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Computing and Business

Computing and Business Department Intent

The National Curriculum for Computing aims to ensure that all students:

  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

The Computing and Business Department at Lathom High School equips students with the skills to participate in a rapidly-changing world through challenging and engaging topics. Students will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of how computers work, how they communicate, and how to control them through designing and coding programs. They will also be able to develop their competence in creating and repurposing digital artefacts (products), whilst learning how to do this in a safe and responsible way. Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that young people have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.

KS3 Knowledge Overview

Traditionally, Computer Science at Key Stage 3 was split into three three main areas or pathways of study: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. At Lathom, we incorporate “The Teach Computing Curriculum” which uses the NCCE’s computing taxonomy with ten strands to ensure comprehensive coverage of the subject in an age-appropriate manner. It is thoughtfully sequenced, using research into how students learn so they are inspired to learn new material in a meaningful manner and develop their understanding. Units of work are relevant to their prior knowledge, age and stage of development while also taking into consideration gaps that may have resulted during the Covid pandemic. Our KS3 curriculum feeds into our KS4 option subjects and assists students in their understanding of the big picture of what they need to know and do to achieve their best in Computing at Lathom High School.

All of the learning outcomes can be described through a high-level taxonomy of these ten strands:

  • Algorithms – Be able to comprehend, design, create, and evaluate algorithms
  • Computer networks – Understand how networks can be used to retrieve and share information, and how they come with associated risks
  • Computer systems – Understand what a computer is, and how its constituent parts function together as a whole
  • Creating media – Select and create a range of media including text, images, sounds, and video
  • Data and information – Understand how data is stored, organised, and used to represent real-world artefacts and scenarios
  • Design and development – Understand the activities involved in planning, creating, and evaluating computing artefacts
  • Effective use of tools – Use software tools to support computing work
  • Impact of technology – Understand how individuals, systems, and society as a whole interact with computer systems
  • Programming – Create software to allow computers to solve problems
  • Safety and security – Understand risks when using technology, and how to protect individuals and systems

KS3 Homework

Students will complete one extended homework each half term. KS3 Homework uses topics related to the learning in the classroom and in the real world. Students are expected to respond to a topic question or project.

Enrichment Opportunities

Lego Robotics Challenge (Raising Robots) 

This isn’t a one-off challenge. It’s a curriculum-linked programme that sees students working together in teams to solve real-world engineering, technology and computing challenges using Lego Spike.

The Robotics Challenge is about inspiring students and developing new skills that will allow them to understand engineering in the real world. We want to remove misconceptions about becoming an engineer, and show that it’s a career that many people can aspire to – regardless of background.

The club is oversubscribed and full every week as students have enjoyed it so much. The programme is linked to the curriculum, careers, and promotes the school both internally and externally through the UK-wide competition. The Robotics Challenge brings STEM and engineering to life and allows students to discuss and develop careers aspirations with STEM volunteers who are happy to present their career choices with them through the STEM Ambassador programme.

KS3 iDEA Award Club         

The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international programme that helps students develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. At Lathom, every students has the opportunity to gain the Award. This is done periodically in lesson time as well as during extra curricular clubs. Through a series of online challenges, students can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help them stand out from the crowd. iDEA is the digital and enterprise equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It is made up of badges that are interactive online modules, created in consultation with industry experts that vary in length and difficulty. Students who choose to complete the badges will receive a Record of Achievement that enables them to showcase the skills and knowledge they have learnt wherever they are on their journey with iDEA, whether they have earned two badges or fifty. On every Record of Achievement, there is a personal verification number, this means that iDEA can validate their progress to date with any future employer or learning institution requiring verification as well.

Keyboarding and Tech Literacy is an online typing tutor program designed for all grade levels. The program provides students with a typing curriculum along with supplemental games and typing story adventures, while also allowing students to track their individual progress and address problem areas in their typing skills. The program provides sections to further develop student knowledge of computer coding, website design, and digital citizenship.

