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Welcome to our Computing page

You will find lots of information below about the subject and how the department operates.

If you have any queries regarding computing please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Heather Herring
Head of Computing and Business Studies

Newman Catholic School, Carlisle


Our aim at Newman Catholic School is to equip each and every student with the knowledge and skills in Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy, that will allow them to go on to further study or to pursue a career in this profession.

Our students receive discrete Computer Science lessons to develop and apply their skills as well as other opportunities throughout different curriculum areas across the school. We have three dedicated and well equipped ICT suites within the department, along with an additional classroom and three laptop trollies for additional access.

We recognise the value of this subject and within it the use of the internet as an extremely powerful tool but equally we recognise that it can be an extremely dangerous place. Therefore, e-safety is at the forefront of all our teaching to ensure that each student is aware of their rights and responsibilities online, whilst also being able to evaluate the social impact of technology. All online content is monitored to ensure the safety of our students. Through this system we can block access to most inappropriate websites and record any suspicious activity. Students’ emails are stored and monitored regularly and there is thorough system in place to ensure everyone is kept safe. An internet safety contract must be signed by both students and parents / carers to provide consent to use the internet in school as well as to ensure correct and appropriate use.

All students also have access to Microsoft Office 365, which gives them access to both Outlook for email and OneDrive cloud storage to allow easy transfer of work between home and school. All ICT rooms are available on a lunchtime to allow students to complete their homework. Additional after school sessions are offered throughout the year for GCSE revision an coursework catch up.

Key Stage 3

Our key stage 3 curriculum is very much built around computer science, yet kept relevant to the interests and experiences of the students. We deliver units that will prepare the way for GCSE Computer Science including topics such as:

• Problem Solving

• Programming

• Computers

• Data and data representation

• Communication and the internet

• The Bigger picture

Every half term begins with a lesson on e-safety to promote safe and sensible use of technology. In year 9, we also begin to prepare students for their key stage 4 course which all students will go on to complete.

Key Stage 4

Building on the foundation provided in key stage 3, every student will complete an ICT or computing qualification at Key Stage 4. As students prepare for their future career they need to develop their ICT skills in order to be successful. Most career options will involve some use of ICT and it is vital that students have an ICT qualification in order to gain the best possible advantage in the job market.

Dependent on interest and ability, many of our students will be guided towards the GCSE in Computer Science, following the Edexcel (Pearson) specification. This comprises two examination papers and a practical project, all of which allow students to further their understanding of how computers work and the techniques used to write effective computer programs. This course is graded using the 9-1 system.

As an alternative to this course, students in year 10 are working towards the Cambridge Nationals, Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Certificate, which studies the planning of traditional and emerging media products as well as developing practical skills where students will plan their own media products. This comprises four units, one of which is externally assessed and will focus on pre-production skills. These will then put applied in the remaining practical units, which are internally marked and externally moderated. These allow the students to show their creativity and will focus on creating digital graphics, website design plus another optional unit, which will be based around the students’ strengths. The course is graded at Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass at level two. Students who fail to meet the level 2 requirements can be awarded a level one grade.

Students in year 11 are completing the Certificate in Digital Applications, which develops and tests their knowledge of building websites and the development of multimedia products. This comprises both a practical exam and a coursework element. This course is graded using A* - C grades.

Both of these courses allow students to pursue BTEC courses at level three.

Our current year 11 group are completing their Certificate in Open Systems and Enterprise, which includes the Microsoft Office Specialist qualification.


GCSE Computer Science -

CiDA -

Certificate in Open Systems and Enterprise -

Below two example revision videos for KS4

Signed Integers

Binary to Hexadecimal

Key Stage 5

Students in year 12 have embarked on the BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology, a two year course that will see them completing four units of work which includes the following:

Unit 1 – Information Technology Systems – this will be externally assessed through an exam – studied during year 2

Unit 2 – Creating Systems to manage data – this will be externally assessed through a case study with preparatory tasks – studied during year 1

Unit 3 - Using Social Media in Business – internally assessed through coursework – studied in year 1

Unit 6 - Website Modelling or Data Modelling – internally assessed through coursework – studied in year 2.

More info at: Edexcel’s ICT page.

The table shows below how BTEC grades equate to both A Level and UCAS points.



General Information

We have four well equipped ICT suites, one of which will be open during lunchtimes for students to complete homework. Our LRC is also available to allow students to study in their own time.


Homework is set each lesson and is a mixture of academic tasks and research. If a student is unable to complete their homework they should see their teacher as soon as possible. If students need to complete an ICT task for homework facilities are available in school to allow them to do so.


As part of the Key Stage 3 programme of study students will complete modules on control and monitoring. We teach this unit using free downloadable software called Scratch. Why not download it now and practise? Towards the end of Key Stage 3 we also move onto written programming language such as Python. This is also free to download here.

As of September 2018 our offer will change to BTEC Level 3 in Computing and Cambridge Technical Level 3 in Creative and Digital Media. Links below.

BTEC Computing

BTEC Nationals | Computing (2016) | Pearson qualifications

Information for students and teachers of our BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts (2016), including key documents and the latest news.

Cambridge Technical

Cambridge Technicals - Digital Media Level 3 Certificate ...

OCR Cambridge Technicals Digital Media qualification information including specification, exam materials, teaching resources, learning resources


Think U Know
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Catholic Teaching Alliance
Accelerated Reader
Microsoft Office Specialist
Ofsted ParentView
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