Computer Science

Course Outline

We are living in the midst of a revolution powered by computers. This revolution influences all aspects of society. It is a communication revolution, a transportation revolution, a medical revolution, an entertainment revolution, a commercial revolution and above all an information revolution. Consider the things you would need to give up if you were to live a day without computers:

  • Social networking: email, IM, Facebook, texting, mobile phone, landline phone
  • Transportation: GPS, car (anti-lock brakes, electronic ignition, …), planes, trains
  • Medical systems: electronic health records, nearly all medical tests
  • Commerce: e-commerce, ATMs, credit cards, debit cards
  • Entertainment: iPods, digital TV, cable TV, movies (most use computer enhancement in some way), remote control devices

Computer technology is now central to the development of our world and our place within it. This GCSE course is your opportunity to become engaged in computer technology and become a part of this exciting future.

Course Content

You will learn how computers work on this course and how and why data is stored in binary. In addition to learning practical programming skills, you will also study computer hardware, software, Operating Systems, Algorithms and logic as well as looking at why encryption is so important in computing and how databases and graphics programs are used. You will also have the opportunity to build a computer and configure it, as well as seeing how to connect it to a network. You will discover why networks are so important in modern computing be it the simple peer to peer network or the largest network in the world, the Internet.

Assessment

During the course you will produce a project that is worth 20% of your overall mark. You will be given a scenario and undertake the analysis of the problem you have selected before designing a system, writing the solution in Python and then testing and implementing it.

In addition to this you will take two written exams at the end of the course, each worth 40% of your GCSE grade:

  • Principles of Computer Science
  • Application of Computational Thinking


Progression

In a world that is increasingly dependent upon computer technology, there is a significant demand for those with computing knowledge, skills and expertise, and a shortage of supply of those who possess them. This course provides you with a skill set that is essential and desirable in many professions and jobs today. It opens doors directly into industry or into further study and specialism at A level and university, and then onwards into a rich and diverse range of careers.