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St Peter's
Catholic School

Computer Science

Mr P Bates

Head of Computing

THE TEAM
Mr S Copeland Assistant Head of Computing
Mr S Campbell Teacher of Computing
INTRODUCTION TO THE DEPARTMENT:

In the Computing Department, we aim to help students to improve their knowledge and understanding of this key subject. We have a responsibility to prepare them for a world where digital skills are in high demand, and considered by the government, employers and other leading individuals as being of strategic importance.

WHY STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE?

The continued rapid development in computing and technology is changing the way that we live our lives

in the 21st century, from both a professional and social perspective. We face a future where internet-enabled

devices will be found throughout our homes, driverless vehicles will travel down roads, and nanotechnology will combat illness and disease. It is vitally important that we have not only users of IT, but those who are sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable to program computers, especially if we are to meet the technological demands of society.

A Level Computer Science will provide you with a wide range of skills and knowledge, building on from the learning at GCSE, both in terms of the theory and programming aspects. This subject would be ideal for those students considering a career in a computer-related field.

FUTURE ACADEMIC AND CAREER PATHWAYS

Computer Science is a rigorous course that will benefit students regardless of the academic or career pathway they choose. Many of the top British universities offer degrees in Computer Science and given the importance of the subject to various job sectors, there will be numerous career opportunities in the future, many of which probably do not even exist yet!

COURSE CONTENT

Students will be studying the AQA syllabus.

• Programming

• Data structures

• Algorithms

• Theory of computation

• Data representation

• Computer systems

• Computer organisation and architecture

• Consequences of uses of computing

• Communication and networking

• Databases

• Big data

• Functional programming

• Systematic approach to problem solving

• NEA Practical Programming Project

ASSESSMENT

Paper 1: On-screen exam, 2 hours and 30 minutes, 100 marks and 40% of A Level. You will be examined on

your ability to program in Python and your theoretical knowledge of topics 1 to 4.

Paper 2: Written exam, 2 hours and 30 minutes, 100 marks and 40% of A Level. You will be examined on your

theoretical knowledge of topics 5 to 12.

NEA: Approximately 50 hours, 75 marks, 20% of A Level. You will use your knowledge and skills to solve or

investigate a practical problem.

EXTRACURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES

Trip to CERN, Switzerland

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE Computer Science and a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.