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Computing A-Level at The West Bridgford School

Course description

Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Its primary aspects of theory, systems and applications are drawn from the disciplines of Technology, Design, Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

Computer science has many sub-fields, some emphasise the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others relate to properties of computational problems (such as computational complexity theory).

Ideally candidates will have GCSE Computing, but it is not essential. However, if no programming or computing background: excellent maths, logical thinking and creative problem solving skills are essential.

A fundamental understanding of computing enables students to be not just educated users of technology, but the innovators capable of designing new computers and programs to improve the quality of life for everyone. It is not an exaggeration to say that our lives depend upon computer systems and the people who maintain them to keep us safe on the road, at sea and in air.

Computing has an immense impact on modern life. The job prospects are excellent and the field is rigorous, intellectually vibrant, and multi-faceted. Yet computing is in danger of disappearing from schools, with a critical skills shortage developing.

A recent study by the UK Council of Professors and Heads of Computing illustrates the problem: it predicts that demand for IT professionals will increase by up to 15% in the next eight years, while the number of students aiming for jobs in the industry has fallen by 50% since 2001 (Source: CAS 09/13).

YEAR 12:

Encourages students to develop their knowledge and under-standing of computer systems, the principles of computing (including programming) and how these are applied to the solution of problems.

Computer Fundamentals (Unit F451)

  •  Hardware and Software
  •  Data: its presentation, structure and management
  •  Transmission and networking
  •  Systems development life cycle
  •  Characteristics of information systems
  •  Implications of computer use

Programming Techniques & Logical Methods (Unit F452)

  •  Designing solutions to problems
  •  The structure of procedural programs
  •  Data types and data structures
  •  Common facilities of procedural languages
  •  Writing maintainable programs
  •  Testing and running a solution


YEAR 13:

Encourages students to gain an understanding of systematic methods - such as the use of algorithms and test strategies, the maintenance of computer systems, and the skills associated with applying this knowledge and understanding to produce computer-based solutions to real problems.

Advanced Computing Theory (F453)

  •  The function of operating systems
  •  The function and purpose of translators
  •  Computer architectures
  •  Data representation
  •  Data structures and data manipulation
  •  High-level language programming paradigms
  •  Programming techniques
  •  Low-level languages
  •  Databases

Computing Project (F454)

  •  Definition, investigation and analysis
  •  Design
  •  Software development and testing
  •  Documentation
  •  Evaluation
  •  The written report



Entry requirements

Grade B in GCSE Computing - plus Grade A in GCSE Maths ideally, within one of the below:

3 A Level subjects + General Studies: 3 Grade B in chosen subjects + 2 Grade C, including Grade B in Maths & English Language

4 A Level subjects + General Studies: 2 Grade A/A* + 2 Grade B in chosen subjects + 1 Grade C, including Grade B in Maths & English Language

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The West Bridgford School directly.

Last updated date: 12 March 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years