Computing and ICT

Mr Matthew McCarthy-Brown (Head of Department)  BSc PGCE (Exeter)
Mrs Pauline McFadden (Teacher) BSc Higher Diploma (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Miss Lucy Mills BSc (Birmingham)
Mr Andre Labuschagne (IT Manager)  
Mr John Taylor (Audio Visual ICT Technician)  
Mr Tim Perkins (ICT Technician)  

Computing and ICT are rapidly developing areas at Farnborough Hill.  Computing is taught to all pupils in Lower School (Years 7 - 9). Its main focus is on academic Computer Science, but it is taught in such a way as to also nurture skills in ICT that the pupils will be required to use in other subjects, as well as in later life.  Although based in spirit on the new national Computing Programme of Study, the Computing curriculum at Farnborough Hill is unique, with a core focus on academic Computer Science, computational thinking and problem-solving skills.  We aim to inspire girls to study Computing for the love of the subject and the talents it fosters, rather than through the use of gimmicks. (We keep that for our extracurricular activities). 

Year 7

  • Using Computers Safely, Effectively and Responsibly
  • Games Programming in Scratch
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • Touch Typing Skills

Year 8

  • Spreadsheet Modelling
  • Cryptography and Codebreaking
  • Introduction to Python Programming
  • Programming BBC Microbits

Year 9

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • More Advanced Python Programming
  • An Introduction to Binary Numbers and Text
  • Video Editing Project (Inspiring More Women to Study Computer Science)
  • Understanding Computer Hardware
  • Programming Using Swift Playgrounds
  • Programming / Digital Media Project

GCSE Computer Science

An academically rigorous course recently revamped for the new GCSE (9-1) grading criteria.  Computer Science is included in the list of Science subjects that meet the requirements of the EBacc.  The specification consists of three modules:

  • Computer Systems
  • Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Problem Solving
  • Programming Project


Offers pupils the opportunity to develop their understanding of the use of ICT in the real world. The specification consists of both theory modules and a practical examination. The topics studied include:

  • Digital Devices
  • Connectivity
  • Online Goods and Services
  • Applying Information and Communication Technology
  • Software Skills

A level Computer Science

Computer Science is an academic discipline born out of and linked to a number of well-established fields.  These include Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Biology and Psychology. Those who study Computer Science gain a greater understanding of how computers work, they also learn to create and code their own applications and programs using a number of different languages over the course of the two years. In addition to the computer-based skills, Computer Science also nurtures many skills useful in later life, including problem solving, reasoning and logical and computational thinking.

The individual units of study are:

  • Computer Systems
  • Algorithms and Programming
  • Programming Project