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Computer Science

Aims

This Advanced Level course will develop:

  • An understanding of, and the ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer systems.
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving problems, including writing programs to do so.
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • Mathematical skills.
  • The ability to articulate the individual, social, legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

What will I study?

All girls will have the opportunity to take AS and A2 in this subject.

  • The fundamentals of computing such as hardware, software and systems development.
  • The implications of computer use.
  • Computational thinking.
  • How to design solutions to particular problems and how to write maintainable programs.
  • How computer architectures are structured.
  • Data representation, Boolean algebra and databases.

How will I be assessed?

AS Level – There are two examinations (50% each)
Paper One (On-screen) & Paper Two (Written)

A Level – There are two examinations and one piece of coursework (80% theory exams, 20% coursework)
Paper One (On-screen) & Paper Two (Written)
Practical Programming Project

Desirable requirements

You should have good mathematical/verbal /written skills with an ability to think logically, creatively and critically. An interest in computing and programming, with motivation for background reading and problem solving is essential. It is not absolutely necessary that you have studied GCSE Computing or BCS.

How will I study?

The course will be divided into practical programming techniques and theory work. You will receive a Raspberry Pi computer kit for independent programming work at home. You will also use textbooks, read current newspaper and magazine articles, as well as carry out research via the internet (simply search for Computer Science!) and practical independent study. You will use programming languages such as Java or Python to solve challenges which will enable you to develop your problem solving skills.

Where will it lead?

This course will be useful for all career paths as computers are used in all areas of working life. A Level Computer Science has a systematic and logical approach to problem solving which is valuable across a wide range of educational studies. Mathematics is often studied alongside Computer Science and is generally required for those students who intend to go on to study Computer Science at university. 

 

“My AS subjects were Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology and History. From the start, Computer Science was particularly intriguing.  We studied Binary, computer languages and translators, and the operation of the CPU, as well as learning to code to an advanced level. Whilst intricate at times, the subject is very rewarding, especially when completing a working program. This fascination has prompted me to look into studying Computer Science at University and has greatly improved my logic and reasoning skills, while also improving my confidence and communication skills due to the varied theory lessons.”