Computer Science at South Wilts Grammar School for Girls
The aims of this subject are to enable learners to:
- develop an understanding of and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
- develop the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
- develop the capacity for thinking creatively innovatively analytically logically and critically
- develop the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
- develop mathematical skills
- develop the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.
How will you learn?
We learn in a variety of ways. Theory work is taught by discussion, group work, book and internet based research, computer use and traditional teacher-lead lessons. Programming is taught via a range of practical tasks, the aim being to prepare you thoroughly for programming theory exam questions and your coursework project at A2. Typically each task will be introduced and explained and you will be given skeleton code to complete and enhance, giving you a chance to show off your creativity and develop your programming skills to a high level.
We put support material on the school network to help with programming, and to help with some theory topics. The programming languages we currently use is Visual Basic and Python, which are free for you to download and install on your home computer, providing the opportunity for you to develop programs both in and outside school. There will be opportunities to explore other programming languages.
The department also brings in guest lecturers including Oxford University Professors to deliver some lessons.
A logical mind with an enthusiasm for problem solving is essential. Grade A in GCSE Maths is advised, although we are willing to be flexible in special cases. Experience of studying Computing at GCSE level will be of significant benefit, as the AS course builds directly on many of the topics covered in the GSCE. The classes will contain two streams in order for new students to the subject to catch up. You should be able to organise your work, have patience and perseverance to deal with complex programming.
Examination Board: to be decided
What exams and coursework are involved?
It is likely that the course will have the following or similar assessment model:
The assessment for AS is two written examinations. At A2, two examinations are also taken along with a coursework project.
Computing A-level will give you a significant head start should you wish to pursue a degree in Computer Science, Maths, Engineering, Cognitive Science or other similar courses. It will also provide you with highly useful skills that could be put to use in a wide range of careers. Jobs directly related to a computing degree include: database administrator, games developer, information systems manager, IT consultant, multimedia programmer, network engineer, systems analyst, systems developer. Examples of jobs where your degree would be useful include: geographical information systems officer, IT sales professional, IT trainer, technical author.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Wilts Grammar School for Girls directly.