Computer Science

Head of faculty: Mr G King

Leader of Computer Science: Mr M McPake

Teaching Staff:
Mr M McPake
Mr D Grant

Miss T Nel


Computer Science is taught in all years across the school.

Key Stage 3
KS3 covers Years 7 and 8. The students follow a course in Computing called Compute IT, which is an online course, providing a very broad background in Computing.

 

Key Stage 4 Years 9-11

OCR GCSE Computer Science
Over three years students study the basics of computer programming using Python. You will use your programming skills to solve problems using creative programming solutions. You will also learn how computers work and how they communicate with each other across networks. You will learn how to apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

What sort of student does well at this subject?
You will do well if you enjoy using a computer, being creative, enjoy mathematics and want to learn how to program using a text-based programming language.

The subject is tested through two written exams at the end of Year 11 which are worth 40% of the marks each, plus a 20 hour report in which students solve a practical programming problem which is worth the remaining 20% of the overall GCSE

Key Stage 5 
OCR A Level Computer Science

This course will inspire and challenge students to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills they acquire. 
The A Level consists of three components, two of which will be externally marked question papers making up 80% of the qualification. The other 20% will be the coursework project, which has an emphasis on coding and programming with a simple assessment model and marking criteria.

Component 1. COMPUTER SYSTEMS (40% of final grade)
This component is a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark scheme-type questions. It covers the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:
• The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices 
• Software and hardware
• Exchanging data 
• Data types, data structures and algorithms 
• Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. 

Component 2. ALGORITHMS AND PROGRAMMING (40% of final grade)
This component is a traditionally marked and structured question paper with two sections, both of which include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions. 

SECTION A 
Traditional questions concerning computational thinking: 
• Elements of computational thinking 
• Programming and problem solving 
• Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition 
• Algorithm design and efficiency 
• Standard algorithms. 

SECTION B 
There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving. 

Component 3. PROGRAMMING PROJECT (20% of final grade)
Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable them 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.

 

To learn more about careers relating to this specific subject, please look here- https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/subjects

In addition to the careers work delivered in class, the school offers a wide range of careers related events and activities throughout the year including-

  • Themed assemblies including visits from colleges, universities, apprenticeships, employers and previous students to explore career pathways.

  • Collapsed curriculum days – college and university taster days to help our students plan their studies beyond school.

  • Collapsed curriculum days – The maths team support students with a day of money management classes and the English team support with CV writing and interview skills.

  • Mock interviews for years 7, 9 & 10 to build confidence and employability skills.

  • Guest speakers and tutor time drop-ins to meet employers, education providers, previous students and representatives from other organisations in an informal setting.

  • Work experience week to help our year 10 students build their confidence, their employability skills and their work awareness.

  • Job of the week information delivered in tutor time to encourage students to explore different career pathways and the skills and qualifications required.

  • College, 6th form and university open evenings to help students and their families explore options beyond school.

  • And plenty more!

The careers office is open Monday - Thursday, 8am - 4pm for students to visit and talk through their ideas. Specific 121s can be booked with parents too if requested, but students are welcome to drop in any time.

The careers office is based in the centre of school within the Student Reception area. You can contact Mrs Leatherby on 01278 784881 or Email sleatherby@tkasa.org.uk


 

 

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