Bolton School Sixth Form Girls

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 using a range of real-world programming approaches
  • How computer architectures are structured
  • Data representation, Boolean algebra and databases

How will I be assessed?

There are two options - AS or full A level. It will be possible for AS and A level Computer Science to be co-taught, for example, you will be able to study AS Computer Science content in Y12 and continue with the full A level topics and extensions on AS content as well as the practical project within Y13.

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 Computer Science 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 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. Students who study Computer Science can go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Politics, any type of Science or a career in the wide and varied field of Computer Science itself. It is even anticipated that there will be one million extra technology jobs to fill by 2020.

“I am currently studying Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and Computer Science. I have enjoyed all of my subjects this year, in particular Computer Science. I decided to choose this subject because I am logically minded and enjoy problem solving. Computer Science is very different to ICT GCSE because it involves being able to program, something I have a great interest in.  I sometimes find the subject a little challenging which makes me want to keep trying to get the program I am creating to work. The opportunities are endless; you can make a program to do almost anything and I like the flexibility that the course provides. I wish to study Mathematics at university and, having done Computing, I feel it is an advantage which may enable me to program algorithms in the future.”
Anika