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Computer Science A Level at Gordon's School

Course description

The course is examined at the end of Year 12 and as a whole at end of Y13 There is a small Non Examined Assessment (NEA) in year 13 worth 20% of the final grade.

Unit 1: (Y12 and Y13)
In Year 12 this unit will cover student’s ability to program using standard programming concepts such as definite and indefinite iteration with conditions, use of arithmetic, relational and Boolean operations. Students will also program using a proceduralorientated method. Students will also develop their knowledge of the theoretical side of computer science from fundamentals of programming, fundamentals of data structures (single and multi-dimensional arrays), systematic approaches to problem solving (how to build suitable programs from set problems) and the theory of computation (abstraction, decomposition, composition and automation).

In Year 13 this unit will also include the fundamentals of algorithms and the skills learnt whilst studying the systematic approach to problem solving.

Unit 2: (Year 12 and Year 13).
This unitfocuses on fundamentalsof data representationwhich is heavilymathsorientated. Thisfocuses on natural,rational, irrational,real and ordinal numbers plus different number systems used by computersto represent data. Fundamentals of computersystemsincludes hardware,software and programming languages. Fundamentals of computer organization and architecture (how the CPU works and interprets and works with data). Consequences of uses of computing (ethical, moral and legal implications of working with IT systems) and the fundamentals of communication and networking (how computer networks work and transfer data).

For Year 13 this unit also includes fundamentals of databases, big data and the fundamentals of functional programming.

Unit 3: Non-Exam Assessment – The computing practical project (Y13 only).
The non-exam assessment assesses a 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, when creating the project, a student will analyse, design, create and test a program to solve a problem, this could be a website with dynamic content and a database back-end, a mobile app, an application for artificial intelligence, a computer game or something completely different.

Entry requirements

The minimum academic requirements to join the Sixth Form are:

1.     A minimum of three GCSE grades A* to C plus at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.
AND
2.     The grade criteria for individual subjects as outlined on the last page in this booklet.

Note:
Following the publication of GCSE results in August 2017 students may appeal to governors in the event of academic
requirements not being met. 

Assessment

Exam Papers Y12

Paper 1
50%
This is an on-screen exam. This paper tests a student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from the subject content of fundamentals of programming, fundamentals of data structures, systematic approaches to problem solving and the theory of computation. Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/ extend programs in an electronic answer document provided by the exam board.

Paper 2
50%
This paper tests a student’s ability to answer questions from the subject content of fundamentals of data representation, fundamentals of computer systems, fundamentals of computer organization and architecture, consequences of uses of computing and the fundamentals of communication and networking. The paper consists of a series of shortanswer and extended-answer questions.

Exam Papers Y13

Paper 1
40%
This is an on-screen exam. This paper tests a student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from the subject content fundamentals of programming, fundamentals of data structures, systematic approaches to problem solving, the theory of computation and fundamentals of algorithms and the skills learnt whilst studying the systematic approach to problem solving. Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document provided by the exam board.

Paper 2
40%
This paper tests a student’s ability to answer questions from subject content of fundamentals of data representation, fundamentals of computer systems, fundamentals of computer organization and architecture, consequences of uses of computing, the fundamentals of communication and networking, fundamentals of databases, big data and the fundamentals of functional programming. The paper consists of compulsory short-answer and extendedanswer questions.

Unit 3 Non-Exam Assessment - The computing
20%
The non-exam assessment assesses a 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.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 16 May 2017
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