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Computing - KS4 - Course Information

Computing - KS4 - Course Information

Computing GCSE

Head of Department = Nicole Artemis
Exam board = OCR

What will you learn about? (Course content)

Unit A451: Computer systems and programming

This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based. The topics that are covered include; The fundamentals of Computer systems, Computing Hardware and Software, Representation of data in computer systems, Database, Computer Communication and networking most importantly the fundamentals to programming.

Unit 2: Practical investigation

This is an investigative unit. You will carry out an investigative computing task, chosen from a list provided by OCR. The practical investigation is all about engaging with computing in the real world. You’ll look at a computing topic in more depth and carry out a practical investigation into a computing issue. You will need to investigate research and analyse a complex task and produce a well written report.

Unit 3: Programming Project

This is a practical unit where you will be able to design a coded solution to a problem. The programming project will call on you to design, code and test a solution to a board set task using a Python programming language. This unit will introduce you to the practical programming used by application, games, and website developers. The effectiveness of the design and the testing of the solution together with the final program will be assessed.

What skills will you develop?

  • Technical computing skills (Problem-solving ability, recognizing levels of abstraction in software, hardware systems)
  • Practical skills such as building and using database management systems
  • Programming using Python programming language, to carry out a variety of computing tasks, such as creating a user interface.
  • Communicating in writing, giving effective presentations and product demonstrations.
  • Opportunity to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills.

You will enjoy this course if…

  • If you have a real interest in how computers work, you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem solving.
  • Your innovative and like to take risks and learn from debugging programmes

Your technology savvy, enthusiastic and motivated about learning to produce technology rather than just consumers.

How is it assessed?

Unit A451: This Unit is a written 90 minute Examination Paper worth 80 marks which is externally assessed. It is worth 40% of the overall GCSE grade

Unit A452: This Unit is an Investigative task worth 45 marks. Students carry out an Investigation where they can choose a scenario from the research tasks set by OCR. This unit is worth 30% of the overall GCSE grade Unit A453: This Unit is a Controlled Assessment unit worth 45 marks. It is a Programming task, where they design, develop and test a solution to a problem within the OCR-set scenario. This unit is also worth 30% of the overall GCSE grade. Practical tasks are held under exam conditions in the ICT suites marked by teachers and moderated by OCR.

How could it benefit you in the future? (Career progression)

Computing is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in Computing will enable you to follow one of a wide variety of career paths.

Well qualified and skilled programmers are in great demand as shown in numerous surveys.

  • Further specialised study can lead to employment in the gaming industries.
  • A computing qualification is a good basis for work as; an IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator, software applications developer, programmer and development.

Link to course specification on Exam Board website.

 

CiDA (Certificate in Digital Applications)

Level 2 (Equivalent to 1 GCSE A*-C)
Head of Department = Nicole Artemis
Exam board = Pearsons

What will you learn about? (Course content)

UNIT 1: Developing Web Products

When your attention is captured by a web page advertising a competition, promoting an event or launching a new product, what makes you stop and look? Don’t be fooled by technical wizardry. It may have spectacular images, eye-catching animation or attention-grabbing text, but what makes it effective is the way the components work together. This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features. This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features.

Unit 2: Creative Multimedia

Digital tools can be used to communicate information using any combination of text, images, sound, video and interactive components such as buttons and hyperlinks. Products that use these different components at the same time, such as websites, presentations and games, are multimedia. This unit aims to give you the skills to use the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring software to design and create effective multimedia products for specified purposes and audiences.

What skills will you develop?

Students will have the opportunity to acquire and apply creative and technical skills using a variety of different software applications such as; web-design and interactive multimedia. Students will take a practical approach, developing and evaluating ICT-based scenarios to solve problems.

You will enjoy this course if…

  • You enjoy a more practical approach to your learning
  • You wish to study a course which is tailor-made to meet the needs of today’s creative industries, the qualifications covers creative multimedia and website development
  • No formal written examination – the course is completely practical but you are required to be able to review and write up on all processes and decisions of your system formally.

How is it assessed?

Unit 1 Developing Web Products: This Mandatory Unit is externally assessed through a practical computer based examination, where you are expected to design a given specific web product. It is worth 25% of the overall grade.

Unit 2 Creative Multimedia: This Unit is a Summative Project which is Internally Assessed. (Designing, developing and evaluating a practical project).  It is marked by teachers and moderated by Pearson Edexcel It is worth 75% of the overall qualification.

How could it benefit you in the future? (Career progression)

Information Technology is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. Well qualified and skilled ICT personnel are in great demand. The Certificate in Digital Applications Level 2 course provides progression onto level 3 academic or vocational courses related to IT or computing, or into an apprenticeship e.g. network engineer or software/web developer.

Other useful information

All of the ICT lessons will be taught in the ICT suites at the school.  It is necessary at times to set an element of practical homework for in Preparation for your assessed pieces.  Students without access to a computer at home must be prepared to come and use the ICT facilities at school after the formal end of the school day in order to complete work.
Link to course specification on Exam Board website.

 

ICT (Information Communication Technology)

GCSE
Head of Department = Nicole Artemis
Exam board = Pearsons

What will you learn about? (Course content)

UNIT 1: Living in a Digital World

In this unit, students explore how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. Students learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts (learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and well-being, on the move). They develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice.

Unit 2: Using Digital Tools

This is a practical unit. Students broaden and enhance their ICT skills and capability. They work with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts. Students learn to reflect critically on their own and others’ use of ICT and to adopt safe, secure and responsible practice. Students put into practice what they learned about digital technology in Unit 1.
What skills will you develop?

Students will have the opportunity to acquire and apply creative and technical skills using a variety of different software applications such as; web-design, databases and spreadsheets. Students will take a practical approach, developing and evaluating ICT-based solutions of their own to solve problems.

You will enjoy this course if…

  • If you have a real interest in how computers work and how they are used in business
  • If you are interested in keeping up to date with IT and digital developments.
  • Develop your IT skills so you can use them to solve practical problems.

How is it assessed?

Unit 1: This Unit is a written 90 minute Examination Paper which is externally assessed. It is worth 40% of the overall GCSE grade

Unit 2: This Unit is a Controlled Assessment Brief (CAB) which are Practical tasks held under exam conditions in the ICT suites marked by teachers and moderated by Edexcel It is worth 60% of the overall GCSE grade.
How could it benefit you in the future? (Career progression)

Information Technology is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will open doors to diverse career paths. Well qualified and skilled ICT personnel are in great demand. Graduates and others with qualifications in ICT and related areas have no difficulty in finding excellent employment opportunities. An ICT qualification is a good basis for work as an ICT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator, programmer and development. The GCSE Information and Communication Technology course provides progression onto level 3 academic or vocational courses or into an apprenticeship e.g. network engineer or software/web developer.

Other useful information

Most of the ICT lessons will be taught in the ICT suites at the school.  However, you must realize that this course syllabus does involve theory lessons in addition to computer time.  It is also necessary at times to set an element of practical homework for your Controlled Assessment Preparation work.  Students without access to a computer at home must be prepared to come and use the ICT facilities at school after the formal end of the school day in order to complete work.
Link to course specification on Exam Board website.