ICT & Computing

In our everyday life we rely on computers to exchange and present information, so it's crucial for students to be confident in this area.  The department delivers courses to equip students with the appropriate skills in ICT & Computing to use in their school life, and also further ahead to their university and professional career.

ICT & Computing

ICT is about learning the skills to use the correct software to communicate effectively.  All students complete the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) qualification in Word and Excel. 

Computing is about helping students to develop logic and problem-solving skills.  This gives them the building blocks and confidence to create, analyse and interpret code, so that they are able to build systems that solve real-world problems.  We offer students the opportunity to take GCSE and A Level Computer Science.

Curriculum Structure

Year ICT Computing
Upper 3 (Yr 7) &
Lower 4 (Yr 8)
Development of ICT & Computing skills
Upper 4 (Yr 9) Word MOS
Development of
Computing Skills
Lower 5 (Yr 10) & 
Upper 5 (Yr 11)
Mandatory (L5 only)
Excel MOS Curriculum
GCSE Computer Science
6th Form   A Level Computer Science


Staff List

Mrs Davina Byrne - Lead Teacher of ICT
BSc (Hons) Farnborough, PGCE (PCET), QTS (ICT)

email: Davina.byrne@stcatherines.info
Has taught at St Catherine’s since 2009 but was a pupil at the school from 1988 to 1993. She studied Media Production and Technology for her degree at Farnborough, but then re-trained in ICT a few years later, before progressing into teaching. Prior to teaching at St Catherine’s, she worked as a Deputy Manager of a local community Outreach centre focusing on encouraging adults back into learning how to use computers. Her extra-curricular enthusiasms include: cycling, singing and glass painting.

Miss Sandra Morris - Lead Teacher of Computing
BSc (Hons) Surrey, Computing and IT, QTS
email: sandra.morris@stcatherines.info
Joined St Catherine's in 2017, where her main focus is the introduction of GCSE Computer Science. Miss Morris previously worked as Head of Computing in other schools and has taught both GCSE and A-Level Computer Science. Before this she worked in industry, at IBM’s headquarters where her role was within the Network Outsourcing Services team and she developed systems using Lotus Notes. Her extra-curricular enthusiasms include: DIY, cinema and London.

Curriculum - A Level

Examination Board: OCR


Why study Computer Science?

Computer Science is all about helping to solve real-world problems through technology. If you're the kind of person who can spot an opportunity and respond to a need, you can help to make the world a better place. In the course, you will learn how to build your skills in logic and problem-solving so that you're able to develop applications that have a really positive impact on people's daily lives.

In the Programming Project, you are encouraged to work on projects that solve problems that are relevant to your local area, home, or classroom. This is a completely independent project, as you get to choose which application you want to build and then decide how you will build it. Students love the opportunity to hone their project management skills and put to good use the techniques they've studied in the classroom.

Computer Science is a widely respected A Level and gives you a great stepping stone on your path. It blends really well with a wide variety of subjects, e.g. Maths, Economics, Psychology, Politics, Physics, and the Sciences. 

Course Content

  • Computer Systems:
    You will study processors, software, exchanging data, data structures, and the issues surrounding the use of computer systems.
  • Algorithms & Programming:
    Here you pick apart how to use computational thinking, e.g. abstraction and decomposition, to solve problems and develop algorithms.
  • Programming Project (Non-Exam Assessment):
    You choose and build a solution to a problem of your choice, written in a language of your choice, and using efficient techniques such as OOP (Object-Oriented Programming).


  • Computer Systems: exam 2 hours 30 mins, 40% of A level
  • Algorithms & Programming: exam 2 hours 30 mins, 40% of A level
  • Programming Project: 20% of A Level, marked by teachers, moderated by OCR.

Curriculum - GCSE

Examination Board: OCR

GCSE Computer Science SpecificationComputer Science is a great subject, as it gives students the opportunity to be creative and build their own systems. To do this successfully, students need a blend of skills that includes logic and problem-solving along with a big dose of inspiration! 

We aim to help students build these skills throughout the lower school curriculum, where all students throughout Upper 3 and Lower 4 (Years 7 and 8) study Computer Science alongside ICT for one lesson weekly (1 hour). Following this, GCSE Computer Science is offered as an option and leads on to A Level Computer Science as building blocks towards university and a professional career.


In Lower 5 (Year 10), students can opt for GCSE Computer Science, following the OCR J276 specification. The aim of the course is for students to:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • analyse problems through practical programming and projects
  • think creatively, logically and critically
  • understand the components of digital systems and how they communicate
  • understand the impacts of digital technology
  • apply the relevant mathematical skills.

During the GCSE course students study practical programming tasks, as well as how to design and interpret algorithms, backing this up with Computing theory. 


  • Computer Systems: Written paper, 80 marks (90 minutes)
  • Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming: Written paper, 80 marks (90 minutes)

Course Content

Component 1: Computer Systems (50%)
  • Systems Architecture, Memory & Storage
  • Network topologies, protocols & layers
  • System Security
  • Software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural & environmental
Component 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming (50%)
  • Algorithms
  • Programming Techniques
  • Computational Logic
  • Translators & Languages
  • Data Representation
Component 3: Programming Project (N/A)
  • Students complete a 20 hour project
  • Programming in Python
  • Analysis, Design & Development
  • Testing, Evaluation & Conclusion

Curriculum - MOS

Background of MOS

The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification is the world's most recognised ICT qualification for proving a person’s skills and abilities in Microsoft’s Office applications.  After each module is completed, students will be given a digital badge that can be added to their online profile on websites such as Linked In at a later stage.

Qualification Details:

  • Qualification Level 2 (GCSE grade 9-4 equivalent) 
  • Word exam taken in June of Upper 4
  • Excel exam taken in March of Lower 5

Universities & Organisations Offering MOS

The following universities and organisations offer the MOS qualification to their students / employees due to its prestigious nature:

  • University of Cambridge
  • Durham University
  • University of St Andrews
  • Lancaster University
  • Deloitte
  • NHS
  • Linklaters

Examples of Skills Covered in the MOS course

Microsoft Word

  • Inserting hyperlinks & bookmarks
  • Using section breaks
  • Inserting bibliography citation sources, footnotes & endnotes
  • Inserting a table of contents

A detailed list of the skills covered can be found here

Microsoft Excel

  • Conditional formatting
  • IF formulas and using ranges within formulas
  • Dealing with large groups of data - using subtotals and counting cells
  • Filtering data

A detailed list of the skills covered can be found here

Curriculum - KS3

Key Stage 3 (KS3) Curriculum

The KS3 curriculum studied in Upper 3 (Year 7) and Lower 4 (Year 8) covers the development of skills in both ICT and Computing, as well as encouraging students to become competent touch typists.

Students also participate in the Hour of Code, and Safer Internet Day.

Upper 3 (Year 7):

  • ICT - Introduction to touch typing skills
  • ICT - Notability (a note-taking app)
  • ICT - Effective web searching
  • ICT - Spreadsheets Basics
  • ICT - Word Basics
  • Computing - Algorithms and Flowcharts
  • Computing - How Computers Work (Binary)
  • Computing - Scratch Programming

Lower 4 (Year 8):