Close Search
Prospectus

Computing

Computing  Staff
Mr C Rance (Subject Leader) crance@conyers.org.uk
Mr C Coleman ccoleman@conyers.org.uk
Mr C Ritson critson@conyers.org.uk
Mr E Rushworth erushworth@conyers.org.uk

Please select the links below to view further information about the department. The assessment programme explains how and what the students will be assessed on along with information on how to prepare.

  • Key Stage 4
  • A Level
  • Year 10 Assessment
  • Year 11 Assessment

GCSE Computing

Introduction

We are living in the midst of a revolution powered by computers. This revolution has invaded all aspects of society. It is a communication revolution, a transportation revolution, a medical revolution, an entertainment revolution. Central to all of these things we take for granted are computers: hardware, software and innovative applications. Computing links in with many subjects and future careers such as Artificial intelligence, Engineering, Computer forensics, Data science, Computer Game design, Animations, web design, Business, the list could go on and on. Students armed with the skill of computing will find many future doors open based on the skills they will learn and be apply to apply for the rest of their lives.

Skills

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including integral skills required for all aspects of life such as 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. These skills as not only sought after in the computing industries but across a wide range of careers.
  • Thinking ‘outside the box’ by applying creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically thinking to solve real world problems.
  • 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 including analysing legislation and ethical implications surrounding technologies. These matters are at the forefront of world news.
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science such as Binary and Hexadecimal.

Course structure

Computer Systems:  This component will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. Computational thinking which has become a buzz word around industries, this applies the critical problem solving, creativity to be able to design solutions to current problems and problems that have not even been thought of yet. Learners will also be introduced to algorithms and programming, using a suite of programming languages ranging from HTML, Visual Basic, Python and JavaScript. Learning about programming techniques – Students will develop robust programs fulfilling requirements. Their journey will take students through computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Learners will also become familiar with computing related mathematics. Programming project – Students will be given a series of problems that they will have to apply to all elements of Computational thinking to help produce a creative yet efficient programming solution ensuring they meet the needs of the client/ requirements.

Assessment

Computer Systems – 1 hour and 30 minutes Written paper Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – 1 hour and 30 minutes Written paper Programming project – Centre Assessed task

Exam Board: OCR (2015 specification)

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. The world presents humanity with many problems. Computing is primarily about learning how to identify, narrow down and solve problems. The course investigates how a problem can be turned into numbers and using a variety of mathematical and scientific techniques, solved. The course also addresses in some detail how modern solve such problems, including detail about “what goes on under the bonnet”. These skills combine to allow students to progress onto demonstrating their own problem solving capabilities in the A Level project.

Why study it?

To learn about how problems are broken down and solved effectively and efficiently. To learn programming skills in a range of programming languages and learn how to adopt a structured approach to programming. To understand what makes computers tick! – what’s inside, why and how everything works together. Appreciate some of the ethical and moral issues surrounding the widespread use of computers in society.

About the Course

Throughout the course, many different aspects of computing are explored which will develop your understanding of the subject. The main areas addressed in the course are stated below.

Computer Systems

The course will explore the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

Software and its development through different types of programming languages

  • Data types, representation and structures
  • Exchanging data and web technologies
  • Using Boolean algebra
  • Legal, moral and ethical issues.

Algorithms and Problem Solving

We will also look at how computers think , exploring all elements of Computational thinking, the heart of the subject and how to apply these to solve problems. From this, we look at the importance of algorithms in defining efficient solutions to problems. Students will then be taught program techniques and how to write programming solutions to solve these problems.

Programming Project

In computing, you will bring all this learning together into a practical based project, where you will apply previous knowledge to create a programmed solution, which meets the needs of a specific client.

What next?

Studying A-Level Computer Science can be extremely valuable if you wish to pursue a career in the following:

  • Computer programmer
  • Database administrator
  • Games developer
  • Information systems manager
  • Network engineer
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems developer
  • Games developer

If you have any further questions regarding Computer Science please feel free to contact us on the details as shown below.

