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Sir Graham Balfour School Computing A Level AQA (Block E) at The Stafford Partnership

Course description

A-Level Computing offers a balance of theoretical computational thinking and practical programming skills. It has an emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning and scientific and engineering-based thinking. It is a good foundation for further study and has been designed for students who wish to go into higher education or employment where knowledge of computer science would be beneficial. One can study computing and go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering or any type of Science.

 

Course content

Unit 1:

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Systematic approach to problem solving

 

 

Unit 2:

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming

 

 

Unit 3:

  • Non-exam assessment - the computing practical project

Entry requirements

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form is an 9-4 or A*-C in at least seven different subjects, including mathematics which would usually be at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C in previous years).

Assessment

  • Paper 1
    • Tests the students’ ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science.
    • 2 hour 30minutes on-screen examination.
    • 40% of A-Level.
    • Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs supplied by the examination board.
    • Preliminary material and skeleton programs are issued in advance of the examination.
  • Paper 2
    • Tests theoretical knowledge of Computer Science.
    • 2 hour 30 minutes written examination.
    • 40% of A-Level.
    • Compulsory short answer and extended answer questions.

 

  • Non-Examination Assessment
    • Assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.
    • 20% of A-Level

Financial information

It would be beneficial for students to purchase copies of the AQA approved text book for the course and a text book with programming exercises for practical experience.
We select the programming language to be taught for paper 1 to ensure there are free versions of software available for developing programs. Students may wish to specialise in a different programming language for their coursework and this may incur a cost if they wish to purchase a home license.

Future opportunities

The course has been designed for students who wish to go into higher education or employment where knowledge of computer science would be beneficial. One can study computing and go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering or any type of Science.

Further information

There is a clear distinction between this specification and the GCE ICT specification. It has been written to avoid any overlap of subject content. Students following this specification do not need to have any prior knowledge of Computing or ICT.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Stafford Partnership directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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