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Redland Green School

KS4 Computer Science

GCSE Computer Science encourages students to think creatively, innovatively, analytically and logically. There is an emphasis on problem solving. Students learn how to analyse problems and devise creative solutions. They will understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation. The course is a mixture of theory and practical experience. Programming develops problem solving skills, including designing, writing, testing and debugging programs. At APS we use the Python programming language.

The theoretical parts of GCSE Computer Science encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts. They will learn about and understand the components that make up digital systems, how they communicate with one another and with other systems and the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society. They will also develop and apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

 

 

Exam board:

OCR

Number of exams:

2 in total

  • Computer Systems (90 minutes - Written paper)
  • Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (90 minutes - Written paper)

 

What is the structure of our curriculum?

This course focuses around two key topics. The core knowledge for each can be seen in the documents linked below:

 

In 2021/22 we have adapted our curriculum to ensure that gaps in learning from the pandemic are being addressed. As a result our Year 11s are studying an adapted curriculum whereas our Year 10s will follow the normal curriculum. Both are shown below.

The curriculum for our current Year 11s

Year 11

Term 1

Computational Thinking

Algorithms

Term 2

Python Programming

Term 3

Robust  Programs and Languages

Terms 4 and 5

Revision

The curriculum for our current Year 10 and all future years

 

Year 10 Year 11

Term 1

Ethical, Cultural, Legal & Environmental

Network Security

 

Term 2

Boolean Logic

Systems Software

 

Term 3

Computational Thinking

Algorithms

 

Terms 4 and 5

Python Programming

 

Term 6

Programming Languages and Robust Programs

Term 1

Networks

Memory & Storage

 

Term 2

Data Representation

 

Term 3

Systems Architecture

 

Terms 4 and 5

Revision

 

 

 

Why is the course sequenced this way?

We begin with the Ethical, Cultural, Legal & Environmental topic as it provides the general context on why Computing is important to society. This leads naturally into Cyber security which is one of the largest growth industries in the 21st Century. Computational thinking, algorithms and programming follows as it provides practical activities in contrast to theory. It also develops the logical and analytical thinking skills required for the rest of the course. Year 11 starts with Networks before exploring how computers differentiate between images, sound, text and numbers and onto the internal workings of computers which are more abstract. As these are the most difficult concepts, students need to be more confident in their understanding of computer systems.

The actual teaching times for topics will depend on various factors including:

  1. i) the amount of practical work done within each topic;
  2. ii) the emphasis placed on development of practical skills;
  • iii) the use of contexts, case studies and other work to support depth of understanding and application of knowledge and understanding;

 

 

How will I be assessed?

  • Regular questioning of students to cement understanding
  • Regular exam questions in lessons to test computational skills
  • Practical programming tasks based on real life scenarios
  • Longer written tasks to test how to structure knowledge logically
  • End of unit mock exams to consolidate topics covered so far

 

What’s the best way to revise?