Balshaw’s Church of England High School

ICT & Computing

ICT & Computing Staff

  • Mr S Mort – Curriculum Leader
  • Miss D Lockhart
  • Mrs J Greenwood


  • There are approximately 420 computers in school for approximately 1000 students
  • There are 5 main computer rooms – these are connected to a Windows 2012 network
  • There are ICT suites in ICT, Science, Technology and the Learning Resource Centre
  • Computer rooms within the ICT & Computing Department are open during lunchtime (from 1pm onwards) and after school for student use – a timetable is displayed on the doors of rooms 33, 35 and 37
  • A pass must be obtained from Mr Mort to use the computer rooms at lunchtime


  • Year 7 students receive three lessons of Computing each fortnight
    • Each week, students will follow the Key Stage 3 Curriculum
    • In the extra lesson every fortnight, students will be taught Core ICT skills in Desktop Publishing, Word Processing, Presentation skills, File Management, Email and Internet research
  • Year 8 students receive one lesson of Computing each week and will follow the Key Stage 3 Curriculum
  • Year 9 students receive three lessons of Computing each fortnight
    • Each week, students will also follow the Key Stage 3 Curriculum
  • In Years 10 and 11, students can opt for extra specialist courses:-
    • GCSE Business and Communication Systems (from September 2017 this will change to GCSE Business Studies)
    • GCSE Computer Science
  • There is always 1 computer per student
  • There is a wide range of ICT used across the Curriculum – in all subjects

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Topics / Year









micro:bits & Scratch


Computers and Networks



Small Basic






Key Stage 4

GCSE Business & Communication Systems

Assessment is on both exam and controlled assessment (coursework)

The course covers the following topics:

The Business Environment

Security of Data


Business Administration

Recruitment and
Selection of Staff

ICT and Business Communications

The Workplace

Training and
Rewarding Staff

The Internet and E-commerce


  • Unit 8: ICT Systems in Business – Theory Exam (1 hour) (40%)
  • Unit 9: Using ICT in Business – Practical Exam (1.5 hours) (35%)
  • Unit 10: Investigating ICT in Business – Controlled Assessment (approx 8-12 hrs of class time work) (25%)


GCSE Computer Science

Assessment is on both exam and controlled assessment (coursework)

Current Year 10 students are following the new AQA 8520 (2016) Specification and the course covers the following topics:

Fundamentals of Algorithms


Fundamentals of Data Representation

Computer Systems

Fundamentals of Computer Networks

Fundamentals of Cyber Security

Ethical, Legal and Environmental Impacts of Digital Technology on Wider Society including Issues of Privacy

Aspects of Software Development


  • Paper 1: Computational Thinking and Problem Solving – Written Exam (1.5 hours) (40%)
  • Paper 2: Written Assessment – Written Exam (1.5 hours) (40%)
  • Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) – Controlled Assessment (20hrs) (20%)

Current Year 11 students are following the older AQA 4512 (2012) Specification and the course covers the following topics:

Constants, Variables and Data Types


Program Flow Control

Procedures and Functions

Scope of Variables, Constants, Functions and Procedures

Error Handling

Handling External Data

Computer Structure


Data Representation

Software Development Life Cycle

Application Testing


Use of External Code Sources

Database Concepts

The Use of Computer Technology in Society


  • Unit 1: Practical Programming – Two Controlled Assessment tasks (approx 25hrs per task – each worth 30%) (Total: 60%)
  • Unit 2: Computing Fundamentals – Written Exam (1.5 hours) (40%)
  • AQA GCSE Computer Science is a nationally recognised qualification that is supported by Microsoft



Free Internet access for all students via broadband. Secure filtering measures are in place to prevent access to, or introduction of, unsuitable material.

Microsoft Office 2010 (Access, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, Sharepoint and Word) are the main programs.