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COMPUTER SCIENCE

OVERVIEW The overall aim of this subject is to encourage you to develop an understanding of the principles of problem solving using computers. Your studies will help you to understand how the hardware components of a computer system work and can execute a program, as well as how data is transmitted over networks and the internet. You will study how binary can be used to represent both the data and programs in a computer, and how high- and low-level languages can be used to solve an immense variety of problems, making use of well-chosen data structures and standard algorithms. The syllabus also features sections on relational databases, functional programming, regular expressions and software development to provide a stimulating, challenging and well-balanced course. The programming languages taught will be C#, Haskell and AQA’s assembly language. THE A LEVEL COURSE 1. Paper 1 (40% of A Level) This paper focuses mainly on computational thinking, programming and applying theoretical concepts to problem-solving situations. Part of the paper relates to Pre-Release Material – a readymade program provided by the exam board which we will study and develop further in lessons together before the exam. Assessment Method: 2½ hour on-screen examination 2. Paper 2 (40% of A Level) This paper focuses on the theoretical aspects of the course as well as giving some consideration to the moral, ethical, legal and cultural impact of developments in computing. The question formats are predominantly short answer with some multiple choice and some extended answer questions. Assessment Method: 2½ hour written examination 3. Non-exam assessment – computing practical project (20% of A Level) The NEA assesses the pupil’s ability to create a program to solve a practical problem or investigation of their own choosing. Pupils must also document the analysis, design, testing and evaluation of their solution. Typical choices of problems include games, simulations, databases or interactive websites although the range of choices is extensive. The NEA offers a wide scope for pupils to relate their other interests to their work in Computer Science. Assessment Method: Project documentation, code bank and testing videos ENTRY / APTITUDE REQUIREMENTS • An interest in problem solving would be an advantage and the ability to stick at a task until it is solved. Some numeracy is required for converting numbers into binary, but A Level Maths is NOT necessary. • A GCSE or IGCSE in Computer Science is NOT a requirement. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION University course admission: a qualification in Computer Science combines well with many subjects especially those involving a logical and systematic approach. Programming skills are important in all scientific, engineering and mathematical disciplines as well as increasingly in the creative arts. Although rarely listed as a pre-requisite for an undergraduate Computer Science Degree, having studied A Level offers an advantage as an introduction to some of the first year material. For those pupils who choose to discontinue the subject after one year, the majority of programming concepts are covered in L6, which means that they will already be equipped with highly relevant skills to take away if they do end up dropping Computer Science as their fourth subject. Exam Board: AQA Specification Name: Computer Science

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Sixth Form Options Booklet  

Sixth Form Options Booklet  

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