A Level Computer Science

What do you most enjoy teaching?

My favourite part is working with the skeleton code we get given. It is incomplete code that we have to fix and then manipulate to achieve different tasks.

What are the differences between Computer Science at GCSE and A Level?

At GCSE you are given a scenario for a program that you must design, write and test. At A Level, you must work with someone else’s code for one of the exams and then design, write and test a program of your own requirements. The other difference is that there is a wider variety of programming language you can use.

Can you give us a quick summary of each of the units of work you do?

Much like GCSE the course is split into paper 1, paper 2 and an NEA. The NEA is the design, create, and test a program that is of adequate complexity for A Level. Paper 1 is screen based programming examination, testing your ability to program to the standard required for A Level. Paper 2 covers the fundamentals of computer systems, computer organisation and architecture, networking, communication and consequences of Computing.

I’m sure your subject will suit lots of different ‘types’ of student, but are there any characteristics that you think can be useful?

As the programming could be in different languages and will be need at times to be bespoke for your design in the NEA, students will need to be resilient and resourceful in finding techniques to overcome problems.

Some links to click on:

The specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517/introduction

An example exam: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517/assessment-resources?f.Sub-category%7CF=Sample+papers+and+mark+schemes

A sample exam answer: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517/assessment-resources?f.Sub-category%7CF=Sample+papers+and+mark+schemes

The exam board section which gives publicity for your subject https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517

A Youtube clip of a concept being explained:   https://student.craigndave.org/videos/ocr-alevel-slr09-run-length-dictionary-coding