Computer Science added to A level programme


Year 11 students can now choose to take an A level in Computer Science when they select their options for Latymer Upper’s Sixth Form. From September 2023 the subject will be one of the twenty-six subjects on offer for students making their course selections.  

“We’re delighted to be adding this course to our A level programme,” says Mr Emerson, Deputy Head (Academic). “We know that our students have a real passion and talent for this subject matter, through their studies in Years 7 to 10 and their engagement with the numerous coding and robotics clubs and the AI electives we’ve been running. It feels right that having enjoyed it up to Year 11 they can now continue with it through to A level.”

“Most students can code or teach themselves coding to a fairly good level which is why we wanted a course that goes further and develops a deeper skillset, preparing our students for life beyond the gates,“ continued Mr Emerson. “It was a subject that we used to offer, but we didn’t feel the course was right so we dropped it. I’m glad to say that the course has undergone a major revision and we feel that as it is now, it will stimulate and challenge them in the right ways, and I’m delighted to bring it formally back into curriculum,” he continued. 

Mrs Price and Ms Shah have been busy developing the course specification ready for delivery. 

“Our current Year 11 students are a really strong cohort for this subject,” says Mrs Price, “so this is an ideal time to reintroduce this subject. We’ve been looking at current trends and what skills students will need for when they enter the workplace so that we can ensure we not only have a more interesting course, but one that best prepares them for life beyond Latymer,” says Mrs Price. 

There will be a real emphasis on practical skills with Ms Shah focusing on coding expertise. The course will also give Latymerians: 

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation 
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so 
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically 
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • Learners will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. The project approach is a vital component of ‘post-school’ life and is of particular relevance to Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace. Each learner is able to tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices and aspirations. OCR offers a rigorous assessment structure that ensures the integrity of the project

“We focus on offering our students an innovative curriculum that enriches their final two years of school,” says Mr Emerson. “Whether they’re moving up from our own Year 11 or joining us from another school, we want to ensure that we’re preparing our young people for the complex, interconnected and ever-changing world beyond our gates. Computer Science will be our twenty-sixth A level option, which I think speaks to the rounded and grounded approach we take.”

Author: carolineroberts

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