Computer Science offers students an insight into the role and relevance of computing technology in the modern world. Computer Science provides an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the workings of computer systems regarding how they communicate with each other, interpret data, share data and the moral, legal and cultural implications of them.

It will also require students to learn a programming language in detail and how to use this language to create computer programs in order to solve problems. Students who opt for this subject will ideally have already gained a range of subject knowledge from their own personal interest in computers and programming.



I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Honours Degree in Business Studies. After graduation I spent time working in a variety of industries and it was whilst coaching football in the USA that I discovered my enjoyment in working with children. I joined Shireland in September 2000 and have fulfilled in a wide range of roles during that time. Currently I manage the Business and ICT faculty and I am the Careers Leader in the Academy.

WHAT IS COVERED IN:

Aspects of computer science are covered within the L4L curriculum.

Year 9 students who wish to take GCSE Computer Science as one of their options choices will begin preparation for the GCSE in the spring term of that academic year. Students will complete a course in Learning Python Programming and learn the fundamentals of computer science.

GCSE Computer Science
the course will cover the following topics:

  • Programming techniques
  • Algorithms
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational Logic
  • Data representation
  • Translators and Facilities of computer languages
  • Systems software
  • System security
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • Wired and wireless networks​
  • Systems Architecture
  • Systems memory
  • Systems storage
  • Analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation of a computer program to solve a problem

In Year 10, students will complete their course in Learning Python Programming and complete their programming project. They will then study the OCR GCSE Computer Science course content until the end of the course in year 11.

The first year of A-Level Computer Science will serve as an in-depth study of computer science theory and the fascinating topics contained within. In year two students will further their study of computer science theory and use this theoretical knowledge to create a robust, computer program to solve a real-world problem that would benefit from computation, making use of an industry-standard computer programming language.

KS4 COURSE

WHAT IS THE COURSE ABOUT?

To provide learners with an opportunity to develop and practice real-world programming and provides a good understanding of the fundamental principles of computing.

The new specification also offers a significant emphasis on computational thinking.

The course will:

  • Enable you to have a detailed and in-depth knowledge of how computer technology works at a coding and logical level
  • Develop understanding and use of algorithms and their use in the computer industry
  • Develop programming techniques to allow you to resolve problems in the real world by writing software
  • Understand the responsibility and wider impacts of computing on people and society
  • Prepare you for further study or employment in the field of Computer Science
  • Develop your logical thinking, problem-solving and mathematical abilities

Which topics are covered?

  • Programming techniques
  • Algorithms
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational Logic
  • Data representation
  • Translators and Facilities of computer languages
  • Systems software
  • System security
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • Wired and wireless networks​
  • Systems Architecture
  • Systems memory
  • Systems storage
  • Analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation of a computer program to solve a problem

WHAT CAN COMPUTER SCIENCE LEAD TO?

  • Software Developer
  • Cyber security Officer
  • Digital Manager
  • Game Developer
  • Computer Science Teacher
  • Data analyst
  • Nano-technology Engineer

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

The OCR GCSE Computer Science will be assessed in the following way (until the summer exam season in 2021)

Paper 1: Computer Systems – Written exam: A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge. – 1 hour 30 minutes – 50% of GCSE. No calculators will be allowed in the examination​.

Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and problem solving – Written exam set in practically based scenarios: A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills. Questions are phrased using pseudo-code and so are independent of any specific programming language – 1 hour 30 minutes – 50% of GCSE. No calculators will be allowed in the examination.

Non-exam assessment – The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development. There will be a single task, with a fresh one for each exam year – A report totaling 20 hours of work will be expected of each student who will study GCSE Computer Science.

WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?

The course suits pupils with an interest in computers and programming. Pupils who enjoy working methodically and logically will thrive on this course.  Good maths skills, enthusiasm and problem-solving skills are a must.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

What websites are useful to look at?

If you want to find out more about this qualification, to help you decide whether it’s right for you, talk to Mr Egere or Mr Forbes in the ICT Office.

KS5 COURSE

WHAT CAN COMPUTER SCIENCE LEAD TO?

Computer science as a subject can lead to a variety of careers or higher education courses. The skills it develops can lead to:

  • Software Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Cyber security Officer
  • Digital Manager
  • Game Developer
  • Network Engineer
  • Computer Science Teacher
  • Data analyst
  • Nano-technology Engineer

COURSE OVERVIEW

Component 1 – Computing Principles

1.1 The Characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

1.2 Software and Software Development

1.3 Exchanging Data

1.4 Data types, structures and algorithms

1.5 Legal, moral, ethical, cultural issues

 

Component 2 – Algorithms and Problem Solving

2.1 Elements of Computational Thinking

2.2 Problem Solving and programming

2.3 Algorithms

 

Component 3 – Computer Programming Project

Analysis of the Problem

Design of the solution

Developing the solution

Testing the solution

Evaluation

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

OCR A Level computer science is assessed near the end of the second year of study, with 2 examinations and a computer programming project. Each examination makes up 40% of the final year grade, with the programming project being 20% of the final grade.

Paper 1: Computing Principles – Written exam: A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge. 2 hour 30 minutes. No calculators will be allowed in the examination.

Paper 2: Algorithms and problem solving – Written exam: A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills. Questions are phrased using pseudo-code and so are independent of any specific programming language. No calculators will be allowed in the examination.

Computer Programming Project – The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which  has been well documented, designed and tested by each individual student to solve a problem. Students will be independent in choosing their own problem to solve.