Computer Science

Head of Computer Science: Mr D Beasley, BSc (Hons) Southampton

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GCSE

With the increased use of computers in all manner of fields the importance of being computer literate is essential. GCSE Computer Science is an excellent foundation, particularly useful if you are interested in a career relating to Maths, Science and Engineering. GCSE Computer Science is both enjoyable and challenging, encouraging you to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

Course entry requirements

You must be in the top set for Maths and likely to get a grade 6 or above at GCSE.
This course introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.
You will develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.
Throughout the course students will gain a great deal of experience at problem solving.

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A Level

Computer Science is part of every aspect of our lives, from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch. Understanding the different dimensions of computing and how it can be utilised to deduce more effective and efficient solutions is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st Century.
Computer Science drives innovation in the sciences (human genome project, AIDS vaccine research, environmental monitoring and protection just to mention a few), and also in Engineering, Business, Entertainment and Education.

Whether you want to be a Scientist, Engineer, Mathematician or develop the latest killer application, studying Computer Science will provide you with the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

Universities look very favourably on Computing, due to its logical, problem solving nature. It specifically helps students who wish to go on to study Computing, Maths or Science at University, as all degrees in Maths and Science will include modules in programming. Learning to program during the Computer Science A Level will make these modules a breeze increasing your chances of achieving a higher class of degree, in addition to ensuring you are able to utilise computers effectively to become a leader at the cutting edge of your chosen field.
Computer Science jobs are among the most lucrative and in surveys consistently have the highest job satisfaction.
Computing is the one field where there are more jobs than qualified people to fill them!

It is recommended that students opting to study this course also study A level Maths and have achieved A/A* at GCSE Maths. It is advantageous to have studied Computer Science GCSE.

Course Content

  • Fundamentals of programming and data structures.
  • Systematic approach to algorithmic problem solving.
  • Theory of computation. Fundamentals of data representation, computer organisation and architecture.
  • Consequences of uses of computing.
  • Communication and Networking.
  • Graphic User Interface development.
  • Database design and programming.
  • Functional Programming
    …and much, much more!

Lessons are very hands on with as much scope as possible for students to be creative with practical tasks backing up every concept that is taught. All tasks (including homework tasks) are fully differentiated to ensure an appropriate level of challenge for all students. Students will often have the opportunity to work in pairs or teams to design and program solutions to problems set, which develops their ability to work as part of a team. Students work is regularly assessed, so students always know where their strengths lie, which specific areas they can improve and how to improve them