Computer Science

Exam board: OCR
Guidance: Grade 5 in GCSE maths and English language
Course Start Date: 09/2020
Course length: 2 Years
Course description

 It gives an insight into a range of computing systems.
 It includes a practical coursework unit – which is the best way to develop practical skills in computing.
 There is a simple assessment method, and examination papers are externally assessed.
 There will be an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.

Through this qualification, students can develop:
 The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
 An understanding of the organisation of computer systems
 The ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems
 Apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems
 An understanding of the consequences of using computers, an awareness of emerging technologies and an appreciation of their potential impact on society
 Value computational thinking, develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

Course units

Unit 1 Computing Principles
This first unit is a real introduction to the principles upon which computer systems are based. It examines how modern processors and operating systems work, what software is and how it is developed, and the structure and exchange of data, as well as the legal and ethical issues surrounding computer use.
Students gain an appreciation of computing principles, including operating systems, introduction to programming, data types, structures and algorithms, exchanging data and web technologies, using Boolean algebra, and understanding the importance of legal and ethical issues.
It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including software and its development, types of programming languages, data types, representation and structures, exchanging data and web technologies, following algorithms, using Boolean algebra, and legal, moral and ethical issues.


Unit 2 Algorithms and Problem Solving
This unit focuses on the design of solutions to problems and the tools used to implement these designs. Students will learn ways of approaching solving problems and of implementing solutions. Students learn a programming language and use this to develop and test their own solutions to problems. Also the unit covers analysis of algorithms and the implementation of a range of standard sort and search processes.
Students will apply elements of computational thinking, programming techniques, software development methodologies, algorithms, and standard algorithms to a real world scenario through a mixture of short and long exam questions.
Students gain an appreciation of designing solutions to particular problems, applying elements of computational thinking, programming and problem solving, pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition, algorithm design and efficiency, and investigating and writing standard algorithms.


Unit 3 Computing Project
Through coursework, students gain an understanding of definition, investigation and analysis, system design, software development and testing, documentation, evaluation and how to produce written reports covering these topics.

Assessment

Unit 1 – Exam 40 %
Unit 2 – Exam 40%
Unit 3 – Project 20%

What can I go on to
It is excellent preparation if you are looking to take computing studies at degree level, or for anyone considering any kind of career in computing.

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