Have you ever wondered how the Web works? Or how anybody can start to develop something as complex as a new computer game? Computing is an exciting and challenging subject in which you will develop valuable skills in problem-solving as well as learning how computers work. Many of our students go on to Higher Education courses in Computer Science but you will gain skills and knowledge which will prove useful in a wide range of other courses and careers, particularly in Maths, Science and Engineering.
A level Computing is a very different subject from ICT. Many students find school ICT courses to be lacking in challenge. Computing is not about acquiring ICT skills: you will not be taught how to use a word processor or spreadsheet.
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GCSE grade B in Maths.
• At Hills Road the emphasis is firmly on problem-solving and programming. You will learn how to analyse a problem, consider alternative solutions and use a computer to develop and test a solution.• There is a strong element of programming from the start: you will be writing your own programs from the first few weeks of the course! Teaching is centred on Pascal (using Delphi) but other software tools such as Scratch, mySQL and ASP are also used..• The vast majority of students have no previous experience of programming and we assume none. However, we do provide alternative, more challenging exercises for experienced programmers.• There is an active student-run Computer Science Society and a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including regular guest speakers and the chance to take part in the British Informatics Olympiad and the National Cipher Challenge.
Unit 1: Problem-solving, programming, data representation and practical exercise 60%.Unit 2: Computer components, the stored program concept and the internet 40%.
Advanced (A2) Level Units
Unit 3: Problem-solving, programming, operating systems and networking 60%.Unit 4: Practical project – coursework 40%.
“The course is well structured and gives essential basic knowledge and experience in programming. It helps to improve problem-solving skills and makes you think logically. Teaching is organised in such a way that students get enough time for freedom programming in lessons with an opportunity to ask for help. There are always a couple of extension tasks to challenge your thinking.”