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Welcome to our Computing page

You will find lots of information below about the subject and how the department operates.

If you have any queries regarding computing please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

MOS 2016 certification gives students a commanding competitive edge in today’s academic and professional environments.

Heather Herring
Head of Computing and Business Studies

Newman Catholic School, Carlisle


Our aim at Newman Catholic School is to equip each and every student with the knowledge and skills in Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy, that will allow them to go on to further study or to pursue a career in this profession. All of our staff are Microsoft Office Specialists and this is an additional qualification, currently offered to our year 11 students.

Our students receive discrete Computer Science lessons to develop and apply their skills as well as other opportunities throughout different curriculum areas across the school. We have three dedicated and well equipped ICT suites within the department, and all students are also provided with their own email address.

We recognise the value of this subject and within it the use of the internet as an extremely powerful tool but equally we recognise that it can be an extremely dangerous place. Therefore, e-safety is at the forefront of all our teaching to ensure that each student is aware of their rights and responsibilities online, whilst also being able to evaluate the social impact of technology. All online content is monitored to ensure the safety of our students. Through this system we can block access to most inappropriate websites and record any suspicious activity. Students’ emails are stored and monitored regularly and there is thorough system in place to ensure everyone is kept safe. An internet safety contract must be signed by both students and parents / carers to provide consent to use the internet in school as well as to ensure correct and appropriate use.

All students also have access to OneDrive cloud storage to allow easy transfer of work between home and school. Our curriculum is complemented by a ‘Computing and Robotics’ after school club run by Mr Robinson. Here students have the opportunity to program Lego robots as well as constructing and controlling a drone aircraft. We offer after school computer clubs on a Wednesday allowing students to complete homework or catch up with coursework. All ICT rooms are available on a lunchtime on a daily basis.

Key Stage 3

Our key stage 3 curriculum is very much built around computer science, yet kept relevant to the interests and experiences of the students. We deliver units that will prepare the way for GCSE Computer Science including topics such as:

  • Problem Solving
  • Programming
  • Computers
  • Data and data representation
  • Communication and the internet
  • The Bigger picture

Every half term begins with a lesson on e-safety to promote safe and sensible use of technology. In year 9 we also begin to prepare students for their key stage 4 course which all students will go on to complete.

Key Stage 4

Every student will complete an ICT or computing qualification at Key Stage 4. As students prepare for their future career they need to develop their ICT skills in order to be successful. Most career options will involve some use of ICT and it is vital that students have an ICT qualification in order to gain the best possible advantage in the job market.

Students in year 10 will embark on one of two qualifications. Some have opted to study GCSE computing which focusses on the inner workings of a computer and also programming, whilst the remainder of the year group will complete a certificate in Open Systems and Enterprise, allowing them to complete projects that will apply their ICT skills to meet an end user’s needs.

Our Open Systems course now also includes a Microsoft Office Specialist Qualification which will allow students to gain certificates in Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel which will contribute to their overall GCSE grade as well as providing excellent evidence for their CV.

Key Stage 5

Students in year 12 have embarked on the BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology, a two year course that will see them completing four units of work which includes the following:

Unit 1 – Information Technology Systems – this will be externally assessed through an exam – studied during year 2

Unit 2 – Creating Systems to manage data – this will be externally assessed through a case study with preparatory tasks – studied during year 1

Unit 3 - Using Social Media in Business – internally assessed through coursework – studied in year 1

Unit 6 - Website Modelling or Data Modelling – internally assessed through coursework – studied in year 2.

UCAS Points    
Grade UCAS Tariff Reporting Grade to UCAS
Distinction* 140 D*
Distinction 120 D
Merit 80 M
Pass 40 P

More info at: Edexcel’s ICT page.

General Information

Most classrooms have ICT facilities available for students and the LRC is well equipped to allow students to study in their own time. Our ICT facilities are open for private study from 8.30am – 4.30pm every day and students are encouraged to drop in and complete homework or any study task. We have digital cameras available for student use and scanners are in all ICT suites.


Homework is set each lesson and is a mixture of academic tasks and research. If a student is unable to complete their homework they should see their teacher as soon as possible. If students need to complete an ICT task for homework facilities are available in school to allow them to do so.


As part of the Key Stage 3 programme of study students will complete modules on control and monitoring. We teach this unit using free downloadable software called Scratch. Why not download it now and practise? Towards the end of Key Stage 3 we also move onto written programming language such as Python. This is also free to download here.

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