer Science, Digital Literacy and IT skills. 

We endeavour to not only equip our pupils with the skills necessary to be highly productive and professional but also to inspire and ignite a passion for developing and creating software not just consuming it.  The course covers programming in a variety of visual and textual languages, but also networking and office software.

All students will learn to use our systems using both the beautiful and well-appointed IT suite, Turing, and now more widely using their own devices (BYOD).  This enables our students to access our industrial grade wi-fi across the whole site, be it in houses, classrooms or in the park.  We use CITRIX to enable our students to access school software, systems and storage on any platform.

Fourth and Fifth Form

In the Fourth and Fifth Form we are offering  AQA GCSE Computer Science. (Please view the the AQA website for more information).  Run over two years this innovative and current course allows pupils to:  Learn the live skill of programming; and to understand computers, their architecture, databases, networks and more.  Crucially it teaches how to solve problems, abstract information to reduce complexity and to think logically, vital skills in any walk of life.

Sixth Form

From September 2015 we will be offering the new style of AS and A Level.  It is called Computer Science and again we will use AQA.  This course is open to those who haven’t studied Computing before and is a very strong continuation of the previous course.  Central to this course is the teaching of the live skill of programming, either from no previous experience or building and extending from the GCSE.  Students really enjoy learning how to develop software and then their natural enthusiasm takes over as they first extend then create their own programs.  We also learn further problem decomposition, systems diagramming, the basics of information theory, the architecture of the CPU, etc.  A full list can be found here.  The AS and A Level are co-teachable, so pupils need not decide on their direction immediately. 

In the second year, we look in much greater depth at the subject as they learn about Recursion, Object Orientation, Turing Machines and other programming paradigms.  They also have the freedom to develop an in depth Computer Programme in their project.  This is a really fantastic opportunity to develop solutions in areas that excite them.  For example, graphical scientific simulations, internetworking programmes, business software of all kinds, the list is endless.  Even spectulative or research driven projects are now encouraged.

We are continuing our AQA GCE A2 Computing course for September 2015 for existing computing students sitting the AS Level.  This is very similar to the second year of A Level Computer Science as outlined above, however further details can be found here.