Computer Science A Level KS5
What will students study in Computer Science this year?
Sixth form students will start their A-Level course. The course offered is the OCR A-Level in Computer Science, specification H446. The course covers fundamentals of programming including the concept of data type, including primitive data types and complex data structures, following and writing algorithms, methods of capturing, selecting, exchanging and managing data to produce information for a particular purpose.
In addition, students will develop the following skills; problem solving, design, write and test programs to either a specification or to solve a problem, articulate how a program works, arguing for its correctness and efficiency using logical reasoning, test data, and user feedback, use abstraction effectively and to appropriately structure programs into modular parts with clear well documented interfaces to model selected aspects of the external world in a program and apply computing-related mathematics.
What are the major assessments this year?
Students will be assessed at the end of each unit of study, this will usually be half termly, although units do vary in length so some may be assessed after a term. Students will also sit practice examinations in accordance with the whole school assessment calendar.
At the end of Year 13:
Component 1 – Computing Principles
40% of A-level
Component 2 - Algorithms and Problem solving
40% of A-level
Component 3 –Non-Exam Assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical problem.
20% of A-level
What do assessments test?
Assessments target three Assessment Objectives set out in the exam board specification. AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including to analyse problems in computational terms. AO3: Design, program and evaluate computer systems that solve problems, making reasoned judgements about these and presenting conclusions. Assessments will test application of knowledge, understanding and skills through a variety of multiple choice, short sentence answers and long answers.
What are the expectations of my daughter in Computer Science?
Students will be expected to bring their class workbook and equipment to each lesson. They will be expected to come to each lesson with an open and questioning mind and to become involved in class discussions. Homework will be submitted on the due date. Students will have access to the lesson PowerPoints. Pupils are also expected to review the knowledge organisers in their booklets and complete all homework and online quizzes to the best of their ability. In addition, your daughter can use the software or programming languages used in class to create her own work, e.g. develop programs in python. Your daughter should also keep abreast of developments in IT.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the Computer Science?
In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. She should try to identify specific areas of the subject which she is finding a challenge so that we can offer targeted support.
How can I best support my daughter in Computer Science?
The best way to provide general support by talking to them about their work in the subject and how things are going. It’s also worth talking to your daughter about how you use IT in your everyday life, be it your smartphone, surfing the web or at work.
Whom should I contact for further advice or information?
Please feel free to contact your child’s Computer Science teacher by email, or Head of Computer Science, Mr Ahmad, on firstname.lastname@example.org.