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The Palmer Catholic Academy

The Palmer Catholic Academy

Computer Science

Head of Department          
Mr A Waterhouse

Teachers of Computer Science
Mrs H Wright (KS3 Co-ordinator)
Miss L Morrow (Assistant Head)

Career Paths with Computer Science

There are a range of careers that can be followed with a GCSE and A-Level Computing qualification. 

This can include, animation design, website design, software development, network manager, computer engineer, hardware development, global communications, computer scientist, information specialists, artificial intelligence, game developer, digital media, database administrator, IT consultant, system analyst, IT sales and training.


Year 7

In Year 7, students follow a skills based course in which they develop their understanding of e-safety, develop their computational thinking through practical Python based tasks, understand and calculate binary to denary and develop a website using HTML coding within notepad.

Year 8

In Year 8, students develop their understanding of e-safety in relation to inappropriate content and contact.  They gain a deeper understanding of their programming skills further using Python to develop their computational thinking using a range of data types. 


Students can choose GCSE Computer Science as an option outlined below to start in Year 9:

GCSE Computer Science

Examination Board:  OCR

In GCSE Computer Science you will be studying computer systems [Systems Architecture, Memory, Storage,  Wired and wireless networks, Network topologies, System security, System software, Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns. 

The second unit you will be studying computational thinking, algorithms and programming [Algorithms, Programming techniques, Producing robust programs, Computational logic, Translators and facilities of languages, Data representation]

There are a range of skills that will be developed whilst studying Computer Science:

  1. Problem Solving – An enjoyment of Mathematics is essential as in Computer Science there are similar problem solving skills.
  2. Analytical skills - will enable you to understand an issue and evaluate different solutions in order to find one that best fits.
  3. Critical-thinking skills - to be able to assess why certain solutions might not work and coming up with the right approach.

How you be assessed:

Computer systems: 1 hour and 30 minutes:  Written Paper (50% of total)

Computational thinking:  1 hour and 30 minute:  Written Paper (50% of total)


A-Level Computer Science

Examination Board:  OCR

The Computer Science qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. A-Level Computer Science will develop the student’s technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking.

Paper 1: Computer Systems [40% of total A-Level] – written examination [2 hours 30 minutes]

Students will examine the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices, software and software development, exchanging data, data types, data structures and algorithms.  They will also examine the legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues that surround the use of computers and software.

Paper 2: Algorithms and programming [40% of total A-Level] – written examination [2 hours 30 minutes]

Students will understand the elements of computational thinking and be able to use these skills to problem solve and develop programming solutions.  Students will be able to construct and use algorithms to solve problems and develop standard algorithms.

Programing Project [20% of total A-Level] – Non-exam assessment [NEA]

Our students will choose a computing problem to work through.  The NEA will consist of the following sections to fully develop and test a solution to their chosen computing problem.

• Analysis of the problem

• Design of the solution

• Developing the solution

• Evaluation of the solution