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)
- 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.