Computer Science

Computer Science Teachers

  • Mr R Zapata (Subject Leader)
  • Mr A Semwogerere

Computer Science: Key Stage 3

Year 8:

  • To understand how data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text, sounds and pictures, and be able to carry out such manipulations by hand.
  • To understand at least two key algorithms for each of sorting and searching.
  • To use two programming languages to create application, one of which is textual, each used to solve a variety of computational problems; use data structures such as lists and dictionaries; use procedures to write object-oriented programs; for each procedure, be able to explain how it works and how to test it.

Year 9:

  • To understand simple Boolean logic (such as AND, OR and NOT) and its use in determining the application and functionality inside the computer.
  • To explain how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system.
  • To undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.

Computer Science: Key Stage 4

Exam Board: OCR

Course: GCSE Computer Science

Link to specification: OCR

Computing is of enormous importance to the economy, and the role of Computer Science as a discipline itself, as an ‘underpinning’ subject across science and engineering, is growing rapidly.

Young people need to develop skills that will enable them to pursue a career in Computer Science if they so choose, and which will also help them gain valuable skills for life – for example, in innovation, reasoning, logic, resourcefulness, precision, problem-solving and clarity. These skills will enable them to become authors of computational tools rather than simply users.

As adult workers, young people will be applying for jobs that have not yet been invented. Technology changes but the principles and concepts upon which they are built remain constant. A good grounding in Computer Science will teach young people how to deal with change later in life and play an active and effective role in the digital world.

A course in Computer Science offers candidates a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of how computers work and to create and troubleshoot computer programs for real-life purposes relating to their own personal interests. Computer Science develops valuable programming and computational thinking skills, which are increasingly relevant to a wide variety of jobs. Employers want workers with an understanding of rigorous principles that can be applied to changing technologies.

This GCSE specification encourages candidates to explore how computers work and communicate in a variety of contexts. There is ample opportunity for them to apply and consolidate their knowledge of computer programming by carrying out practical tasks that will develop their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence. They will develop the skills of design and evaluation, and they will test and problem-solve when errors occur in both their own systems and those of others.

Computer Science: Key Stage 5

Exam Board: OCR

Course: A-Level Computer Science

Link to specification: OCR

This course will enable learners to develop a broad range of skills in the areas of programming, system development, computer architecture, data, communication and applications. The knowledge, understanding and skills are set by different projects, activities and research. There is no hierarchy implied by the order in which content and amplification are presented.

Component 1: Computer systems:
Written Examination 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of qualification

This component will introduce learners to the internal workings of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the exchange of data and will also look at software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. It is expected that learners will draw on this underpinning content when studying computational thinking, developing programming techniques and devising their own programming approach in the Programming project component (03 or 04).

Learners will be expected to apply the criteria below in different contexts including current and future uses of the technologies.

Content Overview:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Component 2: Algorithms and programming:
Written Examination 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of qualification

This component will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the Computer systems component (01).

In addition, learners should:

  • understand the principles of solving problems by computational methods
  • understand what is meant by computational thinking
  • understand the benefits of applying computational thinking to solving a wide variety of problems
  • be able to use algorithms to describe problems
  • be able to analyse a problem by identifying its component parts.

Content Overview:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms

Component 3: Programmed solution to a problem
Non-exam assessment - 20% of qualification

Learners will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. Learners are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development.

While the project assessment criteria are organised into specific categories, it is anticipated the final report will document the agile development process and elements for each of the assessment categories will appear throughout the report.

Content Overview:

The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

Specific Entry Requirement:

GCSE Grade 6 or above in Computer Science and GCSE Grade 5 or above in Mathematics and English Language. Students who do not have a GCSE in Computer Science would need a meeting with the Subject Leader.