A high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world through computational thinking. It develops and requires logical thinking and precision. It combines creativity with rigour: pupils apply underlying principles to understand real-world systems, and to create purposeful and usable artefacts. More broadly, it provides a lens through which to understand both natural and artificial systems, and has substantial links with the teaching of mathematics, science, and design and technology.
At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. Building on this core, computing equips pupils to apply information technology to create products and solutions. A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Why choose OCR Computer Science?
Our Computer Science specification will above all else be relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. The new specification will:
- Focus on programming, building on our GCSE Computing and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.
- Have an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.
- Put computational thinking at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.
- Allow student to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner.
- Give students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS, CAS and top universities
The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:
- an understanding of and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems including writing programs to do the capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
- mathematical skills
- the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology
The key features of this specification encourage:
- emphasis on problem solving using computers
- emphasis on computer programming and algorithms
- emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and comparison of the complexity of algorithms
- less emphasis on ICT
What will I study?
Unit 1: Computer Fundamentals
• Data: its presentation, structure and management
• Data transmission and networking
• Systems development life cycle
• Characteristics of information systems
• Implications of computer use
Unit 2: Programming Techniques and Logical Methods
• Designing solutions to problems
• The structure of procedural programs
• Data types and data structures
• Common facilities of procedural languages
• Writing maintainable programs
• Testing and running a solution
Unit 3: Advanced Computing Theory
• The function of operating systems
• The function and purpose of translators
• Computer architectures
• Data representation
• Data structures and data manipulation
• High-level language programming paradigms
• Programming techniques
• Low-level languages
Unit 4: Computing Project
• Definition, investigation and analysis
• Software development and testing
• The written report
Course assessment details
AS Module 1 Exam in January = 50% of AS – 25% of A2 level marks
AS Module 2 Exam in June = 50% of AS – 25% of A2 level marks
A2 Module 3 Exam in January = 25% of total A2 level marks
A2 Module 4 Coursework = 25 % of total A2 level marks
How will I study?
Through seminars, discussions, presentations, practical and individual work. Research will be carried out using books, periodicals & ICT.
What do I need to start the course?
A*– B or equivalent in GCSE Higher papers for Mathematics, Science and ICT. A minimum grade C in at least two other GCSE subjects.
Students who have not studied ICT or Computing in years 10 and 11 may still be considered for AS Computing course after consultation with course tutor.
Where could it lead?
Computing offers a wide range of skills and options for students wishing to study any subject at degree level. It is increasingly accepted as a science qualification
at highest University levels. Career paths are extremely wide ranging in both specialisms offered and levels of occupational involvement.