Computer Science

Mr S Avery
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Exam Board: OCR ›

Examination Board : OCR Cambridge

OCR GCSE (9-1) in Computer Science has been developed in response to a number of recent initiatives aimed at promoting computer science as a rigorous, knowledge-based subject discipline that should be part of every young person’s education.

These initiatives include:
· Recommendation 7 of the Royal Society report ’Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools’ (January 2012)
· ‘Computer Science: A curriculum for schools’ produced by the Computing at School (CAS) Working Group (March 2012)
· ‘Computing: Programmes of study for Key Stages 1–4’ (draft) published by the Department for Education (July 2013)

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) specification in Computer Science encourages learners to be inspired, and challenged through completing a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. The specification will help learners to gain an insight into related sectors. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices

Course objectives The aims and learning outcomes of the OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science are to enable learners to:
· understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including 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

· think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

· 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

· apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

The Computer Science GCSE examination course followed in key stage four is provided by the OCR syllabus J276. The Computer Science GCSE provided by OCR is now part of the English Baccalaureate.
Assessment consists of two papers, one focusing on the theory of Computer Science and one with a focus on programming and algorithms. Both papers have identical weighting and mark allocations.
Assessment is by means of 2 terminal exams accounting for 40% of the marks, an investigative exercise worth 20% of the marks
Content Overview Assessment Overview
· Computer systems
· Systems Architecture Memory
· Storage
· Wired and wireless networks
· Network topologies, protocols and layers
· System security
· System software
· Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental
concerns   Computer systems (01)   80 marks   1 hour and 30 minutes  Written paper  (no calculators allowed)    40% of total GCSE
· Computational thinking, algorithms and
· Algorithms*
·  Programming techniques
·  Producing robust programs
· Computational logic Translators and
facilities of languages
·  Data representation  Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02)  80 marks   1 hour and 30 minutes   Written paper   (no calculators allowed)   40% of total GCSE
Programming project **
Programming techniques
· Analysis
· Design
· Development
· Testing and evaluation and conclusions   Programming project (03/04)  40 marks   Totalling 20 hours    Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)   20% of total GCSE

The link below gives access to the full specification of the course. You can also view past papers, mark schemes and examiners reports:
PLEASE NOTE: This is a draft specification and has not yet been accredited – assuming it will be authorised this is the likely syllabus that will be followed in 2016.

It is suitable for young people who want to explore and investigate how computers work, and how they are used. You are most likely to enjoy the subject if you have a real interest in how computers work and if you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem solving. An interest in Mathematics and currently working at this subject at a high level is desirable also.
The course is open to students of all abilities. However, students opting for this subject will need to meet the requirements of the examinations, and also to show a commitment and a willingness to learn.

We follow the National Curriculum for Computing.
This covers the main areas of Information Technology which are;
Data & Data Representation /  Hardware & Processing / Communication & Networks / Algorithms / Programming & Development
This means that the students cover a range of topics including Office based software: Word processing/Publishing, Databases and Spreadsheets, Animation and Multimedia. We also do Coding with programming languages such as Python, Java and HTML including Web Design. Binary addition, Data types, Computer architecture, Digital devices, Networks, Internet safety and the legal and ethical issues of using Information Technology are also covered within the curriculum.

Assessment criteria
We assess the students once per half term (approximately).
At the moment, the student will receive a National Curriculum level as a result of this assessment. This is subject to review this academic year in line with the new guidelines issued by the government