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Computing at Queen Mary's Grammar School

Course description

At its heart lies the notion of computational thinking: a mode of thought that goes well
beyond software and hardware, and that provides a framework within which to reason
about systems and problem. 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.

Computer Science will 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 aspirations.

Computer Science will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will provide insight into, and experience of, how computer science works, stimulating
learners’ curiosity and encouraging them to engage with computer science in their
everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices.

Course content

The specification is divided into three units of work.
Unit 1 Computer systems
Assessment: 40%
This component will introduce learners to the internal workings of the
Central Processing Unit (CPU), the exchanging of data and also looks at
software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. It is expected
that learners will draw on this underpinning content when studying
computational thinking, developing programming techniques and devising
their own programming approach in the Programming project component
(03 or 04). Candidates gain an appreciation of: 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.
This unit contains the majority of the content of the qualification and is
assessed in a written paper recalling knowledge and understanding.
Unit 2
Algorithms and programming
Assessment: 40%
Candidates gain an appreciation of: Elements of computational thinking;
Problem solving and programming Algorithms.
This unit relates principally to problem solving skills needed by learners to
apply the knowledge and understanding gained in unit 1.
Unit 3
Practical project
Assessment: 20%
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.
This unit is a practical portfolio based assessment with a task that is chosen
by the teacher or learner and is produced in an appropriate programming
guage of the learner’s or teacher’s choice.

Entry requirements

You will need at least 7 B grades at GCSE* (including English and Maths). We normally expect at least a grade A (A* for Further Maths) in subjects which you wish to pursue at A level.               


Examinations: 2x 2½ hrs written paper (140 marks & 40% weighting each).
Coursework : A practical/coursework project.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 September 2016
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