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Claydon High School

Computer Science    KS4

Head of Faculty: Ms Fisk

Computer Science teacher: Mr W Melton

 

Computer Science is in every aspect of our daily lives. It is used in communications, entertainment, manufacture and finance as well as many other human activities using a variety of computer systems on a wide range of devices.

Why should I choose this subject?  What will I learn?

GCSE Computer Science (OCR) is a very practical subject – students will be able to use the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom on real-world problems. It’s also a highly creative subject that calls on learners to be inventive.

The course is made of three components:

COMPUTER SYSTEMS                                                   (COMPONENT 1 – worth 40% of marks)

  • study how processors work
  • investigate computer memory and storage
  • explore modern network layouts and how they function
  • build skills in the ever important realm of cyber security
  • investigate how types of software are used within computer systems
  • stretch wider comprehension of how computers and computing affect ethical, legal, cultural and environmental issues

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING, ALGORITHMS             (COMPONENT 2 – worth 40% of marks)

 AND PROGRAMMING

  • study fundamental algorithms in computer science
  • build a firm foundation in programming techniques
  • produce programs through diagrams
  • thoroughly test programs and make them resistant to misuse
  • explore Boolean algebra (AND, OR, NOT)
  • understand how we store data within computers in binary form

 A PROGRAMMING PROJECT                                        (COMPONENT 3 – worth 20% of marks)

  • use new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice
  • the project is carried out under exam-like conditions

 

By successfully completing this course you will gain:

  • valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace.
  • a deep understanding of problem solving and experience in creating logical and efficient solutions.
  • ability to write down solutions to problems for other people to understand.
  • a good grounding in mainstream computing theory and understanding. 

What controlled assessment/exams are there?

There are two exam papers at the end of the syllabus, one focusing on computer systems and one with a focus on computational thinking, algorithms and programming. Each paper lasts 1.5 hours and is worth 40% of the total GCSE. Students will also complete a programming project in the final year of the course that will take a total of 20 hours to complete, and is worth 20% of the final GCSE award.

Where will this subject take me?

GCSE (9-1) Computer Science is effective preparation for a range of qualifications including:

  • AS Level Computer Science
  • A Level Computer Science
  • Cambridge Technicals – IT Level 3 or Digital Media Level 3 (these are OCR vocational qualifications that offer an alternative to A levels for students aged 16+)

It also provides a good grounding for other subject areas that require problem solving and analytical skills.