Computing & IT
Key Stage 3
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science, and Design and Technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Cambridge National in Information Technologies
Exam Board: OCR
Specification Number: J808
This course is for the IT user and as such concentrates on the practical side of IT. It suits a student who prefers being an active learner and producing work to be assessed rather than learning theory. It works well with a range of other subjects as it develops a variety of skills in a number of software packages.
This qualification will teach students what different technologies could be used, why they should use them and how to make best use of them, to gather, store, manipulate and present data; this is known as data management. They will learn about tools and techniques for use in different digital hardware and software technologies, and how these can be integrated to create digital solutions to manage and communicate data and information. They will also learn how to use the project life cycle to plan and manage workload. There are two units of study:
- Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions (Exam Unit)
- Developing technological solutions (Coursework unit)
A Level Computer Science
Exam Board: OCR
Specification Number: H046
What will be studied?
The course is focused on problem solving using computers and has an emphasis on the use of programming languages and mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes. It aims to develop critical thinkers that understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.
- Unit 1 – Computer Systems
- Computer architecture (processors, input, output and storage devices)
- Software development and low and high level languages
- Exchanging data (compression, encryption, hacking, databases, networks and web technologies)
- Data types, data structures and boolean algebra
- Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues
Unit 2 – Algorithms and programming
- Computational thinking (thinking: abstractly, ahead, procedurally, logically and concurrently )
- Problem solving and programming (Java, C, Python)
- Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms (Efficiency of algorithms and sorting and searching algorithms)
Unit 3 – Programming project (coursework / Non-exam assessment)
- User-driven systems lifecycle project
- Analyse a problem and design a solution
- Implement the solution
- Test and evaluate the solution
How is the course assessed?
Paper 1 – 2.5 hour theory written paper (40%)
Paper 2 – 2.5 hour practical programming exam (40%)
Non exam assessment – independent programming project (20%)
What texts are recommended?
Computer Science: An Overview by J. Glenn Brookshear
Algorithmic Puzzles by Anany Levitin and Maria Levitin
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzod
What websites are recommended?
What equipment is needed?
Computer at home is very useful for accessing work and tasks as well as installing programming software. A calculator is also very useful.