COVID-19 UPDATE: School will be closed from Friday 20th March until further notice. Lessons will continue remotely and work is being set for completion at home. We will be keeping our website and social media updated during this period. Please use email wherever possible, or leave a phone message (messages will be monitored during normal working hours).

A Level Computer Science

Why Study Computer Science?

Computer Science gives pupils the chance to develop computational thinking skills, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is an intensely creative subject which can provide pupils with a real satisfaction when something they have built from a blank page works; it also helps to develop patience, resilience and problem solving skills when a program refuses to run as expected!

What are the Career Opportunities?

Computing skills are the foundation of numerous professional careers in many dynamic sectors, such as technology, business, finance, health and the games industry.  The A Level course is an excellent preparation for pupils who want to go on to study Computer Science at a higher level and will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

Course Outline and Assessment

The course consists of the following components:

  • Computer Systems (40% of A Level – written exam)
  • Algorithms & Programming (40% of A Level – written exam)
  • Programming Project (20% of A Level)

The Algorithms and Programming component includes problem solving and programming as well as the use of algorithms to describe problems.  The main programming language used is Python; pupils enjoy the independence of creating their own programming project in Year 13.

Computer Systems topics cover a wide range of subjects including:

  • How does the processor inside a computer work and what affects the performance of a processor?
  • What different input and output devices can be used to solve problems?
  • How do Operating Systems work?
  • How can we program using different web technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascript?
  • How is data represented in a computer ? e.g. binary, hexadecimal.
  • How can I solve problems with boolean logic?
  • What are the ethical, moral and cultural issues surrounding technology ? e.g. use of Artificial Intelligence, monitoring people’s behaviour and the environmental impacts of technology.
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