Computing

Awareness of how information is organised and processed in society is important for students within the school, in the outside world, and in post-school education.

It is the study and use of computer and communications technology to research, analyse, process and communicate information. The technology currently in operation to allow this, the terminology involved, and an appreciation of computer based applications in a wider context are also taught.

The department’s aims are that:

  • All students should be competent and confident users of computers and information technology
  • Students should be able to use computers independently and responsibly
  • They should develop an appreciation of the real-world use of IT and its potential application

Necessary skills are the creative use of presentation software (word processing, desktop publishing, graphics, presentation software); the use of software to process data (spreadsheets and database); the ability to research and interpret information (DVD-ROM, Intranet and Internet); and the ability to transmit information using e-mail.

Pupils in Years 7 to 9 receive one lesson (40 minutes) per week of Computing. In Year 10 all students have two lessons of Computing per week and in Year 11 a maximum of two lessons.  Lower 6th and Upper 6th comprise option groups, of maximum 15 students per year, receiving seven lessons per week

The tasks in Years 7 – 9 are designed to fit into a cohesive programme of study, which is roughly in line with the National Curriculum schemes of work. By the end of Year 9, therefore, pupils should be confident and autonomous users of word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets and charts, presentation software, and communications. They should have overall general knowledge of databases and be able to use computers responsibly and creatively.

In Years 10 and 11 pupils undertake the European Computer Driving Licence, providing them with certification as evidence of the skills and knowledge developed in the earlier years. This course covers: Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentation Software and Improving Productivity using Computing.  Some very able students will pass this qualification before the end of Year 11 and will be given the option of developing confidence in programming, stretching their knowledge of the MS Office software to Level 3, or to use their newly discovered Computing skills to refine coursework from other subject areas.

St Edward’s Computing suite consists of three computer rooms, used constantly during lesson times, lunch times and after school. Other computer stations exist in other areas of the school, and a common network ensures that students’ work is accessible from any terminal.

Business Studies

The Business Studies department aims to:

  • Encourage students to develop an enthusiasm for studying business
  • Allow students to gain holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts
  • Aid students to develop a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants
  • Help students understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives
  • Generate enterprising and creative approaches to business opportunities, problems and issues
  • Enable students to be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations and individuals
  • Encourage students to acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision making, problem solving, the challenging of assumptions and critical analysis
  • Aid students in applying numerical skills in a range of business contexts

In Business Studies students examine how a business organisation operates in theory, and then relate this to real-life situations. Students are given the opportunity to improve their analysis and evaluation skills as they apply theory to real business scenarios.

Within the AS course decision making is considered from the perspective of Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Operations. At A2 students are given the opportunity to consider businesses from a strategic perspective including managing change and internationalisation.

Enrichment activities include an opportunity to ‘virtually’ invest £100,000 in the stock market through the nationwide Student Investor Challenge, to use their entrepreneurial skills to turn £10 into a profit through the Young Enterprise ‘Tenner Challenge’. We also benefit from outside speakers who are able to bring real business experience into the classroom and also a trip to a car manufacturer.

Sixth Form Business Studies

Business (AQA)

  • AS: Leadership and Decision making in Business, Marketing, Operations, HRM and Finance.
    2 papers – each worth 50% of AS
  • A Level: Strategies for Success, Risk, Managing Change and all AS content.
    3 papers – each worth 33.3% of A Level

Course Aims:

Advanced Business provides an opportunity for students to develop a critical understanding of organisations in various contexts – services and manufacturing – from small start ups to large-scale multinationals. It encourages independent learning, analytical thinking and evaluative skills.

What is Business?

The subject centres on the concepts of choice and decision making. Students will consider factors such as objectives, risk, returns, costs, constraints and ethics to decide what to do in any situation.

Types of Decisions:

  • Marketing: Which markets to target, how best to position the business, how to communicate effectively and distribute products in a digital world.
  • Financial: How to raise finance, how to manage cash flow and how to increase profitability.
  • Operations: How to increase efficiency, improve quality and productivity.
  • Human resources: How to manage employees effectively, how to motivate and build employee engagement.
  • Strategic: How to compete abroad, how to compete digitally, whether to act ethically and how to manage growth.

Students need to understand theory, use models and apply their knowledge to a particular situation. They will look at the internal workings and management of organisations and consider the impact of the external environment upon business, analysing and evaluating differing business activities. Students should have a keen interest in the ever-changing business world, either generally or in a specific function such as marketing or finance.

Entry requirements:

It is strongly recommended that students hold a grade B in English Language or an essay subject such as History, and a grade B in Mathematics at GCSE, since the subject requires detailed written analysis and numerical reasoning in responses.

Higher Education:

  • Business/Management/International Business Studies with Psychology, Mathematics or a Modern Language.
  • Marketing/Product Design/Architecture – Business Studies with D&T and Art or Physics.
  • Accounting/Finance/Law – Business Studies with Mathematics, History or English.

Computing (BTEC Level 3)

Extended Certificate in Computing (Pearson)

  • Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science – 1h 30 m examination papers
  • Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems – 1h 30 m examination papers
  • Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption (Assignment)

One Optional Module:

  • Unit 11: Digital Graphics and Animation (Assignment)
  • Unit 15: Games and Website Development (Assignment)
  • Unit 17: Mobile Apps Development (Assignment)

Course aims:

To develop the student’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of Computing and their application in everyday and technological settings.

Entry requirements:

Three GCSEs at grade A*-C, plus English and Maths GCSEs at grade 9-6 (GCSE Computing is not a requirement but at least B grade in Maths is)

Key features:

  • 360 GLH Equivalent in size to one A Level (2 years Course)
  • 4 units of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.
  • Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (58%)
  • Fundamental ideas such as computer components/structure, memory operations, algorithms, programming languages, networking, security and encryption
  • The opportunity to study options which include apps development, website development or graphic design
  • Practical skills are a constant theme throughout the course and are assessed through the completion of 2 coursework projects
  • Ability to study short course 180 GLH in one year (BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Computing)

Assessment:

Two course work projects and two 1h 30 m examination papers

Higher Education:

This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the computing sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTECs or A Levels.