GCSE Computer Science

Qualification aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students 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 course consists of 3 elements:

· 2 exams each worth 40%
· 1 programming project worth 20%

Component 1: Computer Systems (1 hr 30 min Written Exam)
· Systems Architecture
· Memory
· Storage
· Wired and wireless networks
· Network topologies, protocols and layers
· System security
· System software
· Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Component 2: Computational Thinking, algorithms and programming (1 hr 30 min Written Exam)
· Algorithms
· Programming techniques
· Producing robust programs
· Computational logic
· Translators and facilities of languages
· Data representation

Component 3: Project (20hrs Coursework)
Students will develop a computer program.
The content for this component will draw on:
· Programming techniques
· Analysis
· Design
· Development
· Testing and evaluation and conclusions

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