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IT and Computing

Our IT Department take on the ambitious challenge of ‘Developing confidence and curiosity in IT and Computing, continually aiming to solve problems in the most efficient and effective way.’

There are three full time members of staff in the department, although they also work closely alongside our Business Studies and Economics departments. The department boasts three discrete ICT classrooms for KS3 and KS4, fully equipped with new desktops, headphones, microphones and graphic pads. At post-16, dual monitors are available for pupils to work on along with touchscreen teacher workstations. Classes are mixed ability throughout, with three lessons a fortnight in KS3 and five lessons a fortnight at KS4. Those students who develop a love of IT and Computing at KS3 can choose to continue their studies by selecting one of the IT pathways available at KS4.

Students undertake a varied IT and Computing curriculum at Ridgewood and build upon their expertise each year to prepare them for making their guided choices at KS4. To ensure that students are well prepared, the department aims to deliver a curriculum mixing Computing, IT, Media and digital literacy to ensure pupils have the right skills for use beyond school and in the real world. Students leave the department well equipped with IT skills, and with the ability to talk confidently about their use of IT and select and use the appropriate tools independently. Students are encouraged to experiment with software and learn transferable IT skills which are not software specific. We know that our students will go on to jobs involving IT systems that do not even exist yet, and we want to develop their enquiry skills and understanding of software and hardware to transfer to a modern world.

Our IT and Computing Department prides itself on offering a continually evolving curriculum which ensures pupils are best prepared for their experiences in the outside world. Computing is now part of the E-Bacc certification which has makes the subject very popular at GCSE.

Trips offered by the department are in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, giving students the opportunity to see IT in use in real life environments. Competitions are also regularly promoted, such as Animation 16, a UK wide animation competition run by the University of Manchester.


Overview of topics:

Year 7

Our current KS3 curriculum has evolved to deliver project work based on other subject content allowing pupils to use their skills in a cross curricular context.

As well as consolidating KS2 curriculum material and ensuring that pupils are equipped with the necessary ICT and Computing skills, pupils learn how to carry out project work using their knowledge and understanding.

All pupils are baselined upon entry into Year 7.

Students complete a number of topics to model particular topics in other subjects. These include:

  • E-Safety
  • Digital graphics
  • Animation using scratch – History link
  • Programming using python – Maths link
  • 3D Planning – Technology link
  • Website Design – PE link
  • Data Modelling – Geography link

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils follow a “Business Enterprise” unit of work. This supports KS3 pupils in their transition to KS4 Business Studies whilst simultaneously embedding their ICT skills; in particular more of the application software.

Students complete a number of topics relating to the research, development and costings of a product or service

  • Business Ownership
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Report writing
  • Research
  • Spreadsheet modelling and predictions
  • Business Locations
  • Advertising

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils are more rigorously introduced to Computing theory to support their transition to Computing subjects at KS4. They also carry out some practical investigation projects using Small Basic, Python and Javascript.

  • Computer hardware
  • Data Representation
  • Programming using Small Basic
  • Legal issues
  • HTML and JavaScript

All students learn E-Safety as part of the curriculum.


Students are assessed using the Ridgewood STEPS programme. Each year group is baselined to give us accurate starting points. Pupils are provided with STEPs grids for each unit of work to monitor their ongoing progress.

Useful web links:


Overview of topics:

There are two IT-based qualifications available at KS4: Computer Science (OCR) and iMedia (OCR Cambridge Nationals).

Details of the curriculum for these can be downloaded from this page.

Useful web links:

KS5 A Level Computing 

Overview of topics: A Level GCE Computing (OCR)

This qualification aims to provide the skills and understanding underpinning the science behind computers, and address the theory surrounding interactions between different types of user and the many different types of computer system that exist in the modern world. At the heart of the qualification lies the notion of computational thinking: a method for thought that goes well beyond software and hardware, and provides a framework within which to reason about systems, problems and solutions.

Students will study the fundamental theory underpinning how computers interpret the outside world, as well as developing pronounced understanding of logic through programming in a multitude of high level programming languages, such as Visual Basic, C# and Python.


Computer Systems – Externally assessed examination – 40%

Algorithms and Programming – Externally assessed examination – 40%

Programming Project – Coursework – 20%

A Level

Two written examinations:

2 hours 30 minutes

Useful web links:

KS5 Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT 

Overview of topics: Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT (OCR) - Year 13

The Cambridge Technical certificate in IT is a popular vocational course suited to students that have an interest in hardware, software and practical activities. The course enables students to develop transferable skills that will be of use in employment and for future studies.

Course Content:

This qualification consists of five units of work; three of which are externally assessed. Pupils then study two further units, one of which is externally assessed.

There are three mandatory units that are externally assessed and two optional units.

Year 12

Mandatory Unit 1 – Fundamentals of ICT – EXTERNAL EXAMINATION

Mandatory Unit  2 – Global Information – EXTERNAL EXAMINATION

Year 13

Unit 6 – Cyber Security – EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT

Unit 8 – Project Management – COURSEWORK

Unit 14 – Internet of Everything – COURSEWORK

The first two mandatory units provide learners with an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and important legal and security considerations. The third mandatory unit reflects an important development in the sector around information security and requires learners to consider how data should be protected and the response of the IT sector to emerging threats such as cyber terrorism.

Learners must then take two of the four optional units that are centre-assessed and moderated by OCR. The optional units we study are Project management, and the Internet of Everything.

All units assist in the development of transferrable skills such as communication and problem solving. The optional units encourage the development of time management, research and analytical skills as well as emphasising the need for good written and verbal communication skills.

This unit will provide you with the opportunity to understand and use various project planning skills and techniques, thereby enabling you to become more effective in the workplace.


All units in Year 12 are externally assessed and worth a total of 50% towards final Year 13 Grade. Two of the three units in Year 12 will be coursework based and assessed Internally



The following are points available per unit (See unit guide for appropriate guided learning hours)





A Level Equivalent




Points (60 GLH)




Points (90 GLH)





Once all units have been completed the following grades can be calculated from accumulated points






A Level Equivalent





Total Points

84 – 91

92 – 99

100 – 103