Digital Literacy & Computing

“Becoming literate in how the technical world works is equivalent to reading, writing and maths. We need to look at this fourth literacy as mainstream. If you don’t really understand how the digital world functions you’re really living in a world where you don’t have the creative and innovation skills that are going to be needed in the future economy.”
Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation

IVth Form

The digital literacy course has two main objectives. Firstly to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, skills, and behaviours when using digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs and secondly, to introduce them to some key principles of computing and computer science.

Students will have one Digital Literacy lesson a week and through the course of the year they will study and be assessed on the following topics:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Databases and data representation
  • Computer communication and networking
  • Programming

The topic base is a broad one and by the end of the course students will have a solid foundation of knowledge and be prepared for further study in Digital Literacy and in particular Computing at a higher level.


Computing as a GCSE was introduced in 2016 in line with the new national specifications. It is currently a specialist subject with a relatively small cohort but with our exciting 7-18 Computing Curriculum in conjunction with Cranleigh Prep School and as the relevance of Computing in our lives becomes more visible and tangible, we anticipate significant interest in the coming years. 

Pupils follow the Edexcel GCSE Computing specification which builds on their understanding of the principles of computer science and at its heart helps them to apply computational thinking to problem solving.

Programming skills are a natural expression of problem solving and these are developed through a taught-course in Python, a high-level textual programming language. Pupils learn to decompose and model aspects of real-world situations leading to extensive project work designing, building and testing a fully-programmed solution to a problem.

The challenging course coves a wide range of theoretical computer science concepts including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. Pupils learn to think innovatively and logically building up an understanding of the components that make up digital systems and understanding how they communicate with one another and the wider internet.

Pupils also investigate how technology can be used proactively to help with current issues that impact on modern society, preparing them for their next steps in today’s global world.