Computing & ICT

The electronic age relies on Communication, the creation of knowledge and the exchange of information. For young people to be successful and active members of this society, they need to be capable and skilled users of information technology.

Studying Computing & Information Communication Technology is seen by many to be a necessity, as it equips pupils not only with the skills they need to learn and live in the 21st Century, but also to cope with the rapid rate of change we associate with living in the world today. It also provides them with an opportunity to appreciate the impact that this has had both on society and them as individuals. The need for Computing skills and knowledge is also cross-curricular and developmental and therefore the courses have been designed to build on skills from year to year.

The study of Computing & ICT aims to provide pupils with:

  • An understanding of the need to practice e-safety when using IT resources, particularly online.
  • An understanding of how computers and computer systems work, and how they are constructed and programmed.
  • The skills and understanding to use software effectively to solve problems.
  • The ability to critically evaluate and assimilate the information they encounter, particularly through sources such as the internet.
  • An appreciation of the role IT plays in the world around them.

The study of ICT, at all levels, encourages learners to develop an appreciation and understanding of the impact that developments in information technology have on themselves, communities worldwide, and the future.

Studying ICT will contribute in a significant way to the general education of pupils, whether or not they intend proceeding to further studies or employment specific to information technology.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, programmes of study are designed to begin to develop skills in web-design, programming and game design with process, software and controls increasing in difficulty throughout the three year course. Further details of the Key Stage 3 programmes of study can be found in the curriculum booklet.

Key Stage 4

Edexcel: Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)

Mindful of the success of CiDA qualifications at Harlington over the past five years which have consistently achieved over 85% pass rate each year, we are embracing the new and revised specification which has been accredited by Ofqual.

The Certificate in Digital Applications is designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing (e.g. creative multimedia, website and computer game development). This qualification will equip them with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to design and make effective digital products.

It teaches young people how to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way and encourage them to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence. It gives young people the skills they need to support future learning and to exploit the creative and commercial employment opportunities on offer in the digital world in which they are growing up.


The Certificate in Digital Applications includes an external assessment Unit 1, which comprises 25% of the total assessment and an externally set Task, Unit 3 which comprises 75% of the total for the qualification.

Students must complete both units.

  • Unit 1: Developing Web Products – A two and a half hour practical examination in which candidates are expected to use web authoring and other software tools to build and test a web based product. 25%
  • Unit 3: Artwork and Imaging- Candidates create a solution to a task provided by the exam board. 75%

GCSE Computer Science.

Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Programming is a large part of the new GCSE because it is a practical and exciting vehicle to teach the logic and problem solving skills needed by computer scientists.

Course Content

Students will study three units as follows:

Paper 1 (40%)   Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science.

Paper 2 (40%)   Theoretical knowledge of computer science.

Assessment (20%)        The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem-solving.

Assessment:  Exam (80%), Non-exam Assessment (20%) 2 years,  AQA

Key Stage 5

AQA AS/A2-Level Computing.

Course Content:

AS Unit 1

Fundamentals of Computer Science

This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

AS Unit 2

Practical Programming to Solve Problems

This component consists of a series of set tasks completed on-screen by candidates.  These tasks will assess the practical application of knowledge and understanding and will require the use of Visual Basic.NET, Python or Java as a programming language.


Unit 1:    Fundamentals of Computer Science is a written examination of 2 hours

Unit 2:    Practical Programming to Solve Problems is an on-screen examination of 2 hours


AS Computer Science is awarded on successful completion of the first year of study.


On successful completion of your AS in Computer Science you can progress onto A2 Computer Science which qualifies for UCAS points so if you complete it successfully you could move on to study for a degree or BTEC Higher National Diploma in related subjects such as ICT, Computer Science, Information Systems,  Software Engineering, Computer Networking, e-Business and Information Management.

You could also go on to work based training such as IT User/Practitioner NVQs or vendor-specific qualifications.


AS level in Computer Science requires at least 6 GCSEs at grade C or above, which must include maths and English Language at grade B or above.

All students will also be required to attend and satisfactorily complete a formal induction period.


BTEC National Award: Qualification title: Pearson BTEC Level 3 Certificate in IT

The BTEC qualifications are designed to provide highly specialist, work-related qualifications in IT. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment.


Students may progress onto a range of Higher Education ICT and Computing courses.


BTEC  requires at least 6 GCSEs at grade C or above, which must include maths and English Language at grade B or above.



If you are interested in studying Computer Science A Level or any courses please contact Mr McGovern, Faculty Leader. Email [email protected]