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The ability to use and understand how computers work is an essential skill for students to be able to take an active part in modern society. Here at St Ambrose College we have state of the art equipment in three computer suites and we deliver a wide variety of topics across key stages 3, 4 and 5 to suit the interests of all students.

 

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Key Stage 3

Students will have the opportunity to study a range of topics within Computer Science for 1 hour a week. Students will be introduced to a number of different software packages and will develop skills in areas such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking and resilience. Students will also develop an understanding of how to program in both a drag and drop environment and a text based environment. At the end of Key Stage 3 students will have the opportunity to select Computer Science as an option for their GCSE's.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students will study for qualification in Computer Science through the OCR exam board. The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. 

The specification encourages learners to be inspired, and challenged through completing a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. The specification will help learners to gain an insight into related sectors. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

The Computer Science GCSE will encourage the students to:

  • 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
  • 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.
Specification

Click here to download the OCR GCSE Specification

Component 1 - Computer Systems

This is a written exam that will last 1 hour 30 minutes. It makes up 50% of the GCSE and the paper has a total of 80 marks. The content of the paper 1 exam includes:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Component 2 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This is a written exam that will last 1 hour 30 minutes. The content of the paper 2 exam includes:

  • Algorithms *
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

* Algorithm questions are not exclusive to Component 02 and can be assessed in either component.

 

Key Stage 5

The OCR A Level in Computer Science will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will provide insight into, and experience of how computer science works, stimulating learners’ curiosity and encouraging them to engage with computer science in their everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • Mathematical skills
  • The ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology
Specification

Click here to download the OCR A Level Computer Science Specification

Component 1 - Computer Systems

This is a written exam that will last 2 hour 30 minutes. It makes up 40% of the GCSE and the paper has a total of 140 marks. The content of the paper 1 exam includes:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Component 2 - Algorithms and Programming

This is a written exam that will last 2 hour 30 minutes. It makes up 40% of the GCSE and the paper has a total of 140 marks. The content of the paper 1 exam includes:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithm

Component 3 - Programming Project

The programming project is a non exam assessment that makes up 20% of the GCSE and has a total of 70 marks.

Students will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. Learners are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development.