At St Augustine’s Priory we believe that Computer Studies enables our students to become the problem solvers of the future. By developing computational thinking skills our students will have the confidence to apply effective logical and analytical approaches to a range of subjects and challenges.
We want our students to question and challenge the technological world around them and consider solutions to problems we face in our everyday lives, no matter how big or small they may be.
Each year the department takes part in the annual Oxford University Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. This year a number of our girls were amongst the highest achievers in the competition.
As an introduction to computational thinking our Prep students develop their understanding of algorithms and logical reasoning. They also work across a number of platforms to create and debug simple programs.
In addition to this we understand the importance of developing basic mouse and keyboard skills as well as the need to create content for different audiences. We cannot ignore the importance of staying safe online and there are numerous initiatives in and out of computing lessons that focus on the safe use of the web as well as how young children can share concerns about what they experience online.
At this stage our students will have a better understanding of algorithms and this continues to be developed. Students learn how to decompose problems, work with control systems and make use of basic examples of programming techniques such as repetition and selection.
Effective use of the web is a key focus and staying safe online and evaluating online content continues to feature. The importance of developing good online habits and knowing how to behave online is also emphasised.
Form III to Upper IV (Key stage 3)
Our students start to work directly with algorithms through text and block based programming environments. Use of Python and Small Basic are examples of the languages we use. Other units of work include cryptography, binary and Scratch as well as others.
Lower V to Upper V (Key stage 4)
GCSE Computing is offered to all students who are interested in Computer Science. Being mathematically minded is useful but not essential. A willingness to problem solve and a level of resilience is however! We currently offer the OCR Computing qualification.
We offer a programming lunch time club for our GCSE Computer Science students where we focus on programming techniques in Python.
We are also currently running a Digital Leaders club where students get together to support teachers in their use of the VLE. As well as this, we created our very own ‘Escape Room’ in our cellar which ran for the last few weeks of Summer Term, during which nearly 200 participants attempted to escape! This will continue to be a yearly event so watch this space.
We have plans to set up our very first 3D printing club where girls will have the opportunity to design, code and print almost anything they can possibly imagine.