Topic outline

  • Preparing for A-Level Computer Science

    The background shows the lines of a computer circuit board. On top of this are a number of small white circles joined up by green lines to make a network. In the centre of the image is a white cros-section of a head in profile showing the brain. Circling around the head are layers of binary code.

    Image Ref: Pixabay 3706562

    If you have any questions about the course or anything to do with college life, please email heretohelp@eastcoast.ac.uk

  • What will I be studying on the course?

    Here is a summary of what you will learn in the two years...

    Programming: A broad range of procedural, object oriented and functional techniques.

    These include Python, C++, C#, HTML, Java Script, CSS, PHP and SQL. 

    20% of the overall marks include developing  a functional software as a solution to a problem. This involves a lot of programming and you are free to choose the language in which to code.  

      
    Development: Software development methodologies such as Waterfall, RAD, SCRUM etc

    You will learn how the process of software development works. From meeting the clients to assess their requirements to handing over the finished product and signing off project completion, you will learn about the steps involved and which method to choose from for different situations. 


    Data: Underlying binary processes and logic that are central to the digital world

    You will learn about types of data, how to represent them, number systems and  computational arithmetic.


    Computation: Master a wide range of algorithms and associated data structures

    Mastering a wide range of algorithms is fundamental to becoming an excellent programmer. You will learn about different searching and sorting algorithms and their efficiency.


    Processing: How CPUs work, assembly language, parallel processing and GPU


    How does the computer actually carry out your instructions? What are the parts of a CPU? How does it work? What's the difference between CPU and GPU? You will learn about all the above and how to write instructions in the LMC Assembly Language instruction set. 


    Systems: Explores I/O devices, operating systems and database systems

    You will also get a deep understanding about types of operating systems,  I/O devices, interrupts, embedded systems and Databases.


    Connectivity: From basic network hardware to modern web technologies

    From the basic hardware, topologies, protocols and cybersecurity, you will learn about how the internet and other networks function and how to develop web-based  solutions using HTML, Java Script, PHP, SQL etc.


    Society: Legal and ethical aspects of developments in technology

    At the heart of being an IT professional  is the knowledge of the immense power and the social responsibilities that come with being in this field. Following the BCS'S Code of Conduct and ACM's Ethics and Professional Conduct (industry standards for legal and ethical aspects of computing, you will learn about legislations like the DPA(2018), Computer Misuse Act (1998) and CPA(1988). 

  • What will I be doing in the lessons?

    The Computer Science A level is an academic course and involves building both knowledge about computer systems and technical skills in programming. It is also about understanding the impacts of technology in everyday life including the legal and ethical aspects and using technology responsibly.


    You will be spending a lot of time working on computers- both in lessons and in your own time. You will learn to program in Python, Java and JavaScript and, in doing so, put theory into practice. We use the IDLE and Eclipse as well as a selection of GitHub tools. You'll also be learning SQL for working with databases.


    The second year project is to create software solutions for one of the following scenarios (recommended by OCR):

    • Complex Games (e.g. may involve play against the computer)
    • Simulations
    • Automated scheduling/timetabling
    • Online multi-user websites


    You will not be limited to the above but your project needs to be 'complex enough' so as not to limit the scope of the solution and to get the 'higher band' marks.

    • Destinations and career ideas

      We pride ourselves in enabling our students to put their best foot forward as they head out through our doors to a bright future! A majority of our students go on to study undergraduate and master degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Cybersecurity, Computer Games and Ethical Hacking - all at prestigious and Russell group universities across the country. Many have moved onto higher degree apprenticeships with reputed employers like BT, AVIVA and the NHS. Many students have also moved into employment and enterprise.


      No matter what you choose to do, we will be behind you 100%. Here is a taste of how we will support you to succeed beyond sixth form studies -

      • Help with choosing the right career path
      • UCAS application and personal statement writing support
      • Help with writing a CV and gaining employability skills
      • Taking you around to different university campuses for open days
      • Help with preparing for university interviews
      • Help with apprenticeship and job interviews
      • A range of activities and career fairs to help you develop links with local and national employers

    • Activities to get you ready for A-Levels

      This is a crucial time for you to gain valuable skills to succeed in your A level CS course.


      Here are the key skills you need to develop:

      • Computational thinking - learning to write algorithms
      • Coding in Python, Java, Javscript, HTML, SQL
      • Literacy Skills - learning to use academic language


      Here are the first few tasks to get you started.


      TASK 1: Weekly Python Remote Learning Lessons (https://community.computingatschool.org.uk/resources/6071/)

      TASK 2: Improve your academic reading and writing skills (https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/gothedistance/academicwriting)