Computer Science

Welcome to the Computer Science Department

Overview

Computer Science is an optional subject at GCSE which is part of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure. It is well regarded as a highly academic qualification which requires higher level thinking skills for analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, logical planning, computation and the study of programming.

The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. The course gives students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can also be transferred to other subjects and careers such as engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

GCSE Course Information

At Thamesmead we teach the Edexcel GCSE Computer Science Qualification

This consists of two exams worth 40% each and one controlled assessment worth 20% of the overall qualification.

The main programming language we use at key stage 4 is Python, this builds on nicely from the introductory work the students will have completed in year 9.

Component 1: Principles of Computer Science

(*Paper code: 1CP1/01)

Written examination: 1 hour and 40 minutes

40% 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

40% 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

20% 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 2017.

● 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.

 

What careers or courses might this lead to?

Computing skills are vital to an enormous number of careers. Students who excel in computer science may consider careers in programming, media and film industry, app and website design, computer installation and maintenance and communications.

It is widely accepted that students currently in school are likely to be heading for careers and jobs that have not even been invented yet so career options are ever increasing.

Apprenticeships and further study at college and university are available in these career areas.

Useful website links & Revision Guides:

Teach ICT
BBC GCSE Bite Size Computing
SAM Learning
EDExcel