Course Overview: Computing

Within Computing there are three strands: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Students will discover how computers, how they are designed and programmed and how to develop algorithms to find solutions to problems. Students will develop an understanding of key programming concepts through the creation of computer programs and interactive games. Underpinning all of this, students find out how to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely.

Year 7

Students will learn about the responsible use of computers, develop their understanding of computer hardware, construct a computer game that includes a range of objects and characters, create flowcharts to control and model a range of systems and write a series of programs that create images and animations.

Year 8

Students will code a website using HTML and CSS, use the programming language Python to create a range of programs including a sleep calculator and a guess my number game, learn about local and wide area networks and write a series of programs to control a very simple computer called a micro:bit.

Year 9

Students will practise a range of different photo editing and image manipulation techniques, build upon their knowledge of Python from Year 8 to create a range of programs including a pocket calculator and a mobile phone app, develop a database and finally learn about computer crime and cyber security.

Course Overview: Computer Science

This course provides students with a real, in-depth understanding of how technology works. It will provide an insight into components that make up a system, and how they communicate with one another. Students will learn how to apply the fundamental principles and Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. Students will also gain experience of designing, writing and debugging programs.

Course Components

Computer Systems (Written Paper) (40% of total GCSE)

This component focuses on the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory. Students will study the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and software. They will also become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Written Paper) (40% of total GCSE)

This component focuses on the core theories embedded into computer science and the application of computer science principles. Students will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Students will also study computing related mathematics including exponentiation and modulus.

Programming Project (NEA) (20% of total GCSE)

This component is a non-exam assessment (NEA) that requires students to design a coded solution for a series of tasks supplied by the examination board. Students will create suitable algorithms, which will provide a solution for each task before coding them in a suitable programming language. They will create a test plan complete with test data to ensure coded solutions solve the problem. Previous tasks include the development of a speed camera system and a stock control program.

Course Information

Course Name: Computer Science
Qualification Type: GCSE
Awarding Body: OCR
Specification Code: J276

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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. Computing has deep links with Mathematics, Science, and Design and Technology; providing insights into both natural and artificial systems. Computing will ensure 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.