Computer Science

The majority of students will be entered for an A-Level in Computer Science.  

In Year 12 our students follow the OCR AS-level specification for Computer Science, with a view that the majority of our Year 12 students will progress onto year 13 to complete the full A-level specification. A small number of students may take the opportunity to sit the OCR AS-level in Year 12 to allow more time for STEP / MAT Mathematics work in year 13, others may continue to learn the programming and algorithms activities of Computer Science to aid their mathematics but not sit a full A-level in Computer Science. Our view is that students will leave the Maths School confident in their programming capabilities. 

Computing has been fundamental to many of the exciting scientific and technological advances of the 21st century; from modern conveniences such as satellite navigation, to DNA sequencing, or number-crunching data generated by the Large Hadron Collider. The rapid changes in technology over the past few decades have shown IT and computational skills are essential to modern business, science and engineering.

Computer Science lessons will focus on developing the ability to think computationally, that is, how to break down a problem into a logical series of steps, which can then be written as a program and executed by a computer. We will use computational problems from mathematics and physics to motivate key ideas in programming, such as loops, conditionals, data structures and data types. Topics such as set theory and graph theory, which lie within decision mathematics, form key data structures of computer science theory and programming practice and thus used in many problem solving algorithms.  We want our students to understand the mathematics underlying computer science and develop an understanding of a range of coding languages.

Using computer science techniques such as abstraction you will learn low level fundamentals of logic gates and Boolean Algebra and demonstrate how these can be combined to form more complex circuits, abstracting away the detail in the process, you will see how these combine to form the operations we see in modern day CPUs. 

You will learn to program in languages such as Java, Python, C++, Haskell, R. As well as using web technology languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. You will study what algorithms are, how they work and how to make use of them, and how to bring this knowledge into mathematics as a powerful way of solving problems.