The department's role is to equip students with the computing and digital literacy skills needed to use technology creatively, efficiently, safely and with confidence for an ever changing world. Our year 7 and 8 curriculum develops a range of digital literacy skills; students develop practical skills in the safe use of ICT and the ability to apply these skills to solving relevant, worthwhile problems; eg understanding safe use of internet and email as well as learning traditional office based skills along with specialist areas such as multimedia design and graphic manipulation.

In Computer Science, students apply the fundamental principles and concepts including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. They will also analyse problems to computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. We also teach a progression of Computing vocabulary to students throughout years 7 & 8.

From year 9 onwards, students have the opportunity to study ICT/Imedia or Computing as separate subjects. The curriculum that they will follow is designed to maximise their achievement both practically and academically.

Overview - Computer Science and Digital Literacy

Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4
Term 5
Term 6
Year 7

Digital Literacy: Intro to network plus office basics


Computer Science: Intro to Scratch Digital Literacy: Photoshop Computer Science: Microbits, plus block based coding Digital Literacy: Cinema Project (Excel) Computer Science: Optional units: eg Kodu, CAD and Augmented Reality
Year 8
Digital Literacy: Photoshop Projects Computer Science: Text based coding (python) Binary Digital Literacy: Video and Sound editing Computer Science: HTML Coding & Code Breaking Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets (excel) and data logging Computing Optional Units


Overview - iMedia

Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4
Term 5
Term 6
Year 9
Pre-Production Photoshop Illustrator Animation Video Editing Assessment project
Year 10
iMedia unit: RO94 Visual Identity and Digital Graphics Cambridge Nationals iMedia unit: RO98 Visual Imaging - Scenario provided by OCR
Year 11
Cambridge Nationals iMedia unit: RO81: Pre-Production Skills Exam Prep

Overview - Computing

Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4
Term 5
Term 6
Year 9
Intro to textual coding Coding Challenges
At the same time, students will be studying these units: 
All things binary Boolean Logic Programming techniques and fundamentals Searching and Sorting Computational thinking
Year 10
Languages & IDE’s Coding Challenges Operating Systems and utilities Networks Threats to networks Ethics within computing
Year 11
Embedded Systems Mock Revision Architecture Revision Exam prep
Year 12
Intro to C# coding with multiple challenges to complete
At the same time, students will be studying these units:  
Data Representation Networking Architecture Databases OOP coding
Year 13
Coding Challenges Skeleton code Preparation  
At the same time, students will be studying these units:  
Data structure & Mealy machines Computation Algorithms Revision  

Key Stage 3

Computer Science and Digital Literacy are taught as two distinct subjects following the National Curriculum programme of study for Key Stage 3. This provides both practical experience and a theoretical understanding of both Computing and ICT issues. All students have three lessons a fortnight and the two subjects are taught in turn, each term:

  • Term 1: Digital Literacy
  • Term 2: Computer Science
  • Term 3: Digital Literacy
  • Term 4: Computer Science
  • Term 5: Digital Literacy
  • Term 6: Computer Science
Computer Science

Students learn to problem solve, mostly through coding. Over the two years, students will experience making games with Scratch, creating websites by coding in html, designing a keyboard with Makey Makey, and programming BBC microbits. They will also experience emerging technologies such as VR and Augmented Reality. To have an insight into what GCSE involves, students are also introduced to some textual based languages including python, processing (java) and The department also offers a Game Coding Club for students to extend their experience; they can also make games using their own interests and ideas. The department has an arcade area for students to share the games that they code.

Digital Literacy

Lessons are designed so that students acquire a range of knowledge and skills required to use a computer competently and confidently. Students are encouraged to use the computer as a helpful tool to assist their studies in all areas of the curriculum, as well as to develop their skills in other key areas such as literacy and numeracy.

Students work on projects using a range of software including graphics, video/sound editing, word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, databases and web design. Relevant theoretical issues are covered during practical lessons rather than being taught in isolation. The department also have a range of technologies for students to gain hands on experience throughout their courses.

Key Stage 4

Students can choose to continue Computing or ICT (iMedia), or both into year 9.


The OCR Level 2 Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia is a course designed to provide students with practical skills and knowledge in digital media. The purpose of the course is to equip students with the necessary skills to work within the creative media industry or to progress to further education or training in media-related fields. We focus on developing students' practical skills in digital media production, including graphic design, photography, video editing and web design, using industry level software such as the Adobe Suite; Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. The course also aims to improve students' digital literacy by familiarising them with a range of digital tools, software applications, and technologies. Creative thinking is encouraged throughout the course, allowing students to develop their creativity through design.

In addition to technical skills, students also develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, time management, and project management, which are valuable in various professional contexts. Throughout Year 9, students are taught the technical skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as part of the digital graphic unit, alongside developing an understanding of the design and development process that is used within the Media Industry. This leads them into Year 10 where they complete the first of two assessed NEA projects. This course work involves creating a brand identity for a client and creating a range of Digital Graphics. This unit and goes 25% towards their overall grade. In Year 11 they complete a second NEA project where they learn the impact of Photography and Video in the Media Industry. This completes a further 35% of their final grade, concluding with a 1.5 hour written exam at the end of Year 11. All course work is completed in class time, where students are encouraged to develop their own time management skills to enable successful completion.