KS4 Overview

Key Stage 4 Pathways at Lathom High School:

The following pathways are available at KS4 and build on the skills and knowledge taught through the KS3 curriculum: 

Key Stage 3: Introduction to KS4 Pathway: NCCE & Hodder Boost Progress in Computing

KS4 Option:GCSE Computer ScienceOCRCreative ImediaOCR NationalsMarketing and EnterpriseOCR Nationals
Year 10Paper 1 and NEARO81 and R082Unit R064 and Unit R065
Year 11Paper 2RO85 and R087Unit R066 (R064)

KS4 National Curriculum Framework Embedded at Lathom

All pupils have the opportunity to study aspects of Information Technology and Computer Science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career. All pupils are taught to:

  • develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in Computer Science, Digital Media and Information Technology
  • develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills
  • understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns

KS4 Options


Awarding body: OCR

OCR Cambridge Nationals in Imedia

Students gain knowledge in a number of key areas in the media field, from pre-production skills to digital animation. This course offers a hands-on approach to learning and will provide opportunities to develop useful transferable skills such as research, planning and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. 


The modules offered include two compulsory units including Pre-production skills and Creating Digital Graphics with a further two units including Website Design and Storytelling with a Comic Strip.
All units covers four Learning Objectives that follow the same structure for each unit:
• LO1: Investigation of relevant products and technologies
• LO2: Pre-production and planning stage
• LO3: Collection and creation of assets, producing the final product
• LO4: Self-evaluation of the completed product


Written examination 25%
There is one written examination that set and written by OCR includes questions on the pre-production unit.
Coursework assignments 75%
There are three assignments based on the units above.  These include digital graphics, web design and storytelling.
Career Relevance
Creative iMedia is effective preparation for a range of qualifications including IT or Digital Media Level 3 qualifications. Careers include broadcasting, web development, journalism, photography, editing and multimedia.

Business Enterprise and Marketing

Awarding body: OCR

OCR Cambridge National in Business Enterprise and Marketing Specification Link:

An aspiration for many young people is to be self-employed and start their own business. The skills required for this, such as being able to work collaboratively and creatively, solve problems and have an awareness of businesses and customers, are also those requested by employers. This qualification will allow you to get to grips with key aspects of running small businesses with a focus on enterprise and marketing. You will gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century entrepreneur. 


Unit 1 (Written Assessment 50%)
The first unit underpins the other learning in this qualification. Students will learn about the techniques businesses use to understand their market and develop products, investigate what makes a product viable and understand how businesses attract and retain customers. They will also learn about key aspects of small businesses, including ownership and functional activities.

Unit 2 (Practical Assessment 25%)
In unit 2, students are provided with a business challenge. From this they will create a researched and costed business proposal. Students will need to undertake activities such as conducting market research, presenting data, using idea generation tools, seeking and acting on feedback, and costing proposals. This unit will develop students’ self-assessment, collaborative working, creativity, numeracy, research and evaluative skills.

Unit 3 (Practical Assessment 25%)
In unit 3, students will prepare for and pitch their own business proposal that they developed in unit 2. Alongside developing a brand identity, students will investigate how to best promote their product and then plan and prepare their pitch. After delivering their practice and professional pitch they will review their own performance and business proposal. This unit will develop the students’ analysis and self-evaluative skills as well as those relating to self-presentation.


Written examination 50%
There is one written examination that will include a range of different types of questions, including multiple-choice, short/medium answer questions and extended response analysis and evaluation questions. This unit is externally assessed through a 1 hour 30 minutes exam, set and marked by OCR.

Coursework assignments 50%
Both Units 2 and 3 are assessed through an OCR-set assignment that is teacher marked and OCR moderated. The emphasis is on learners doing practical activities, showing how they can put their learning to use.

Career Relevance
The skills developed would allow progression onto business apprenticeships or level 3 business qualifications. Career pathways would include business administration, product development and advertising.

Computer Science

Awarding body: OCR J277

OCR GCSE Computer Science Specification Link:


The Computer Science GCSE will enable students to develop a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works, giving them an insight into what goes on ‘under the lid’ of a computer.  You will need to think creatively, innovatively and logically to design and program solutions to real-world problems. Students will investigate the components that make up digital systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.  They will also develop an understanding of the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society.


Unit 1 – Computer Systems

This unit covers knowledge of computer systems

  • Systems architecture
  • Memory and storage 
  • Computer networks, connections and protocols 
  • Network security 
  • Systems software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Unit 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This unit covers

  • Algorithms 
  • Programming fundamentals 
  • Producing robust programs 
  • Boolean logic
  • Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Practical Programming 

All students will be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s), either to a specification or to solve a problem (or problems), during their course of study. Students may draw on some of the content in both components when engaged in Practical Programming. Practical Programming skills will be assessed in part of the second exam paper.


