Key Stage 4 Computer Science

Why should I study GCSE Computer Science and what will I learn?

Computing is a 'Science' and as such is recognised as a high-quality academic subject and held in high regard by Colleges and Universities. Computational thinking skills can be applied in all your subjects and this course would be very suitable if you enjoy mathematics and physics, but also a keen interest in computers. The GCSE course is divided into two examinations and a non-examined assessment covering a wide range of topics:

Component 1 (40%) will introduce the principles of Computer Science, covering:

Algorithms
Binary and data representation
Interpreting pseudo-code
Computer networks
Trends in computing technologies

Component 2 (40%) will introduce computational thinking, focusing on:

Developing program codes and constructs
Datatypes
Inputs and Outputs
Operators and subprograms

Component 3 (20%) is a project which students will develop a computer program, focusing on:

Algorithms
Decomposition and abstraction
Students will design, write, test and refine a program.

You will need to be resilient and prepared to 'think out of the box'. Those who have a logical mind, enjoy solving problems and who want to delve beneath the casing of a computer will find this course very enjoyable and rewarding.

What future opportunities can this course lead to?

Students choosing this course will be well prepared to take an A level or equivalent Computer Science, Engineering or ICT qualification in the Post 16 Centre or other further education establishments.

How will my work be assessed?

We aim to make lessons engaging and diverse through investigations, discussion and group work. The course will be challenging with students needing a high level of patience and problem solving skills to sift through code to overcome errors.​

Who can I speak to for more information?

For further information about Computing please speak to your Computing Teacher or contact options@penistone-gs.uk.

Cambridge National Certificate in ICT

The use of computers, electronic devices and smart phones impacts on our daily lives and employers in almost any of today's industries who value a qualification which demonstrates that you can use technology effectively.

You will complete a combination of three internally assessed units and an externally marked exam, giving you the opportunity to develop key skills important to your future academic studies and employment.

Unit 1 will introduce Computer Systems and how they meet business needs, covering:

Features and purpose
Networks
Data capture and validation
Legislations
Data security threats
Unit 2 will introduce ICT to create business solutions, focusing on:

Editing and manipulating spreadsheets
Database development
Unit 3 will develop your digital imagery skills, focusing on:

Interpreting a client brief
Creating and manipulate digital images according to a brief
The final unit will introduce data handling, focusing on:

Query development
Validation rules
User interface development
You will develop your research, investigation and presentation skills along with time management. Students will also develop their self-reflection skills and ability to work independently and to agreed deadlines.

How will my work be assessed?

The courses is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction at Distinction* which is equivalent to a full GCSE. We aim to make lessons engaging and diverse through investigations, discussion and group work, along with independent challenges.

What future opportunities can this course lead to?

This course will enable you to continue your ICT skills development, providing a strong foundation to progress on to Level 3 ICT courses in subject areas including Creative and Digital Media and Web Development.

Who can I speak to for more information?

For further information about Computing please speak to your computing teacher, or contact options@penistone-gs.uk.​

 

Key Stage 5 Computing

Choosing an A Level in Computer Science will provide you with a stimulating programme of study fit for the 21st century, enabling you to progress within the IT industry and equipping you with the knowledge and skills required to continue into Higher Education, or on to industry-recognised qualifications with organisations such as Microsoft and Cisco.

The course focuses on effective programming techniques in Python and Pseudo code and builds on programming techniques studied in GCSE Computing.
At the core of the course is computational thinking. It will appeal to those who enjoy solving problems, designing systems and investigating human and machine intelligence.
As part of the course you will be given opportunity to investigate and debate recent advancements in computer science.

You will learn how to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner through an independent project with a client.

Throughout, you will demonstrate how principles from other subjects such as Mathematics and Physics are combined with computational theory to enable computer systems to process and store data.

In year one you will study:
- Theory of Computer System Fundamentals
- Effective Programming Techniques and Logical Methods

In year two you will study:
- Advanced Computer Science Theory
- Developing a Computing Project (NEA)
To access an A Level in Computer Science you must achieve a minimum of Grade 6 in Mathematics at GCSE. In addition, a Grade 6 or above in Computing or Computer Science at GCSE is desirable but not essential. Candidates without a relevant qualification at GCSE will be required to sit an aptitude test at interview.

Future Study and Career Opportunities
Higher Education courses accessible with an A Level in Computing include Computer Network Technologies, Computing and Games Programming.
An A Level in Computing can lead to career opportunities in careers such as ICT, Network Technician, Junior Programmer and Computer Forensics.

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