Computer Science

Introduction

Computing is integral in all people’s lives.  Computer systems affect most of the things that we do ranging from conducting business, controlling machinery, navigating planes and communicating with each other using mobile phones and the internet.

In Year 9 pupils will be offered aspects of the new Pearson Edexcel Computer Science course where they will be studying Computer Science rather than ICT. Computer Science is a more in-depth course and deals with data, the hardware of computers, networks, the internet and programming. Whereas ICT deals with using computers to acquire knowledge as applied in the business world.

The course provides a superb stepping stone for those students who want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science; as well as those who enjoy computers and want to expand on the knowledge that they have been taught in Years 7 and 8.

Benefits

  • Provides pupils a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works
  • Provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in Computer Science
  • Develops critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills.

Aims of the Qualification

  • 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 of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science

What you study

The course is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and provides an opportunity to look at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.

You don’t need to have studied this subject before, however, having a personal interest in the workings of computers will be of assistance.

When the students reach Year 10 and 11, they will sit the Pearson Edexcel Level 1 GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science. This consists of two externally-examined papers and a non-examined assessment component.

 

 

Component 1: Principles of Computer Science (*Paper code: 1CP1/01)

 

Written examination: 1 hour and 40 minutes

50% of the qualification

80 marks

 

Content overview

This component will assess all topics.

  • Understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.
  • Understand the requirements for writing program code.
  • Understanding of binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases.
  • Understanding of components of computer systems; ability to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret pseudo-code.
  • Understanding of computer networks, the internet and the worldwide web.
  • Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.

 

Assessment overview

This paper consists of multiple-choice, short open response, open response and extended open response answer questions.

All questions are mandatory.

 

 

 


 

Component 2: Application of Computational Thinking (*Paper code: 1CP1/02)

 

Written examination: 2 hours

50% of the qualification

80 marks

 

Content overview

The main focus of this component will be:

  • Understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms
  • Understanding how to develop program code and constructs, data types, structures, input/output, operators and subprograms

 

This component may also draw on:

  • Understanding of binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases
  • Understanding of components of computer systems; ability to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret pseudo-code
  • Understanding of computer networks, the internet and the worldwide web
  • Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues

 

Assessment overview

This paper is based on a scenario.  It consists of short open response, open response and extended open-response answer questions.  All questions are mandatory

 

 

 

 

Component 3: Project (*Paper code: 1CP1/3A-3E)

 

Non-examined assessment: 20 hours

0% of the qualification

60 marks

 

Content overview

Students will develop a computer program. The content for this component will draw on:

  • algorithms, decomposition and abstraction
  • design, write, test and refine a program
  • data

 

Assessment overview

  • The project will be set by Pearson
  • Project details will be released each September, from September 2018
  • Internally assessed and externally moderated
  • The assessment will be carried out at a computer under supervision
  • The assessment may take place over multiple sessions up to a combined duration of 20 hours
  • Students will produce a report on the development of their project
  • Students will produce a computer program