A Level | Computer Science

A level in Computer Science

Exam Board:  OCR

Will the course suit me?

The Computer Science qualifications are aimed at students who value computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. Students will be required to utilise high level of Mathematics, analytical thinking, organisational and time management skills.

Course description

The A Level comprises of three components over two academic years. An overview of the components is as follows.

  1. Computer Systems – It will cover further advanced level of the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture, characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices. Additional elements will include software development, exchanging data, data types, data structures and algorithms as well as legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.
  2. Algorithms and Programming
    • Section A – It will cover elements of computational thinking, programming and problem solving. Additional elements include pattern recognition, abstraction, decomposition, algorithm design and efficiency as well as standard algorithms.
    • Section B – This aims to cover a scenario/task involving an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will comprise of problem solving.
  1. Programming Project – The project involves a user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Students will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Benefits of the course

The Computer Science qualification will, above all else, be relevant to the modern and changing world of computing, and they will also be relevant to the higher education community. These qualifications can be tailored to the needs of students and have an open-source ethos allowing the use of any programming language that meets the needs of the course. They will be the best preparation for students who want to go on to study Computer Science at a higher level and will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

Outside the classroom

Leighton Park School is situated in a geographical location where many large key IT sector corporations have strategically based their headquarters and their main business functions. There will be opportunity for students to visit some of these organisations.

Students will be invited to a range of enrichment opportunities with leading global IT and Computer Science organisations as well as Universities.  Students will have access to a large suite of online materials to support their studies which includes interactive content, revision materials, assessments and a comprehensive eBook.  Students will be expected to work collaboratively, using computational thinking approaches to solve problems as a team.

Assessment

ComponentAssessmentWeightingMarks & duration
1.     Computer systemsExternally marked question paper40%140 marks/2 hr 30 mins
2.   Algorithms and programmingExternally marked question paper40%140 marks/2 hr 30 mins
3.    Programming projectInternally assessed, externally moderated20%70 marks

 

Head of Department:  Peter Marshman

petermarshman@leightonpark.com

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Shinfield Road
Reading
Berkshire, UK
RG2 7DE
+44 (0) 118 987 9600
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