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Computer Science A Level at John Masefield High School

Course description

OCR Computer Science is above all else relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the
academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. OCR’s A Level in Computer Science will value computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. Learners will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. The project approach is a vital component of ‘post-school’ life and is of particular relevance to Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace. Each learner is able to tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices and asp
irations. The key features of this specification encourage:

• emphasis on problem solving using computers
• emphasis on computer programming and algorithms
• emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and comparison of the complexity of a
lgorithms
•  less emphasis on ICT.

Course content

01 COMPUTER SYSTEMS
This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

•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.

02 ALGORITHMS AND PROGRAMMING
This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with two sections, both of which will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response questions.

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
There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.

Future opportunities

This qualification is designed to enable learners to enter employment as a programmer, operative or trainee within a wide range of Information and Communication Technology environments. Such learners would normally enter employment through a work-related training programme. The course has been designed to provide a broad educational basis for Further Education or for moving into employment within the ICT sector. Students
will develop the technical skills, knowledge and understanding needed to work within the sector.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact John Masefield High School directly.

Last updated date: 04 October 2016

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