What is Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of computers and computing, including their theoretical and algorithmic foundations, hardware and software, and their uses for processing information. The discipline of Computer Science includes the study of algorithms and data structures, computer, and network design, modelling data and information processes, and artificial intelligence. Computer Science draws some of its foundations from mathematics and engineering and therefore incorporates a range of transferable techniques.
Why do we teach Computer Science at HAWI?
Technology is at the forefront of developments in all areas of society. Computer Science is a course that challenges students to solve real world problems developing their problem solving, logical thinking skills that helps to prepare students in a volatile, uncertain, and ever-changing world. In addition to this, educating students in Computer Science will equip them and empower them to be successful individuals in a digital age. Students must be competent in using computers whether it be to create a file, write a report, or researching a certain subject. At HAWI we strive to ensure all students leave us as digitally literate and competent users of all aspects of IT.
How do we teach Computer Science at HAWI?
The curriculum is split into units which:
- Focus on understanding how technology works, such as the theoretical knowledge behind how computers communicate with each other and how they communicate with the users.
- Focus on users interacting with technology effectively, such as ensuring users can safely operate technology as well as using the python programming language to create solutions to real world problems.
Interleaved throughout the curriculum are computational thinking and problem-solving skills that are taught using ‘Big Questions’ with the intent on students being able to confidently answer these.
Across all key stages we aim to build on previous units and challenge students to use their theoretical and programming skills to solve the problems put to them. Students will also go through what is known as the ‘system life cycle’ where they will have opportunities to analyse, design, develop, test, and evaluate their solutions in which they have used their problem solving and logical thinking skills. Throughout our key stages we aim to provide students with:
- an imaginative and stimulating curriculum designed to ensure learning for all students
- a curriculum that is broad and balanced and is relevant to real life scenarios for the students
- links with other subjects in the school are productive in strengthening students' academic knowledge in computing
- opportunities to use their computing knowledge, skills and understanding in realistic and challenging situations
How do we make Computer Science memorable at HAWI?
Computer Science lessons aim to bring learning to life, however, alongside this the curriculum at HAWI has many memorable moments. These include visits to Bletchley Park where students will take part in a Computer Science ciphers workshop, and completion of the IDEA award. The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international award-winning programme that helps students develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Through a series of online challenges, students can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities, and gain industry-recognised Awards that help them stand out from the crowd. There is also optional enrichment in Computer Science in which students will use pocket sized computers called microbits, to further improve their programming skills on a piece of hardware they do not see in normal lessons.