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ICT A Level at King Edward VI Community College

Course description

A Level Computer Science is an exciting new course open to students who have studied Computer Science at GCSE and those who would like to start a new challenge. The subject suits students who already have an interest in how computers work or how to program and have a good level of Maths.

The course is broken down into three units, each assessed in a different way. Unit 1 has a two hour on-screen exam to test student’s abilities to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science. Unit 2 has a two hour written paper on a range of computer science topics from data representation and databases to computer architecture and communication networks. Unit 3 involves students investigating and solving a real problem using a systematic approach and the application of their programming skills.

The first year of the course will cover units 1 and 2 and enable students to take the AS exams in these units. This will allow students to assess their progress through the course or to stop after one year with a qualification

Course content

A lot of time will be spent developing students’ skills in the programming. This will be using text based languages such as Python and Visual Basic, along with object-oriented languages such as Java. Key aspects will be using different variable types and data structures, structured programming using procedures and functions and exception handling.

In Year 12 students will also learn how computers store different types of data (numbers, characters, images and sounds), methods of data encryption and compression, Boolean algebra and logic gates, how computers process and store data using binary digits and the fundamentals of networks and data transmission. In year 13 students will move on to more complex data structures, alternative algorithms for searching and sorting data, relational databases and functional and object-oriented programming.

Entry requirements

Grade C or above in GCSE Computer Science (if taken) – student CAN take this course without having done GCSE Computer Science.

Assessment

Students will learn through a mix of teacher input, student research and practical application. Most of the resources will be made available online through Google Classroom and students will be encouraged continue practical work on their own computers.

Future opportunities

A Level Computer Science supports progression into further education, training and employment. Possible routes may include degrees in computing and ICT, BTEC Higher National in Computing, BTEC Foundation Degree in Computing and related fields.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Community College directly.

Last updated date: 08 February 2017

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