Computing demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs; it relies on an understanding of the rules of language at a simple level; it encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems; it extends the students' horizons beyond the school or college environment in the appreciation of the effects of computer applications on society and individuals.
What grades do I need at GCSE to study this course?
Pupils should achieve Grade 7 or above in Computer Science and/or Grade 7 or above in Mathematics.
Expectations of students
Students will be expected to work hard, attend all lessons on time, be dedicated and be able to practice outside of lessons. It is advantageous for students to read weekly magazines and online publications in and around the technological world to keep up to date with latest advances.
This course is a natural progression from GCSE Computer Science. Students will develop general problem-solving skills, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, and scientific and engineering-based thinking.
This specification has been designed for students who wish to go on to Higher Education courses or employment where knowledge of Computing would be beneficial. Students can study Computer Science and go on to a career in Engineering, Medicine, Law, Business, Politics or any type of Science. It is very good preparation for a degree or diploma course where computing is a major component.
Component 1: Computer systems
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 (3 or 4).
Component 2: Algorithms and programming
This component will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the Computer systems component 1. In addition, students will be able to understand what is meant by computational thinking, the benefits of applying computational thinking to solving a wide variety of problems, able to use algorithms to describe problems, and understand the principles of solving problems by computational methods.
Component 3: Programming project
Students 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.