Computing AQA A Level at Littleover Community School
Computing is concerned with problem solving through the creation and use of algorithms. It is more about computation than about computers. In other words, it concentrates on how problems can be solved rather than on the hardware and software which might be used to implement the solution.
Algorithms are the mathematical processes which can be used to solve problems. They are used throughout the modem world in areas like artificial intelligence, automated share trading, simulations, animation and price setting on Amazon. It is important to realise that there are still many problems which at the moment, computers cannot solve and research into these problems is continuous.
Part of the course involves the development of programming skills in the Computer language called Python. Python is a modern, powerful, Open Source programming language which is used to deliver the work on problem solving and algorithms.
Aspects of the course do cover computer hardware and software and the way they enable modem technologies like Smart Phones, MP3 players, Peer to Peer file sharing, Satellite Navigation, Digital radio, CGI computer graphics, RSS Internet feeds, Podcasts, Blogging etc.
Computing and ICT are very different courses. Both ICT and Computing deal with issues involved in the 'digital' revolution but each course focuses on a different aspect. ICT is primarily concerned with the impact of the new digital technologies on society while Computing explains how they work.
- A good standard in GCSE Maths.
- A logical approach to problem solving.
- An interest in learning how to program a computer.
- An interest in the components used in modern computer systems.
- Data structures.
- Theory of computation.
Paper 2: The Practical Project
- Data representation.
- Computer systems.
- Computer organisation and architecture.
- The consequences of uses of computing.
- Communication and networking.
- Big Data.
- Functional programming.
- Systematic approach to problem solving the computing practical project.
Littleover Community School Sixth Form specialises in AS and A2 Level Courses - we do not offer any alternative/vocational courses. Regardless of which 'wave' of the ongoing A Level reforms each subject is in, we will expect all students to sit AS examinations at the end of Year 12 and A2 examinations at the end of Year 13.
We therefore expect all students to enrol to study 4 AS Levels in Year 12. Most students will then drop one subject at the end of Year 12 having completed the AS Level qualification, continuing with the other 3 to A2 level.
The minimum entry criteria for Littleover Community School Sixth Form is 5 A*-C/9-5 grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who achieve a grade 4 in Maths or English Language will be considered on an individual basis. However, the vast majority of our students will achieve 8 or more A*-C/9-5 grades with A*-8/9-6 in the subjects they wish to study at A Level. If students plan to study subjects that they have not studied at GCSE level we will expect A*-B/9-6 in subjects that have a similar skills set.
Specific entry requirements:
GCSE graded 9/6 in Mathematics.
- On-screen examination (2 hr 30 mins)
- 40% of A level marks
- Written exam (2 hr 30 mins)
- 40% of A level marks
- Extended project
- 20% of A level marks
Computing could give you an insight into how computation can be used in the other areas of study in which you are involved. It will also give you an opportunity to understand what a Computer Science degree would involve. There is a worldwide shortage of talented computer scientists and lots of career opportunities.
In this increasingly technological age, a study of Computing, and particularly how computers are used in the solving of a variety of problems, is becoming more and more important.
Following a course in Computing could:-
- Help a student appreciate how Computing can be used in other subjects.
- Prepare a student for a degree in Computer Science.
- Help a student to become a Computer Programmer.
- Provide the knowledge to enable a student to use computers in other careers.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Littleover Community School directly.