Year 10 Assessment

Term 1

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
1.4 Wired and Wireless Networks
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • Types of networks:
    • LAN (Local Area Network)
    • WAN (Wide Area Network)
  • Factors that affect the performance of networks
  • The different roles of computers in a client-server and a peer-to-peer network
  • the hardware needed to connect stand-alone computers into a Local Area Network:
    • wireless access points
    • routers/switches
    • NIC (Network Interface Controller/Card)
    • transmission media
  • The internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks:
    • DNS (Domain Name Server)
    • Hosting
    • the cloud
  • • The concept of virtual networks.
2.6 Data Representation
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
Units:

  • Bit, nibble, byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte
  • How data needs to be converted into a binary format to be processed by a computer.
  • Numbers
  • how to convert positive denary whole numbers (0–255) into 8 bit binary numbers and vice versa
  • How to add two 8 bit binary integers and explain overflow errors which may occur
  • Binary shifts
  • How to convert positive denary

Term 2

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
1.6 System Security
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key
  • concepts and principles of Computer
  • Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and
  • principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • Computational thinking:
    • abstraction
    • decomposition
    • algorithmic thinking
  • standard searching algorithms:
    • binary search
    • linear search
  • standard sorting algorithms:
    • bubble sort
    • merge sort
    • insertion sort
  • how to produce algorithms using:
    • pseudocode
    • using flow diagrams
  • interpret, correct or complete algorithms.

Term 3

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
1.7 Systems Software
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • the purpose and functionality of systems software operating systems:
    • user interface
    • memory management/multitasking
    • peripheral management and drivers
    • user management
    • file management
  • utility system software:
    • encryption software
    • defragmentation
    • data compression
  • the role and methods of backup:
    • full
    • incremental

Term 4

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
1.1 Systems Architecture
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • the purpose of the CPU
    • Von Neumann architecture:
      • MAR (Memory Address Register)
      • MDR (Memory Data Register)
      • Program Counter
      • Accumulator
    • common CPU components and their function:
      • ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit)
      • CU (Control Unit)
      • Cache
    • the function of the CPU as fetch and execute instructions stored in memory
    • how common characteristics of CPUs affect their performance:
      • clock speed
      • cache size
      • number of cores
    • embedded systems:
      • purpose of embedded systems
      • examples of embedded systems.
1.2 Memory
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key
  • concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • the difference between RAM and ROM
  • the purpose of ROM in a computer system
  • the purpose of RAM in a computer system
  • the need for virtual memory
  • flash memory.

Term 5

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
Ethics, Legal and Culture
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • how to investigate and discuss Computer Science technologies while considering:
    • ethical issues
    • legal issues
    • cultural issues
    • environmental issues.
    • privacy issues.
  • how key stakeholders are affected by technologies
  • environmental impact of Computer Science
  • cultural implications of Computer Science
  • open source vs proprietary software
  • legislation relevant to Computer Science:
    • The Data Protection Act 1998
    • Computer Misuse Act 1990
    • Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988
    • Creative Commons Licensing
    • Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Term 6

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
2.2 Programming Techniques
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key
  • concepts and principles of Computer
  • Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and
  • principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
  • the use of variables, constants, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments
  • the use of the three basic programming constructs used to control the
  • flow of a program:
    • sequence
    • selection
    • iteration (count and condition controlled loops)
  • the use of basic string manipulation
  • the use of basic file handling operations:
    • open
    • read
    • write
    • close
  • the use of records to store data
  • the use of SQL to search for data

Year 11 Assessment

Untitled Document

Term 1

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
 3.1 Programming techniques 3.2 Analysis 3.3 Design 3.4 Development 3.5 Testing and evaluation and conclusions
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.
Use notes and to revise key areas:

  • How to identify and use variables, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments
  • How to understand and use the three basic programming constructs used to control the flow of a program: Sequence; Selection; Iteration
  • How to understand and use suitable loops including count and condition controlled loops
  • How to use different types of data, including Boolean, string, integer and real, appropriately in solutions to problems
  • How to understand and use basic string manipulation
  • How to understand and use basic file handling operations:
    • open
    • read
    • write
    • close
  • How to define and use arrays (or equivalent) as appropriate when solving problems
  • How to understand and use functions/sub programs to create structured code.