The course will be assessed by two written exams. Each exam is 1hr 30mins long and both are worth 80 marks each. Each exam is worth 50% of the total GCSE.
Career Relevance
Careers in this industry include software development, computer programming, network manager, web developer, computer forensics, data administrator, project manager and database developer.

Useful Websites:

Great books to read and films to watch

Note: Please check suitability and age classification

What to watch

  • Wall’E: The implications surrounding ewaste. Narrow AI is an intelligent system that is very good at doing a specific thing. We see that in our everyday life today, such as self-driving cars and voice assistants. In this movie, WALL-E cleans garbage, EVE looks for life and Auto pilots the ship. WALL-E is one of the rare sci-fi films out there that shows the bright side of AI and the good it can bring to the world. (G)
  • The Net: A computer programmer stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger. A story with a centre around identity theft. (PG-13)
  • Die Hard 4: In the film, McClane attempts to stop cyber-terrorists who hack into government and commercial computers across the United States with the goal of starting a “fire sale” that would disable key elements of the nation’s infrastructure. Expect Hacking, algorithms, data theft and computational thinking throughout. (PG-13)
  • The Social Network: In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns into the global social network known as Facebook. Six years later, he is one of the youngest billionaires ever, but Zuckerberg finds that his unprecedented success leads to both personal and legal complications when he ends up on the receiving end of two lawsuits, one involving his former friend (Andrew Garfield). Based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires.” (15)
  • Steve Jobs The Man in the Machine: A documentary film about Steve Jobs and how he shaped the culture in Silicon Valley today. (12)
  • The Internship: Two interns, Billy and Nick join forces with the rest of the misfit “nooglers” to make it through a series of competitive team challenges. This movie gives a glimpse of what it’s like to work for one of Silicon Valley most successful companies. (PG-13)
  • The Matrix: A glimpse of the future for Artificial Intelligence. (R – 14+)
  • Minority Report: Displays data science at its best. In this film, a team of humans with psychic abilities or “Data scientists” called PreCogs is able to predict future crimes by analyzing massive amounts of data. With this analysis, the visual data is transferred to the PreCrime, a police unit that is sent to prevent the crime. This brings up the idea of how data can be used to do great things in the real world, like preventing disasters and saving millions of lives. (PG-13, but recommend 15)
  • The Imitation Game: Alan Turing, the creator of the well-known “Turing Test” and father of modern computer science is featured in this movie. Set in WWII, Alan Turing is the legendary mathematician who cracks the enigma. The enigma is a strategic code that the Nazis use to encode their messages, and Turing decided to build a computer that is able to perform complex permutations faster than any human being could. With this computer, Turing paved the way for creating machines as well as enforcing the field of cryptography and cybersecurity. (PG-13)

(Film Blurbs from

What to read

  • Computational fairy tales – Jeremy Kubica
  • Best Practice of Spell Design – Jeremy Kubica
  • Tubes – Andrew Blum
  • Algorithms to live – Brian Christian
  • Hello World – Hannah Fry
  • Flash boys – Michael Lewis
  • Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley money machine – Antonio García Martínez
  • Ghost in the Wire – Kevin Mitnik
  • The Information – James Gleick
  • A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet – John Naughton
  • Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution – Steven Levy
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer – Sydney Padua
  • Nine Algorithms that changed the future – John MacCormick


Computer Science

The Computer Science Option gets you ready for continuing qualifications in Computer Science and careers in this industry that include:

  • Software Development
  • Computer Programming
  • Network Manager
  • Web Developer
  • Computer Forensics
  • Data Administrator
  • Project Manager
  • Database Manager

Creative iMedia

  • Creative iMedia is effective preparation for a range of qualifications including:IT
  • Digital Media Level 3
  • Broadcasting
  • Web development
  • Journalism
  • Photography
  • Editing
  • Multimedia

Business Enterprise and Marketing

The skills developed would allow progression onto business apprenticeships or level 3 business qualifications. Career pathways would include:

  • Running your own business
  • Business Administration
  • Product  Development
  • Marketing & Advertising

Curriculum Overview – KS3 Computer Science and KS4 Computer Science, iMedia & Business

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