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Computer Science

Purpose of the course
  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation.
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs to do so  think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society.
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.

 

Unit 1: Understanding Computer Science

Unit 2: Computational Thinking and Programming

Unit 3: Software Development

What students will learn

This unit investigates hardware, logical operations, communication, data representation and data types, operating systems, principles of programming, software engineering, program construction, security and data management and the impacts of digital technology on wider society.

This unit investigates problem solving, algorithms and programming constructs, programming languages, data structures and data types and security and authentication.

This unit requires learners to produce a programmed solution to a problem. They must analyse the problem, design a solution to the problem, develop a final programmed solution, test the solution and give suggestions for further development of the solution. Throughout the production of the solution learners are required to produce a refinement log that evidences the development of the solution.

Key assessments

  • Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 50% of the qualification.
  • On-screen examination: 2 hours.
  • 30% of the qualification.
  • Non-exam assessment: 20 hours.
  • 20% of qualification.

Key vocabulary:

Essential words for students to be able to spell, explain and use

  • Architecture
  • CPU
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Logic
  • Storage
  • Networks
  • Embedded
  • Compression
  • Cyber Security
  • Algorithm
  • Variable
  • Identifier
  • Construct
  • Mark-up
  • Object Orientation
  • Tag
  • Comment
  • Assembler
  • Validation
  • Scope
  • Design
  • Refinement
  • Strategy
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Technical
  • Function

Skills

Literacy & Numeracy

o   Use of a range of text types.

o   Explanatory commentary of code.

o   Mathematical principles and algorithms practiced throughout.

o   Application of knowledge to a range of problems and scenarios – improving comprehension.

  • PISA questions.
  • Logical approach to problem solving.
  • Conscientious verification of code to debug and fix problems.

Additional Resources

There are a range of additional resources used within the department that can be accessed outside of school in order assist in continued development of topics and understanding outside of the classroom.

These resources are ever changing however a range of consistently used resources are listed below:

  • Khan Academy
  • Code Combat
  • Teach ICT
  • W3C / W3schools
  • YouTube
  • GCSE Bitesize

How parents can help

 

  • Promote the practice of programming techniques where possible.
  • Ensure pupils actively seek to improve knowledge on topics covered especially where understanding or prior coverage is limited.
  • Encourage your child to discuss concepts covered with you in order to explain understanding within a different context.

Extra-curricular opportunities & visits

 

  • Digital Leader Opportunities.
  • After school ICT club.
  • Further information provided where opportunity arises.

Homework expectations

 

  • Homework will be given out at appropriate times throughout each term in order to maximise effectiveness of purpose of homework.
  • Please maintain supervision of planner in order to monitor homework deadlines throughout the academic year.