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Computer Science at Birkdale is a fun but challenging subject that aims to turn students from computer users and content consumers into computer programmers and content creators. The subject also incorporates aspects of ICT such as digital literacy and communication via the technology that forms a staple part of our everyday lives. Students are given the opportunity to develop a number of key skills:
Students have excellent opportunities to leave Birkdale with relevant Computing qualifications. At the end of S5 we offer the highly-regarded Cambridge IGCSE in Computer Science and at A Level we are studying the new OCR Computer Science syllabus introduced in 2017. Those who study Computing at A level often go on to study related subjects at University. Recent leavers have gone on to study Computer Science, Business Studies, Electronics & Software Engineering, and Mathematics.
At lunchtime the department is a magnet for students who want to extend their studies or develop new skills. Code Club caters for those who prefer computational thinking challenges such as calculating Pi to millions of places or breaking the Nazi Enigma codes. Other extra-curricular activities available include Game Making Club using industry-standard systems such as C# and Unity or building and coding small robots. Clubs run in addition to iGCSE Computing and A level Computing Clinics where students are supported in their exam and coursework preparation.
In S3 (Year 9) students can choose to study a one-year Computing option. This course is taught as a series of modules with emphasis on producing working, usable outputs and applications:
This is a popular option that allows students to experience different aspects of the creative processes that go into making the apps and games they make use of on a daily basis.