Computing at Sir Thomas Rich's

"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim."
-- Edsger W. Dijkstra

Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. It requires strong problem solving skills, the ability to decompose a task into basic components, and the motivation to study and work individually.


Head of Department:

Key Stage 3 - Years 7, 8 & 9

Teaching Arrangements: Year 7: Two single periods per week.
Year 8: One single period per week.
Year 9: Nine double periods, taught in two blocks.
Homework Guidance: The computer rooms are available outside of lesson times so all students have access should they require it to complete class work or homework.
Assessment Arrangements: Year 7: Baseline test shortly after entry to assess previous knowledge, followed by a similar test at the end of the year. These tests cover theory and programming.
Year 8: Students sit a formal Computer Science theory paper during exam week.
Year 9: Assessed throughout the programming work, and per task for their Social and Moral issues work.
Topics Covered:
Year 7
  • Introduction and Using Office
  • Computer Hardware
  • Visual Programming with Scratch
  • Working with Data
  • Web pages and HTML
Year 8
  • Networks
  • Cyber Security
  • Binary and Hexadecimal
  • Digital Images
  • CSS style sheets
  • Building a styled web site
Year 9
  • Introduction to Python
  • Social and Moral issues

These days almost all our boys come to us with a solid background in basic IT skills, and many with a level of competence that is much higher. They use IT in their everyday lives, expect to use it within the School and we aim to encourage this whilst teaching the responsibility and security necessary for today’s online world. The Computing elements of the course set out to develop the skills that our students will need to allow them to code programs and understand how programs work.

Teaching Arrangements: Four periods per week, taught as two single periods and one double period.
Homework Guidance: Students are advised to practice coding as much as possible and are encouraged to undertake additional tasks to extend their experience.
Assessment Arrangements: The course is assessed through two written examination papers (50% each).
Exam Specification: AQA GCSE Computer Science (8525) Topics Covered:
Year 10
  • Programming using Visual Studio
  • Aspects of Software development
  • Fundamentals of Algorithms
  • Programming
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Computer Systems
Year 11
  • Relational Databases and SQL
  • Fundamentals of Computer Networks
  • Fundamentals of Cyber Security
Entry Requirements: Entry requirements are as laid out in the School VIth Form prospectus.
In order to study Computer Science at A level, at least a grade 7 at Maths GCSE is required, and grade 7 or higher in Computer Science GCSE is recommended.
Teaching Arrangements: 7 periods a week
Homework Guidance: Homework is set as necessary and students are expected to spend some time working on their Project.
Assessment Arrangements: Examinations are sat at the end of Year 13. Assessment takes the form of 2 examination papers of 2.5 hours duration (40% of the marks each) and an extended practical programming project (20% of the marks).

Paper 1 includes practical coding and questions related to a given “skeleton” program. Paper 2 is a written paper with short and long answer questions. The programming project requires students to analyse a problem, design a solution, and then code and test it. The project takes place throughout the course and students are expected to complete some of this work outside of lessons.
Exam Specification: AQA A Level Computer Science (7517) Topics Covered:
  • Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Algorithms
  • Theory of Computation
  • Data Representation
  • Computer Systems
  • Computer Organisation and Architecture
  • Consequences of Uses of Computing
  • Communications and Networks
  • Databases
  • Big Data
  • Functional Programming
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • Computing Practical Project
University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • Artifical Intelligence
  • Computer Science
  • Microelectronics
  • Web Development
  • Engineering (Modelling)
  • Sciences (Modelling)
Careers that Computing may lead onto:
  • Application Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Games Developer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • IT Consultant
  • Network Architect
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Architect
  • SEO Specialist
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Developer
  • Systems Manager
  • UX Analyst
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer

In addition to traditional 'Computer Science' jobs, a good grounding in computing skills and techniques is benificial for modern jobs involving research and modelling which tend to involve logical thinking, and increasingly some level of programming.

Associated Clubs / Societies / Trips:
  • Coding Club