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Term 1 | Topic 1: Components of a Computer Systems (Unit 1) | |
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In this unit, students will learn about the structure and function of the processor, types of processor and different processor architectures. This unit also covers input, output and storage devices and how these can be applied to the solution of different problems. | ||

Assessment: Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topic is a component of Unit 1 which 40% of overall qualification. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 1 | C# Programming Project | |

Assessment: Students will produce a written report. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 1 - Term 6 | Topic 9: Legal, Moral, Ethical and Cultural Issues (Unit 1) | |

Students will learn about key Acts relating to computer science and be able to discuss the challenges facing legislators especially due to the developments in technology. Students will learn about ethical and environmental issues arising from the use of digital technology, positive and negative impacts of the use of technology in society as well as be able to discuss some of the moral challenges which arise from the advancements in digital technology such as artificial intelligence and automated decision making. | ||

Assessment: Students will sit a written End of Unit Assessment. This topic is a component of Unit 1 which 40% of overall qualification. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 2 | Topic 2: Systems Software (Unit 1) | |

In this unit students will learning about the functionality and purpose of operating systems, looking in depth and different types available. Students will also cover applications software, licencing and learn how source code is translated into executable code. | ||

Assessment: Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topic is a component of Unit 1 which 40% of overall qualification. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 2 | Topic 3: Software Development (Unit 1) | |

Students will learn about different software development methodologies such as the waterfall lifecycle, agile, spiral, extreme and RAD. Students will improve their ability to write algorithms to solves programs through understanding different programming paradigms. Students will also learn about Little Man Computer instruction set (LMC) and be able to write simple assembly code programs. | ||

Assessment: Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topic is a component of Unit 1 which 40% of overall qualification. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 2 - Term 6 | Topic 10: Computational Thinking (Unit 2) | |

Students are introduced to the concept of computational thinking which is the thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution(s) in such a way that a computer—human or machine—can effectively carry out. Students will learn about the importance of thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally, thinking logically and concurrently as well as the essential skills or problem recognition and problem solving. The skills learnt throughout the unit will not only help students understand the theory of the entire qualification, but also enable them to analyse the problems and plan solutions for their individual Programming Project in Term 6. | ||

Assessment: Students will sit a written End of Unit Assessment. This topic is a component of Unit 2 which 40% of overall qualification. | Key Words and Terms | |

Term 4 | Topic 12: Algorithms (Unit 1) | |

In this unit, students will learn about the theory of algorithms such as searching and sorting algorithms (bubble sort, insertion sort, merge sort, quick sort), with reference to Big-O notation in terms of time and space complexity. Students will investigate standard algorithms for depth-first and breadth-first graph traversals. Optimisation algorithms, such as Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm and the A* algorithm are also covered along with a discussion of intractable problems. | ||

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Term 5 | Topic 6: Data Types (Unit 1) | |

In this unit, students will learn about data representation of numbers and text, binary arithmetic using both fixed point and normalised floating point numbers, bitwise manipulation and masks. | ||

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Term 5 | Topic 7: Data Structures (Unit 1) | |

In this unit, students will be introduced to different data structures and their uses, looking at practical and worked examples of each of the different abstract data structures including linked lists, graphs, stacks, queues, trees, binary search trees and hash tables. The function and practical application of each data type is discussed, with pseudocode and coded program solutions for relevant algorithms in VB and Python. | ||

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Term 6 | Unit 3: Programming Project | |

For this unit, students choose their own problem to solve. Students will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. Learners are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development. | ||

Assessment: 20% of the qualification. Internally assessed. 3.1 - Analysis of the problem (10 marks) 3.2 - Design of the solution (15 marks) 3.3 - Developing the solution (25 marks) 3.4 - Evaluation (20 marks) | Key Words and Terms | |