Computing is valuable for almost every job and profession. The study of computer applications is an insight into the functioning of commerce and industry, and the techniques of problem solving. There is a wide range of careers for people with some knowledge and expertise in computing as accountants, statisticians, mathematicians, actuaries, as well as economists. There are opportunities in ATC, Civil Service, Health Service and in engineering, publishing and many other technical careers.
At GCSE, pupils get a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. You will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology. However, this course will give you an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing.
The Computing A Level is for those individuals that have the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
This GCSE course brings pupils up to date with the latest developments in the world of Computing. The course teaches how computers work, contemporary issues in computing and coding. There is an emphasis on creativity, computational thinking and mental versatility. The high level of rigour makes it eligible as one of the subjects that will count towards the EBacc qualification whilst still maintaining a practical and creative focus.
The specification looks at all aspects of Computer Science and provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the computing industry.
Throughout the GCSE programme you will:
- Develop skills with programming in at least one language
- Develop an understanding of how computers work
- Develop an understanding of the maths of computers, including logic, binary and algorithms
- Explore and develop an understanding of the wide range of issues regarding the use of computers in modern society
- Create solutions to a range of practical problems by writing code and building computer based systems
Component 01 – Computer Systems
The first component is an exam focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory.
Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming
This component is focused on the core theory of Computer Science and the application of Computer Science principles.
Component 03 – Programming Project (non-exam assessment)
This component is the non-exam assessment where candidates will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.
Students consider the fundamentals of Computing together with programming techniques and logical methods. Topics include: hardware and software, the structure, management and transmission of data, systems development, procedural programming and designing, testing and running solutions to problems.
In their second year the students will learn knowledge and understanding of the theory by choosing, in conjunction with their teacher, a well-defined user-driven problem of an appropriate size which enables them to demonstrate their skills in Analysis, Design, more advanced computing theory to include: functions of operating systems and translators, computer architecture, advanced data structure and manipulation, features of high and low level programming languages and advanced database theory. They will then develop their Software Development, Testing, Implementation, Documentation and Evaluation, and their interrelation; and to give a completed overall system that solves the problem.
The AS is made up of two mandatory units, which are externally assessed and form 50% of the corresponding four-unit A2. The A2 course consists of 2 units: one is externally assessed and one is internally assessed through a major project.