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Computer Science A level at Wilmslow High School

Course description

The study of Computing is designed not just to teach and improve your skills in using computer programming languages, but also to enable you to understand the kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines.

The study of Computing demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs. It relies on an understanding of the rules of language at a simple level and encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems. It will require you to investigate and understand situations beyond the school environment in the appreciation of the effects of computer applications on society and individuals. For these reasons, computing is a relevant choice whether you are studying Arts subjects or Science subjects.

Course content

A significant part of the course will focus on practical development of computer programming techniques.  This will focus primarily on the use of C#.

  • the need for and means of connection between hardware components of a computer system
  • the characteristics of networks and the importance of networking protocols and standards
  • the need for and functions of systems software
  • the methods of capturing, selecting, exchanging and managing data to produce information for a particular purpose
  • the consequences of uses of computing
  • the fundamentals of programming techniques
  • data types and data structures.

Entry requirements

No previous knowledge of Computing, Computer Programming or ICT is required to study this course. As the course has a high mathematical content, it is essential that you have achieved a minimum of a grade ‘B’ in Mathematics at GCSE Level.

The other additional requirement is that you have a strong interest in computing with a practical aptitude to analyse and solve problems. This is essential when writing computer programs.

Assessment

The study of Computing encompasses a substantial accepted body of knowledge. The course will be assessed through both practical and written examinations.

At the end of Year 12 you will sit two examinations. The first examination is completed ‘on screen’ and will assess your knowledge of programming and data structures. The rest of the course content will be assessed in a second written examination lasting for 1 hour 30 minutes. Both examinations are each worth 50% of the AS Level award.

At the end of Year 13 you will complete two similar examinations; an ‘on screen’ examination worth 40% of the ‘A’ Level and a written examination worth another 40% of the ‘A’ Level. Throughout the year, you will also complete a practical assessment which is worth the remaining 20% of the A Level. (Note: none of the assessment from Year 12 will count towards the final ‘A’ Level award.)

Further information

Computer Science A level

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 September 2016

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