NB: Pages 15-16 of the specification will provide more detail

Term 2

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
3.1 Programming techniques 3.2 Analysis 3.3 Design 3.4 Development 3.5 Testing and evaluation and conclusions
  •  AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.
Use notes and guides provided to revise key areas:

  • How to identify and use variables, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments
  • How to understand and use the three basic programming constructs used to control the flow of a program: Sequence; Selection; Iteration
  • How to understand and use suitable loops including count and condition controlled loops
  • How to use different types of data, including Boolean, string, integer and real, appropriately in solutions to problems
  • How to understand and use basic string manipulation
  • How to understand and use basic file handling operations:
    • open
    • read
    • write
    • close
  • How to define and use arrays (or equivalent) as appropriate when solving problems
  • How to understand and use functions/sub programs to create structured code.

NB: Pages 15-16 of the specification will provide more detail

Term 3

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
1.1 System architecture 1.2 Memory 1.3 Storage 1.4 and 1.5 Networks
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
Use notes to revise key areas:

  • The purpose of the CPU
  • Von Neumann architecture:
  • Common CPU components and their function:
  • The function of the CPU as fetch and execute instructions stored in memory
  • How common characteristics of CPUs affect their performance:
    • Embedded systems:
    • The difference between RAM and ROM
    • The purpose of ROM in a computer system
    • The purpose of RAM in a computer system
    • The need for virtual memory
  • Flash memory
  • The need for secondary storage
  • Data capacity and calculation of data capacity requirements
  • Common types of storage:
    • Suitable storage devices and storage media for a given application, and the advantages and disadvantages of these types of networks:
    • Factors that affect the performance of networks
    • The different roles of computers in a client-server and a peer-to-peer network
    • The hardware needed to connect stand-alone computers into a Local Area Network:
  • The internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks:
    • The concept of virtual networks.
    • Star and mesh network topologies
    • Wifi
    • The uses of IP addressing, MAC addressing, and protocols
    • The concept of layers
    • Packet switching.

NB: Pages 5-7of the specification will provide more detail

Term 4

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
System security 1.7 System Software 2.1 Algorithms 2.2 Programming techniques 2.5 Translators
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:
    • to make reasoned judgements
    • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.
  • Use notes to revise key areas:
  • forms of attack
  • threats posed to networks:
  • identifying and preventing vulnerabilities:
  • the purpose and functionality of systems software
  • operating systems:
  • utility system software:
  • computational thinking:
  • standard searching algorithms:
  • how to produce algorithms using
  • interpret, correct or complete algorithms.
  • the use of variables, constants, operators, inputs, outputs and assignments
  • the use of the three basic programming constructs used to control the flow of a program:
  • the use of basic string manipulation
  • the use of basic file handling operations:
  • the use of records to store data
  • the use of SQL to search for data
  • the use of arrays (or equivalent) when solving problems, including both one and two dimensional arrays
  • how to use sub programs (functions and procedures) to produce structured code
  • the use of data types the common arithmetic operators
  • the common Boolean operators.
  • characteristics and purpose of different levels of programming language, including low level languages
  • the purpose of translators
  • the characteristics of an assembler, a compiler and an interpreter
  • common tools and facilities available in an integrated development environment (IDE):

NB: Pages 8-11 of the specification will provide more detail

Term 5

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
2.6 Data representation 1.8 Legal, ethical
  • AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
  • AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of Computer Science.
Use notes to revise key areas:

  • 2.6 Units
  • 2.6 Numbers
  • 2.6 Characters
  • 2.6 Images
  • 2.6 Sound
  • 2.6 Compression
  • 1.8 how to investigate and discuss Computer Science technologies
  • 1.8 how key stakeholders are affected by technologies
  • 1.8 environmental impact of Computer Science
  • 1.8 cultural implications of Computer Science
  • 1.8 open source vs proprietary software
  • 1.8 legislation relevant to Computer Science

NB: Pages 8 and 12 of the specification will provide

Term 6

Assessment Focus and Purpose Key Concepts/Skills Assessed Preparation/Key Areas to Revise
Exam prep