Studying GCSE Computing is an immersive journey where students explore computer science principles through theory and practice. They delve into algorithms, data representation, and programming languages like Python and Practical projects allow them to apply their skills, fostering collaboration and project management abilities. Hands-on experiments deepen their understanding of topics like networking and cybersecurity. Through rigorous exam preparation, they consolidate knowledge while discussing ethical and legal considerations. Overall, GCSE Computing equips students with essential skills and ethical awareness for success in the digital age.

Breaking this down, in the first year of the course our students experience as much coding as possible while hopefully having fun. They also investigate other languages such as SQL. Practical experience is also important; hence we also include the use of Lego Mindstorms (robots) to solve problems. Most of our Computing students choose the subject as they enjoy problem solving. Our students increasingly tell us that Computing is one of, if not, their favourite GCSE subject.

Post 16

Studying A-level Computing offers students a multifaceted educational journey, blending theoretical understanding with practical application. We delve into concepts like algorithms, data structures, and computer architecture. Students gain a profound comprehension of how computers function at their core. They immerse themselves in the programming language C#, honing their coding skills to tackle real-world problems and develop software solutions.

A-level Computing isn't solely about programming proficiency; it nurtures problem-solving prowess. Students dissect complex problems, devising algorithmic solutions and refining them through rigorous testing. Project work further hones their skills, as they embark on creating software applications or designing websites. Beyond the technical realm, A-level Computing cultivates critical thinking. Students evaluate solutions, consider the societal implications of technology, and ponder ethical dilemmas. Practical skills are developed through debugging code, optimizing algorithms, and collaborating on coding challenges. Ultimately, A-level Computing serves as a launchpad, preparing students for further academic pursuits in computer science or careers in technology-related fields. Our sixth form classes are made up of students with different backgrounds.

Several students will have taken GCSE Computing and wish to continue it as an A-level. We also have some students that did not take Computing at GCSE; these are required to have a good GCSE in Mathematics. Harvey School for Boys do not currently offer GCSE or A-level Computing so we allow a few of them to join us for our course.

Extra Curricular Opportunities

The department currently offers Lego robotics, VR and Escape Room sessions outside lessons. The department also facilitates students so that they can contribute to the school eMagazine.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow: Next Gen

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow: Next Gen competition is an amazing opportunity for students to come up with an idea to solve a problem, using technology for good. 

Talikha in 8S announced as national winner in summer 2023


Bebras Computing Challenge 2023

In November 2023, 360 students across Year 7, 8 and our KS4 and KS5 Computer Science students took part in the Bebras Competition. This competition challenges students to solve several different computational thinking puzzles and encourages them to develop their resilience. Everyone who took part tried their best and many surprised themselves with the results a couple of weeks later.


  • 39 students achieving a Gold Award (Top 10% Nationally)
  • 92 students achieving a Distinction
  • 96 students achieving a Merit


CyberFirst Girls Competition

The CyberFirst Competition is an amazing opportunity for young, tech-savvy girls to put your problem-solving skills to the test. The students got the opportunity to get hands-on experience with solving Cyber Security challenges and puzzles, all while learning about the importance of online safety. 

This year we had 45 Year 8 students take part in the competition over the two-week period. All the students that participated worked hard as a team and every lunchtime the Computing room was full of energy and not a spare seat in sight!


The CanSat competition provides students with the opportunity to have practical experience working on a small-scale space project. They are tasked with designing and building their own simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. 

Our Year 12 team have challenged themselves to complete a guided landing as their secondary mission and are looking forward to travelling to an aerodrome in Essex in March to launch their satellite.

Tech for Good Conference

On Friday 22 September 2023, we were delighted to welcome Damian Collins MP and Deborah Honig, VP of Samsung One, to speak to our students. It explored the journey of Deborah and Samsung as whole, starting from a noodle business before becoming the technology giant it is today. Damian Collins hosted a discussion around the issues young people face with navigating a technological world.

Sky Up Academy Studios

On Tuesday 20 February, 31 students had the opportunity to visit Sky's studios in Osterley, London. Once they arrived, they were tasked with coming up with an idea and then using their own studio to create a short movie-trailer. Before the big screening, the group were able to go to the viewing gallery for Sky Sports seeing the live show being recorded and even getting to meet one of the presenters. After the short tour, the group sat down to enjoy their trailers and left with their own QR codes to be able to watch back their trailers at home.

Samsung Europe HQ Visit

On Monday 27 November, 40 Year 8 students visited Samsung's European HQ in Chertsey. The group had the opportunity to get hands on with the latest technology in their virtual apartment with technology ranging from an oven that will perfectly cook your cookies, to lighting that syncs with the movie you are watching. Students split into small teams and were challenged to create a new sustainable tech idea, before they pitched it to a panel of experts. It was fantastic to see the variety of ideas they thought of and their confidence when pitching their ideas.

National Museum of Computing

In April 2023, Computer Science students visited the National Museum of Computing. We completed a scavenger hunt around the museum where we learnt about the history of computers, including those that were key to shortening the length of WW2. There were also a couple of different workshops that we took part in, programming a game of Snake using BBC Basic and a discussion around AI and robotics. Finally, before we departed there was an opportunity to visit their arcade where students played a variety of retro video games.

Online Resources

Exam Boards

GCSE Computing - OCR

iMedia - OCR

A-level Computing - AQA

If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact the school.