Computer Science is a fast moving subject where new technologies appear all the time. The way we communicate with each other has changed dramatically as well as the size and power of the devices we use (our phones and computers) too. Computer Science will give you the opportunity to explore new technologies in the context of the methods of working that remain similar as well as the underlying mathematics of the algorithms that run our world today. We all use computers and their algorithms whether we are putting on the washing machine, setting our “sat-nav” or watching digital TV.
The GCSE Computing syllabus gives an insight into what goes on “behind the scenes” in the computing devices you use every day, whether that is a desktop computer, tablet or smart phone. The ability to program devices to make them do what we want to rather than just the use of software is fundamental to the course and to the study of computing in general. The course is made up of two theory examinations, and a programming project called the Non-Examined Assessment. The study of computing is a great way to develop not just practical programming ability with computers, but also to develop critical and analytical thinking skills as well as problem-solving ability.
Advanced level Computer Science provides an in-depth study of Computing, systems and related disciplines. It is not necessary to have any formal GCSE Computing experience in order to start this course although the experience gained at GCSE will give the pupil a significant head start. Aptitude for both Physics and Mathematics, and a capacity for logical thinking is however a good foundation. Obviously, some familiarity with computers in general is a good idea and more importantly an interest in the use of computers (other than for playing games) is essential. The intending candidate will need to maintain a high level of commitment to the course, for some aspects of it are demanding in a technical sense, and this will require time being put in to the subject outside of timetabled lessons to finish projects and gain a familiarisation especially with the programming language software. The main criteria for a pupil beginning Computing are a willingness and aptitude to solve problems.