Huish Sixth

IT Computing

 

Computer Science is the discipline which underpins all our interactions with computers and
technology today. Computational thinking is central to this, and the AS/A2 Computing course
places much emphasis is this, as well as learning how to program. Computational thinking
is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an
important life skill. Thinking computationally means using abstraction and decomposition.
The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it. Computer
Science involves questions that have the potential to change how we view the world. For
example, we may be computing with DNA at some stage in the future, with computer circuits
made of genes. This leads to the question, does the natural world 'compute'?

Course Content and Assessment
AS
Unit 1 – Problem Solving, Programming, Data
Representation and Practical Exercise
60% of AS, 30% of A Level
2 hour on-screen examination
100 marks
Unit 1 is a practical, on-screen, examination which
allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of
the fundamental principles of the subject, focusing
on programming through a problem-solving scenario
using pre-release material.

Unit 2 – Computer Components, the Stored Program
Concept and the Internet
• 40% of AS, 20% of A Level
• 1 hour written examination
• 60 marks
Unit 2 focuses on the hardware and software
aspects of Computing and the social and economic
consequences of Computing.

A2
Unit 3 – Problem Solving, Programming, Operating
Systems, Databases and Networking
• 30% of A Level
• 2 hour 30 minutes written examination
• 100 marks
Unit 3 focuses on computational thinking, what can
be computed, programming and problem-solving
including communication and networking

Unit 4 –The Computing Practical Project
• 20% of A Level
• Coursework, internally assessed, and moderated by
AQA
• 75 marks
Unit 4 is an internally-assessed unit, with students
required to complete a report on a computer-based
programmed solution to a problem-solving exercise of
their choice.

What Skills Will I Learn?
• Computational thinking. As mentioned above,
computational thinking involves using abstraction and
decomposition to break down a problem, work out what
can be computed, and how to go about doing it.

• Programming skills. We will learn at least one
programming language throughout the course. No
previous experience in programming is required, but
students who have studied GCSE Computing will have
an advantage here.

• General problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is
inherent to the course, and will be something which
develops and improves as we work on the different
units.

• Time management skills. As with other A Level
subjects, there will be various deadlines which need to
be met. Good time management skills are essential,
and we will help you to plan your work and keep it
manageable.

Extending Your Experience
The course will likely involve visits to external
organisations and/or exhibitions in support of your
coursework.

Computer Science is the discipline which underpins all our interactions with computers and
technology today. Computational thinking is central to this, and the AS/A2 Computing course
places much emphasis is this, as well as learning how to program. Computational thinking
is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an
important life skill. Thinking computationally means using abstraction and decomposition.
The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it. Computer
Science involves questions that have the potential to change how we view the world. For
example, we may be computing with DNA at some stage in the future, with computer circuits
made of genes. This leads to the question, does the natural world 'compute'?

Entry Requirements:
Ideally students should have achieved a grade B or above (or
equivalent) in GCSE Computing, GCSE ICT, OCR/Cambridge
Nationals, DIDA or equivalent course. Previous experience in
programming is not required, but would be an advantage.

Where will this Course take me?
The course is ideal for students who wish to go on to higher
education courses or employment where knowledge of Computing
would be beneficial. One can study Computing and go
on to a career in medicine, law, business, politics or any type of
science.


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