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Computer Science A Level at St Paul's Catholic School

Course description

Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement; it can look at the natural world through a digital prism.

The A-Level Computer Science qualification will value computational thinking helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

Course content

Unit 1 – Computer Systems worth 40% of the final A-Level. It is an examined unit that covers the following topics: • Software and its development • Types of programming languages • Data types, representation and structures • Exchanging data and web technologies • Following algorithms • Using Boolean algebra • Legal, moral and ethical issues.

Unit 2 - Algorithms and Programming worth 40% of the final A-Level. An examined unit with two sections:

Section A - Traditional questions concerning computational thinking: • Elements of computational thinking • Programming and problem solving • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition • Algorithm design and efficiency • Standard algorithms.

Section B – Scenario based questions: There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task and which will involve problem solving.

Unit 3 Programming Project worth 20% of the final A-Level. Centres select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Students will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C grades at GCSE. At least a B grade in Mathematics is desirable. However, students without a B grade in mathematics can be considered for the course after consultation with the Head of Computer.

Assessment

Exams.

Future opportunities

This qualification will be the best preparation for students who want to go on to study Computer Science at a higher level and will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Paul's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years

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