Information and Communication Technology

Year 9 Computer Science
 
A Level Computer Science

The ICT Department aims to empower students to become critical and effective users of ICT who will be capable of applying ICT as a tool to solve problems.  We seek to make students responsible citizens with regards to their usage of ICT and other related technologies.

YEAR 9

Computer Science in Year 9 has four strands: Computing, Computational Thinking, Information Technology and Digital Literacy.

Computing is more than programming, but programming is an absolutely central process for Computer Science. Programming encourages creativity, logical thought, precision and problem-solving, and helps foster the personal, learning and thinking skills required in the modern curriculum. Students will use graphical languages derived from Scratch as well as procedural languages such as Python.

Students will also learn about computational thinking. Computational thinking is something that people do (rather than computers), and includes the ability to think logically, algorithmically and (at higher levels) recursively and abstractly. A well-rounded student of Computer Science will also be proficient in other generic skills and processes, including: thinking critically, reflecting on ones work and that of others, communicating effectively both orally and in writing, being a responsible user of computers, and contributing actively to society.

Alongside Computing the skills of Information Technology (ICT) will be taught which include word-processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, databases, graphical and information handling skills. Digital Literacy skills for searching and evaluating information are also looked at alongside personal privacy and personal conduct issues whilst using technology.

GCSE

GCSE Computer Science is an option that is offered to pupils with good problem-solving skills who are interested in understanding how computing systems work. The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming.

Computer Science is different from ICT. Computer Science is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. This course will give you a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. The course will give you an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. It is a course for the enthusiast!

A diverse range of programming languages and environments will be explored as part of the course. These will include assembly language programming with the Little Man Computer, learning to code in Python, and writing declarative statements in SQL.

The specification consists of both theory and practical work. There is one common level of entry for all candidates and assessment is via an 80% written paper and a 20% coursework portfolio. Wherever possible the theory is learnt through, or in conjunction with, the practical work.

A LEVEL

OCR A-Level Computer Science is a stimulating and challenging A-Level that tests a wide range of competencies and demands students to immerse themselves in a range of different areas that all have one thing in common, the computer.

Whilst not all students who opt to study the course will have a burning desire to be a Computer Scientist, the course offers an insight into Software Development, Component Manufacturing, Algorithm Analysis, Database Architecture, Networking and Systems Analysis. The course would be a perfect accompaniment to those students’ programmes that already contain Physics and Mathematics because of the increased maths focus and the algorithmic and logical thinking that the subject demands. As such, it is recognised as a demanding subject by all Russell Group Universities and particularly useful for scientific and engineering related courses.

The new linear A-Level in Computer Science explores all things computer, from looking at its architecture, to the design and build of a complete Software Application for a defined end user. Students’ knowledge is assessed in two examinations at the end of Year 13 and an intensive Programming Project is completed in a suitable High Level Programming Language throughout Year 13.

It is not compulsory for students to have studied Computer Science at GCSE; however, students who have, or have an interest in Computing outside of the School curriculum, will have a distinct advantage. Because of the mathematical nature of the subject students are recommended to have a good grade in Maths at GCSE to start this course.


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