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Developing lifelong digital skills and experiences in Computer Science

Mr Hamilton, who is our Head of Computing and IT Services at Bethany School, gives us an update of all the goings on in the Computer Science department.

It continues to be another exciting year for Computer Science department and the whole school IT provision and we are only one term in! This year the Computer Science department welcomes Mr Hampton who is teaching KS3 and IT Skills lessons and Mr Philbin who is also teaching an IT Skills lesson.

It is the mantra within the department that learning shouldn’t just be about knowledge acquisition, although this is important, developing and practising skills can stay with you for life. Year 11 pupils, having finished their mock examination, will be focusing on their revision for the summer examinations but will also be developing their 80:20 projects. Based upon the scheme run at Google a few years ago, pupils would be able to develop their programming skills, outside of the specification of the subject to embed wider reading through practical programming skills. They are developing their program to solve a problem of which would be presented to a panel. I look forward to seeing to what they will achieve!

CS&IT 2This year, in Year 9 IT Skills, I have adapted the scheme of work to now include the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications. Pupils will be able to develop and be assessed in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and gain an internationally recognised qualification that could prove vital in the world of work in the future. Through a series of on-screen tasks, pupils are able to demonstrate different key skills in each application before undertaking a practical examination. The classes are focusing on Microsoft Excel at the moment and already they are learning new skills!

A recent survey from a leading recruitment agency asked employers what were the top skills that they were looking for in employees. Unsurprisingly, problem solving and digital skills made it into the top 10 but also communication skills and open-mindedness were highly ranked. As a department, being able to develop these skills through different experiences is innate. 40 pupils and 4CS&IT 1members of staff will be looking forward to enhancing their cultural, technological and academic experiences by visiting Tokyo, Japan in October of this year. An information meeting will follow shortly at the start of the summer term.

As the old saying goes; “you learn something new everyday”, doesn’t just apply to those in School. As adults, we are constantly learning and from time to time, challenge ourselves to develop our own skills and practises. I am hopeful that in the summer term, I will be able to offer 

stakeholders of Bethany School (parents, guardians, staff, governors etc) the chance to develop their Microsoft Office skills by undertaking the MOS exams as well. Study and revision can be done at home with the examination taking place in School.


As part of our Showcase School status, we are keen to help schools across the country on their Microsoft journey. If you have any associations with other schools would benefit from our assistance, please let us know by contacting the School and we will be able to take it on from there.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin