From 2022 KS4 students had the option to choose either OCR GCSE Computer Science or Pearson BTEC Level 1/2 Digital Information Technology, which is an IT-based subject for pupils who prefer more project based work.
GCSE Computer Science
The course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. For pupils to be eligible to apply for this course they must have a good understanding of Mathematics. Pupils can speak to the head of Computer Science Mrs Binks if they want to know more.
Details of the Year 10 and 11 Computer Science specification can be found here: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/558027-specification-gcse-computer-science-j277.pdf
Detail of the year 10 and 11 Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology can be found here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/btec-tec-awards/information-technology/2022/specification-and-sample-assessments/btec-tech-award-digital-information-technology-spec.pdf
Year 10 and 11 – OCR Computer Science 9-1 J277
Specification code: J277
Qualification number: 601/8355/X
First teaching 2020, with first assessment 2022
Aims and learning outcomes
This course encourages pupils to:
- Understand and apply the fundamental principle and concepts of computer science including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation.
- Analyse computation problems and providing solution in pseudocode and code.
- Understand the components that make up a digital system.
- Apply mathematical skills to computer science.
This is a two-year linear course with two exams both equally weighted.
J277/01 – Computer systems (50%)
1.1 Systems Architecture
1.2 Memory and storage
1.3 Computer networks, connections and protocols
1.4 Network security
1.5 System software
1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
The exam paper consists of multiple choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.
Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (50%)
2.2 Programming fundamentals
2.3 Producing robust programs
2.4 Boolean logic
2.5 Programming languages and integrated development environments.
This exam paper has two sections: Section A and Section B – pupils must answer both sections.
In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high-level programming language they are familiar with.
Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology (academic start year 2022-2023)
The Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology is ideal for you if you are a pre-16 student working at level 1 or level 2 and would like to find out more about the IT industry. This course offers a practical introduction to life and work in the digital sector. The qualification, which is 120 GLH, is the same size and level as a GCSE.
What does the qualification cover?
This course will give you the opportunity to develop knowledge and technical skills in a practical learning environment. You will also develop key skills, such as user interface (UI) design and development and learn how to develop a project plan for your own UI designs. Everyone taking this qualification will study three components, covering the following content areas:
Component 1: User Interface and User Experience
Pupils will develop their understanding of what makes an effective user interface and how to effectively manage a project. They will use this understanding to plan, design and create a user interface.
Learning outcomes that will be covered are:
A Understand interface design for individuals and organisations.
B Be able to use project planning techniques to plan, design and develop a user interface.
C Be able to review a user interface.
This is an internally assessed, externally moderated, piece of work Set by Pearson to be completed in the December/ January windows of year 10. This assignment will take approximately 6 supervised hours to complete and is worth 60 marks. This assignment counts towards your final grade.
Component 2: Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data
Pupils will understand the characteristics of data and information and how they help organisations in decision making. They will use data manipulation methods to create a dashboard to present and draw conclusions from information.
Learning outcomes that will be covered are:
A Understand how data is collected and used by organisations and its impact on individuals
B Be able to create a dashboard using data manipulation tools
C Be able draw conclusions and review data presentation methods.
This is an internally assessed, externally moderated, piece of work Set by Pearson to be completed in the May/June windows of year 10. This assignment will take approximately 6 supervised hours to complete and is worth 60 marks. This assignment counts towards your final grade.
Component 3: Effective Digital Working Practices
Modern organisations are increasingly reliant on the use of digital systems to complete every day, business-critical tasks. The development of these systems has presented organisations with many opportunities to work in new, inventive and flexible ways to achieve their aims. The systems have also brought new challenges and a range of responsibilities. This component will give you an opportunity to explore how the developments in technology over recent years have enabled modern organisations to communicate and collaborate more effectively than ever before. The component is designed to allow you to explore the digital systems available to organisations and how their features have an impact on the way organisations operate. You will explore how developments in technology have led to more inclusive and flexible working environments, and how regulation and ethical and security concerns influence the way in which organisations operate.
You will analyse information in a range of vocational contexts so that you develop a greater understanding of the use of digital systems by organisations and so that you are able to make reasoned judgements on the systems. In this component, you will learn about how organisations can use technology safely and about the cyber security issues when working in a digital organisation.
This component is externally assessed by a written exam set by Pearson and is completed at the end of year 11. This exam is worth 60 marks and is completed in a supervised period of 1 hour and 30 minutes.