A Level Computing
Compulsory at Phase 1 and optional at Phase 2 and Advanced Academy
Computing at Newquay Tretherras
In the Computing Department, we recognise that the world of computers is constantly changing and our job is to provide the skills and understanding our students need to take advantage of everything technology has to offer. As well as building confidence and teaching how to use existing applications, we also like to encourage a culture of experimentation. By studying the fundamentals of programming and modern methods for software development, we aim to help learners become drivers of the technology, rather than simply passengers. We also are committed to helping all students achieve ICT or Computing qualifications at a level to suit them.
The Computing department is made up of three specialist computing staff. We currently have 6 main Computing suites, each having an average of 28 computers enhanced by interactive white boards to aid teaching and learning. The rooms also have Colour Laser Printers, Laser Printers, Scanners and access to Digital Camera’s.
Students are encouraged to use the facilities as much as possible with IT clubs being run after school. The facilities are always supervised by a teaching member of staff.
IT is also used cross curricular throughout the school throughout all Key Stages. Opportunities are available for other departments and subject teachers to use the bookable IT resources within the school for their classes in order to meet the requirements of Phase 1, 2 & Advanced Academy courses.
Phase 1 Curriculum
Years 7, 8 and 9 have one hour of Computing per week. Each year will focus on 3 different strands of the new framework; Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Within these strands students will gain skills in Algorithms, Programming & Development, Data & Data Representation, Hardware & Processing, Communication & Networks and Information Technology. Each half term will focus on 1 of the 6 skills and areas.
Homework in Year 7, 8 and 9 will be set once per half term and will be linked to the strand they are studying in class. This will give students the opportunity to work independently outside of lessons.
Following the new Computing Curriculum will also help students to make an informed decision about the most suitable course at GCSE level.
OCR GCSE Computing is 60% Controlled Assessment which is split into 2 pieces of coursework; a Programming Project and a Practical Investigation. The theory for the external exam will focus on Computer Systems and Programming.
Edexcel GCSE ICT is also 60% Controlled Assessment – one large piece in which students need to show their competence in using digital tools by carrying out tasks set by the exam board. The theory for the external exam will focus on Living in a Digital World.
Edexcel BTEC ICT is a highly regarded vocational qualification in which students produce 3 pieces of coursework; a Digital E-portfolio, a Digital Graphic and a Digital Animation. The theory for the external exam will focus on The Online World.
Homework is set individually as an extension of their independent classwork and students can attend after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays to upgrade and finish this.
A Level Curriculum
In OCR A Level Computing students will delve deep into learning about the characteristics of contemporary hardware, the software development lifecycle, programming principles and practice along with the underpinning legal, ethical and cultural issues that technology companies face on a daily basis. Additionally, students will enhance their computational thinking, problem solving abilities and algorithm design whilst learning to create programs using Java.
OCR Cambridge Technicals IT, is one of the most popular vocational qualification subjects offered. IT is at the heart of everyday life, at home, work and in our leisure time, from computer graphics and control systems to communications and problem-solving, IT has an ever increasing role to play. Cambridge Technicals are vocational qualifications that are designed to give you a work-focused alternative to A Levels. They’ve been designed to give you opportunities to demonstrate and develop the practical application of knowledge and understanding in the areas of work that appeal to you. This will enable you to develop your research skills as you work, both independently and with colleagues, to progress through your qualifications.
For more information, go to http://tretherras.net/a-level-computer-science/
Link to exam board / specification
In Computing we have assessed the specifications from many exam boards before we made our choices, therefore giving students the most up-to-date and relevant qualifications. You can follow the links below to look at the individual course specific, specifications.
Phase 1 Progress Pathways (Link to PDF please) OCR GCSE Computing – http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/72936-specification.pdf
Edexcel GCSE ICT – http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse10/ict/Pages/About_GCSE_ICT.aspx
OCR A Level Computing – http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-computer-science-h046-h446-from-2015/
OCR Cambridge Technicals IT – http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/83030-centre-handbook.pdf