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A Level Computer Science at Newquay Tretherras School

Course description

Computers are changing our world and our workforces. With technology now at the heart of our economy, our daily lives and scientific enterprises, the importance of preparing for our rapidly changing, technological world has never been greater.  Computer Science is a stimulating and rewarding subject, which opens student’s eyes to the technologically advanced world around them, whilst empowering them with the ability to develop their computational thinking skills and problem solving capabilities.  Taking a Computer Science course will prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century and open their imagination to the vast range of technology based career opportunities available to them.

Course content

Year 1 Topic Studied
Students will delve deep into learning about the characteristics of contemporary hardware, the software development lifecycle, programming principles and practice along with the underpinning legal, ethical and cultural issues that technology companies face on a daily basis.  Additionally, students will enhance their computational thinking, problem solving abilities and algorithm design whilst learning to create programs using Java.

Year 2 Topics studied
Students will build upon their knowledge of Computer Science from the first year of study and continue to look at the natural world through a digital prism in a much deeper level.  Students will gain a deep understanding of how computers communicate, the history and reasons for current storage methods and operating systems, whilst continuing to develop computational thinking, problem solving abilities and algorithm design.  To further enhance the programming aspect of the course, students are to complete a programming project with a link to a local, real world business.  Students will be expected to liaise directly with the organisation, meet the staff and really get a feel for how the software will be used, before setting to work to design a specification, implement it and finally evaluate it alongside the client.

Entry requirements

As a minimum requirement we ask that applicants for this course achieve 5 grade Bs in their GCSE subjects, with a minimum of grade B in Maths and a previous Computing/Computer Science course.


The units studied as part of the GCE Computer Science are assessed with two 2 hour 30 minute exams worth 80% of the course in total.  The programming project contributes towards 20% of the overall A Level and will involve closely working with a local business.

Future opportunities

Completing a full A Level in Computer Science will fully prepare students for their entry into the Computer Science sector within business or University.  The experience students receive from working with a local business will develop their project management skills and time management skills, both of which are critical in the programming world.

Further information

With the A Level course extra a large programming project which students will be working on throughout the year, it is expected that students will continue to maintain their understanding of the Java programming language through self-guided practice outside of guided learning hours.  Students will also be expected to independently communicate directly with the local business they have chosen for their programming project.
In addition to the additional programming practice, there will be an expectation that students come to their guided learning sessions having read the notes and course texts sections relating to the lesson topic.

Outside of the Classroom
Outside of the classroom students will have the opportunity to involve themselves in a variety of extra-curricular activities which support, further develop and broaden their knowledge from lessons.  Examples of such opportunities include the Apps4Good App development competition and the British Informatics Olympiad.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newquay Tretherras School directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information


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    • I believe that Newquay Tretherras has a unique family identity, offering something special to its students. Our aim at Post 16 is to continue to provide you with an excellent education, combined with a wide range of opportunities to develop the qualities and personal social skills you need to make a successful transition to the next stage in your lives. We have an extremely positive Sixth Form ethos, and all students enjoy being part of a community in which they come first.

      We are proud of the contribution our Sixth Form makes to the life of NT. Not only do we achieve great results, we aim to make your time in the Sixth Form an enriching, worthwhile experience. Our Tutor team is highly experienced and dedicated: we pride ourselves on the level of care and guidance we offer, and the team will constantly monitor individual progress to ensure that no one falls behind.

      Our key guarantees to you are:

      • High quality academic teaching, with a friendly and adult approach
      • Excellent relationships with staff who know you well
      • Outstanding individual personal support to motivate and inspire you to succeed
      • Involvement in leadership and elite programmes
      • Involvement in our unique “Future Pathways” schemes to ensure successful transfer to the next stage
      • Opportunities to participate in innovative “Internship” programmes
      • Dedicated Sixth Form facilities, including a fully staffed and well equipped private study room
      • Bursaries and financial support for transport for those in need
      • Forging a strong bond between students, Newquay Tretherras and our Parents who remain a major part of our partnership

      I look forward to welcoming you into NT6.