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Course Description

This course has real relevance in our modern world. While learners will no doubt already have some knowledge of computers and related areas, the course will give them an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and an insight into what goes on "behind the scenes". As part of this, they will investigate computer programming, which many learners find interesting, however challenging.

The content of the course is demanding and learning to write programs in Python will be a significant part of the course; logical thinking and mathematical skills are important skills prerequisites in order to be successful.  By the end of the course students will be able to:

· Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation

· Analyse problems in computational terms, through practical experience

· Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

Assessment Structure

Two written external examinations which include a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, long answer and extended response questions assessing SQL programming skills, practical problem solving, computational thinking skills and theoretical knowledge.

Computational thinking and programming skills — This paper is worth 50% of the total GCSE. Students will be assessed on computational thinking, code tracing, problem-solving, programming concepts including the design of effective algorithms and the designing, writing, testing and refining of code.

Computing concepts — This paper is worth 50% of the total GCSE.  Students will be assessed on fundamentals of data representation, computer systems, software classifications, systems architecture, computer networks, cyber security, relational databases and structured query language and ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology.

Special Features

The course has been designed to form a qualification that provides knowledge and understanding of Computer Science. This qualification is ideal for students who want a specific background in computing that will allow them to progress to higher education in a computer science related degree. In a relaxed but mature atmosphere, students will be taught the concepts of programming in various ways, through teacher-led activities, self-study and using their own experiences to master concepts they find difficult.

Career Opportunities

Students gaining this qualification in computing will have access to a range of career and further education opportunities. They will learn to use a variety of skills throughout the course including collecting, analysing and interpreting data, designing, testing, implementing and evaluating programming solutions. These skills are in great demand and are highly recognised and valued by employers and colleges. As a computing student you will develop the skills that employers are looking for.