Key Stage 5
Exam Board: OCR
Unit 1 – 40% of award – Computing Principles: Covers the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following: The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices. Software and software development. Programming. Exchanging data. Data types, data structures and algorithms. Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues.
Unit 2 – 40% of award – Algorithms and problem solving: The paper will contain a short scenario/task, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving. Other areas covered include: SECTION A: Traditional questions concerning computational thinking – elements of computational thinking, problem solving and programming, algorithms, pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition and standard algorithms. SECTION B: There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.
Unit 3 – 20% of award – Programming Project: Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size/complexity to solve. This will enable them to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Students will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.
Assessment for examination:
Unit 1 and 2 components will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark scheme-type questions. Unit 3 will be assessed via a controlled assessment.
GCSE Computing grade ‘6’ or GCSE Computer Science grade ‘6’ if studied. Mathematics grade ‘6’ or above.
N.B. For students who are considering studying computer science at university it essential that they study A Level Mathematics for applications to be considered in most cases.
Progression routes and careers:
Generic pathways include: banks, transport sector, hospitals, schools, telecommunications, engineering, etc. In addition, there are more specific Computer Science related pathways which include: programmer, developer (application, game), administrator (systems, network, database), managers (information, IT, project, security), etc.