Computing

Head of Faculty: Mrs S Wiltshire
Teaching Staff: Ms J Harding
Level of teaching: Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth

Computing focuses students on the technical aspects of IT with a specific emphasis on computer programming. For this reason students who have a particular strength in logic/mathematics will enjoy the course. Students use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies.

For further information about this course, please email the Head of Faculty, Mrs S Wiltshire
or telephone her on 01225 312661.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

This course is not studied at Key Stage 3.

Key Stage 4 (Year 10)

Course Code: GCSE Computing OCR J276
Exam Board Specification: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computer-science-j276-from-2016/

This GCSE (9-1) Computer Science course builds is relevant to the modern, changing world of computing, it’s designed to boost computing skills essential for 21st century.

It looks at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems, which students will study for the first time at this level. There is a greater emphasis on computational thinking and lessons where students can learn the theory and apply it in real life situations, in any computing language.Students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science will encourage learners to:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

Key Stage 4 (Year 11)

Course Code: GCSE Computing OCR J275
Exam Board Specification: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computing-j275-from-2012/

This qualification aims to give students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works including computer programming, which many learners find interesting. This is an alternative course to the OCR Level 1/Level 2 Cambridge National Certificate in ICT.

Through this study of computer programming, the course will help learners develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills. In this way, the course will stimulate interest and engagement with technology and technology-related careers.

If learners want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone.

This course is technical in its approach and elements of Mathematics are included.

GCSE in Computing will enable learners to:

  • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of ICT, able to make informed decisions about its use, and aware of the implications of different technologies
  • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Develop the skills to work collaboratively
    Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of and issues related to the use of computer technology in society.

Year 10

Terms 1 & 2
Algorithms
Boolean Operators
Iteration
Data Structures
Terms 3 & 4
Searching and Sorting Algorithms
Input and Output Systems
Binary and Hexadecimal
Problem Solving and Computational thinking
Programming Languages
Terms 5 & 6
Computer Systems Hardware and Software
Networks
Systems Security
Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Concerns

Year 11

Terms 1 & 2
Programming Project
Computer Systems
Terms 3 & 4
Programming Project
Exam revision

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level ComputingAQA 7516 & 7517
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517

This course is academically rigorous and would suit students who have an aptitude for Mathematics and logic. As such there is a minimum requirement of a grade B at GCSE Mathematics. This is however negotiable depending on individual students’ circumstances. GCSE Computing is not a prerequisite although it would be highly beneficial.

This course has a high degree of creativity, especially during the A2 course where students get to design and build their own software system to solve a real-life problem. Many students benefit from being able to talk about and demonstrate such a project at university or job interviews.

This course has been designed to provide candidates with a critical understanding of problem solving, programming, data representation and the systems development lifecycle. Students also study computer systems, hardware elements of computers, machine level architecture, hardware devices, the structure of the internet, web page design and the consequences of uses of Computing.

There is a clear distinction between this specification and the GCE ICT and GCE in Applied ICT specifications in that there is a high degree of mathematics, logic and computer programming.

Year 12 (7516)
Unit 1: Paper 1 –
50% AS or 40% A-Level – On Screen Exam
Unit 2: Paper 2 –
50% AS or 40% A-Level – Written paper

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of communication and networking

Year 13 (7517)

Unit 1: Paper 1 –
40% A-Level – On Screen Exam
Unit 2: Paper 2 –
40% A-Level – Written paper
Unit 3: NEA – Practical Project
20% A Level only – Internally assessed project.

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of communication and networking
Fundamentals of databases
Big data
Fundamentals of functional programming
Systematic approach to problem solving
Computing practical project.


Useful Links:
https://scratch.mit.edu/
https://www.codecademy.com/
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517