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  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4

    GCSE Computer Science

    You should study Computer Science because you are interested in creating applications and in developing the skills and understanding which underpin the creation of your own applications. You should study Computer Science if you can think logically, can work independently and are prepared to put in a lot of hard work.
     
    Core
    Students will study the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). The course establishes a firm foundation of ICT knowledge and then builds on the learner’s initial experience and improves their understanding of computer applications including word-processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. The aim of the qualification is to recognise the application of a range of IT user skills and knowledge in the workplace, meeting employer workforce demands.
     
    What areas will I study?
    • fundamentals of algorithms
    • programming
    • fundamentals of data representation
    • computer systems
    • fundamentals of computer networks
    • fundamentals of cyber security
    • ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
    • aspects of software development
    • non-exam assessment
    How do you learn?
    This subject content will be taught within a range of realistic contexts based around the major themes within the specification of web, mobile, gaming and more traditional coding systems.
     
    How are you assessed?
    The qualification is split into three components:
    • Paper 1/40% of final grade: computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from content above
    • Paper 2/ 40% of final grade: theoretical knowledge from content above.
    • Non-exam assessment/20% of final grade: a project assessing a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described above.
    Where will this take me post-16?
    There are various courses students can follow if they wish to continue studying computer science post-16. This course can help you to prepare to go on to further and higher education. You can study A-level computer science/vocational courses and on to degree level courses in the areas of computing, engineering and science. The course would be useful for those entering work as well as those who want to carry on with further study.
  • Sixth Form

    a-level Computer Science

    Examination Board: AQA

    Introduction and Structure

    Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers. A challenging field, the emphasis of this course is on computational thinking and problem solving.

    The two year course covers fundamentals of programming; data structures and representation; algorithms; computer systems, organisation and architecture; communication and networking; databases. It also includes the theory of computation; the consequences of uses of computing; Big Data; a systematic approach to problem solving as well as a computing practical project.

    Assessment

    Paper 1: on screen exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A-level

    Paper 2: written exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A-level

    Non exam assessment: 75 marks - 20 % of A-level

    Careers and Progression

    Computing is the fastest growing sector in industry. Any career or further education course involving computing would benefit from this A-level. You can study computer science and go on to a career in medicine, law, business, engineering or any type of science. This course feeds into computer science studies or university courses for those who wish to progress into writing their own programs/games/apps/software. It is also suitable for those wishing to have a greater insight into how PCs actually work, which would suit those whose career will take them heavily into ICT as every industry uses computers in one way or another so the potential of future employment is high. 

    Entrance Requirements

    Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

    Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in maths

    Recommended: Grade 5 in computer science/ICT