Computer Science

Head of Department: Mr G King: gking@kingalfred.somerset.sch.uk 

 

What is the course like?

OCR A Level Computer Science will inspire and challenge students to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills they acquire. Here are some of the key benefits of the new Computer Science specifications: 

• The new qualifications will be focused on programming and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline

• There’ll be an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course

• The ICT content of the new specifications will be appropriate to a Computer Science qualification

• Computational thinking will be at the core of the new specifications

• The A Level will consist of three components, two of which will be externally marked question papers making up 80% of the qualification

• The other 20% will be the coursework project, which will retain its current qualities but will be more focused, with a greater emphasis on coding and programming with a simple assessment model and marking criteria

 

1. COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

This component 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. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

• The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices 

• Software and hardware

• Exchanging data 

• Data types, data structures and algorithms 

• Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

 

2. ALGORITHMS AND PROGRAMMING 

This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with two sections, both of which will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions. 

 

SECTION A 

Traditional questions concerning computational thinking: 

• Elements of computational thinking 

• Programming and problem solving 

• Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition 

• Algorithm design and efficiency 

• 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. 

 

3. PROGRAMMING PROJECT

Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and 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.