Computer Science has been added to My Courses

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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent
  • GCSE Mathematics at grade 6
  • GCSE English Language at grade 5
  • Pass Computer Science Transition Task

80%exams

20%coursework

Exam board: AQA

96%Pass rate for 2018

This course aims to develop your ability to solve computational problems and to recognise when they are correctly solved or not.  Expressing yourself precisely and thinking algorithms through carefully are qualities that are encouraged and will have lasting value.

Prior study of Computer Science or ICT at GCSE level is not essential, but a strong interest in Computing is required and a substantial transition task will need to be completed before enrolment. The course has an emphasis on abstract thinking, creative problem-solving, implementing programming skills, and mathematical reasoning. It has been designed to suit students wishing to continue on to either HE Computer Science or related degrees or to employment in areas where knowledge of Computer Science would be beneficial.

Molly

Molly

Course Content

Paper 1

Theory of computation. Fundamentals of programming, data structures and algorithms. A 2 hour 30-minute on-screen exam based on seen and unseen material with a range of programming tasks. Worth 40% of the A-level.

Paper 2

Fundamentals of data representation, functional programming, computer systems, organisation and architecture, communication and networking. Big data and the consequences of the uses of computing. A 2 hour 30 minute written exam worth 40% of the A-level.

Non-exam assessment

Individual programming project of the candidates own choice worth 20% of the A level

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by well qualified and experienced staff. Teaching methods include exposition, discussions and allow plenty of time to develop practical skills in both packages and programming. Current programming languages taught include Java, Haskell and SQL. You will also have opportunities to take STEM projects including participation in a robotics club. You are expected to do a substantial amount of both practical and theory work outside the classroom.

Method of Assessment

Progression assessment will take place in June of the first year. External assessment will be taken in June of the second year.

Resources

Appropriate textbooks are available and need to be purchased for the course. Study guides are prepared for learning practical skills and are available on the college virtual learning environment (Moodle). The College has several Computer Suites each containing over 20 PCs networked to the main College system where students can log in and still access their files on the student server. Remote access via the Internet is also available. A selection of microcontrollers and associated kits are available for those interested and for possible use in A-level or EPQ projects.

Progression

A-level Computer Science is accepted as an appropriate qualification for entry to many degree courses and gives a very good start to students wishing to take Computer Science at degree level. It is also well thought of by employers for students wanting to go straight into employment.

Additional Costs

You will be charged for printing and there are also costs incurred privately in buying textbooks and memory sticks to back up project work if desired. A trip to Bletchley Park is planned and currently, the cost for this is £35.

Enrichment

You will be encouraged to participate in enrichment activities, including the robotics club, which meets regularly and competes in an annual national robotics competition,  the National Cipher Challenge where students program tools to break a series of ciphers, the national British Informatics Olympiad competition and many additional STEM activities including trips, talks by visiting speakers, university access programs, CREST gold awards and applying for summer placements programs.

Progression

A-level Computer Science is accepted as an appropriate qualification for entry to many degree courses and gives a very good start to students wishing to take Computer Science at degree level. It is also well thought of by employers for students wanting to go straight into employment.

Computer Science provides an insight into how algorithms increasingly impact on the world we live in that helps inform our understanding and supports other subjects that make use of computer science.

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