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Computer Science A-Level at St John Payne Catholic School

Course description

AS Level

Our Computer Science course is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. The course will:-

  • Focus on programming, building on our GCSE Computing and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.
  • Have an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.
  • Put computational thinking at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.
  • Allow student to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner.
  • Give students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS, CAS and top universities.

The content of this AS Level in Computer Science is divided into two components.

Computing principles component (01) contains the majority of the content of the specification and is assessed in a written paper recalling knowledge and understanding.

Algorithms and problem solving component (02) relates principally to problem solving skills needed by learners to apply the knowledge and understanding gained through the Computing principles component.

The specification has been designed to be co-teachable with the stand alone A Level in Computer Science. Mathematical skills are embedded throughout the content of the two components and assessed in the written papers where appropriate. The quality of extended responses are assessed in the written papers where indicated by an asterisk.

A Level

The content of this A Level in Computer Science is divided into three components.

Computer systems component (01) contains the majority of the content of the qualification and is assessed in a written paper recalling knowledge and understanding.

Algorithms and programming component (02) relates principally to problem solving skills needed by learners to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in Component 01.

Programming project component (03 or 04) is a practical portfolio based assessment with a task that is chosen by the teacher or learner and is produced in an appropriate programming language of the learner’s or teacher’s choice. The exam board OCR gives a list of programming languages which they will accept. If the task demands another choice of language that does not appear in the list, the task outline, the details of the programming language and the reasons for the choice of this language should be submitted to OCR for consideration.

The specification has been designed to be co-teachable with the stand alone AS Level in Computer Science. Mathematical skills are embedded throughout the content of the three components. They will be assessed in the written papers and through the non-examined assessment where appropriate. The quality of extended responses are assessed in the written papers where indicated by an asterisk. It is marked using levels of response style mark schemes and in the Evaluation section of the Programming project component.

Course content

AS Level

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Programming
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Computing principles (01) 70 marks 1 hour and 15 minutes written paper

50% of total AS level

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms

Algorithms and problem solving (02*) 70 marks 1 hour and 15 minutes Written paper

50% of total AS level

A Level

  • 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

Computer systems (01) 140 marks 2 hours and 30 minutes Written paper

40% of total A level

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms

Algorithms and programming (02*) 140 marks 2 hours and 30 minutes Written paper

40% of total A level

The candidate will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

Programming project (03* or 04**) 70 marks Non-exam assessment

20% of total A level

Entry requirements

Please note the minimum requirement to study AS levels at our Sixth Form is a GCSE points score of 42 points from your best 8 GCSE results. We award 8 points for an A* grade, 7 points for a grade A, 6 points for a grade B, 5 points for a grade C, 4 points for a grade D, 3 points for a grade E, 2 points for a grade F and 1 point for a grade G.

Subject Specific

Maths B, ICT B

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John Payne Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 24 June 2015

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