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A Level Computing at Hasmonean High School

Course description

This course has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of Computing would be beneficial. One can study Computing and go on to a career in medicine, law, business, politics or any type of science.

The course is not about learning to use tools or just training in a programming language, although you will learn the basics of programming. Instead the emphasis is on computational thinking. Computational thinking is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an important life skill. Thinking computationally means using abstraction and decomposition. The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it.

Computer Science involves questions that have the potential to change how we view the world. For example, we may be computing with DNA at some stage in the future, with computer circuits made of genes. This leads to the question, does the natural world ‘compute’? Experimental Computer Science can be done with computers whereby we can learn more about the natural world by observing the emergent behaviour of a colony of interacting software agents in a simulation.

Computing/Computer Science is about designing new algorithms to solve new problems. In this sense Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. Many great challenges lie in the future for Computer Scientists to solve. This course, with its emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, and scientific and engineering-based thinking, is a good foundation for understanding these future challenges.

Entry requirements

Grade B in ICT and Mathematics. If you did not take GCSE ICT, but have a real interest in the subject and do not meet the entry guidelines, please contact Ms Ah-Sam who will arrange an interview for suitability

Assessment

AS Award – studied in Year 12

Unit 1 – COMP1 (Problem Solving, Programming, Data Representation and Practical Exercise) 2 hour on-screen examination, 60% of AS, 30% of A Level

Unit 2 – COMP2 (Computer Components, the Stored Program Concept and the Internet) 1 hour written examination, 40% of AS, 20% of A Level

A-Level Award – studied in Year 13

Unit 3 – COMP3 (Problem Solving, Programming, Operating Systems, Databases and Networking) 2 hour 30 minutes written examination, 30% of A Level

Unit 4 – COMP4 (The Computing Practical Project) 20% of A Level

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 30 April 2015

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