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Computer Science

Computer Science

Entry Criteria

  • Average Point Score: 6.0
  • Mathematics GCSE Grade 5
  • English Language GCSE Grade 4
  • Grade 5 in this subject at GCSE

Teaching Staff

  • Mrs Rasool
  • Mr Maunders

We are living in a Digital Age and computer programmes have infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer scientists theorise, design, develop, and apply the software and hardware for the programmes we use day in, day out. The Computer Science A Level will be useful in every industry. Problems in science, engineering, health care and so many other areas can be solved by computer scientists, who figure out how to resolve the problem and design the software to apply the solution.

Computer Science will focus on programming, build on our GCSE Computing and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline. Computational thinking involves taking a complex problem and breaking it down into a series of small, more manageable problems (decomposition). Each of these smaller problems can then be looked at individually, considering how similar problems have been solved previously (pattern recognition) and focusing only on the important details, while ignoring irrelevant information (abstraction). Next, simple steps or rules to solve each of the smaller problems can be designed (algorithms).

There will be an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course. With computational thinking at its core, students will develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence. Students will be applying the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner. This qualification will also give students a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS (British Computing Society The Chartered Institute for IT), CAS (Computing At School) and top universities.

Computer Science is one of those fields where it is almost impossible to predict what will happen next. We cannot even begin to imagine all the ways that you can make a contribution to it and how it can make your life’s work exciting and real.

What do our students say about Computer Science?

The challenge and fun in Computer Science is the problem-solving and revelations you face when you solve a problem – the solutions aren’t as easy to find as a maths problem, but are as straightforward as one step after another. When the understanding behind a goal “clicks” and you realise the path to your solution – that’s what makes it so fun. You can solve anything, and it’s satisfying too.
One of our students this year didn’t take Computer Science as a GCSE and wishes that they did. If you haven’t done any Computer Science before it’s not a disaster, but a good foundation is imperative, so we would recommend doing some more research and practice over the summer. Having a firm grasp of GCSE Mathematics and problem-solving is crucial to taking it to the next level – A Level. Those of us who did Computer Science GCSE found it an easier step up – but don’t let that put you off if you haven’t studied it before.
Our other piece of advice for those starting Year 12 is to start your NEA (Non-Exam Assessment – a programming project that needs to be documented) as soon as it is introduced. This will make it a lot easier and provide you with the time you need to get it done without problems – and if you get stuck, it means you have time to talk it through with your teachers and peers so they can help you.
I studied Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science. Maths is required for Further Maths at A Level, and Further Maths shares many important aspects with Computer Science, especially the decision aspect of the FM course. However, other students doing Computer Science have studied other sciences – Biology and Chemistry, mostly. If your goal is Computer Science after college, Maths is always a good choice, then Further Maths and Physics have shown to be really good support subjects too. I also completed an EPQ, using a self-learning neural network to try to predict students’ outcomes in exams.
I plan to continue taking Computer Science at University level, so studying A Level Computer Science has helped me to prepare for that leap, and also enabled me to enlarge my repertoire and portfolio of projects in the meantime.

As well as his A Levels and EPQ, Thomas was an active member of the Music Department during his time at CHS, singing in the Chapel Choir and a variety of other groups.