Year 10 — Computer Science

Term 1: System Architecture and Memory

In this unit students will learn what an algorithm is and be able to create algorithms to solve specific problems using sequence, selection and iteration. Students will learn how to express algorithms using flow diagrams and pseudocode, using suitable variables and arithmetic, relational and Boolean operators. They will also be able to analyse, assess and compare different algorithms for given scenarios.

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment and complete a programming challenge including a written report. This topic is part of Unit 2. Unit 1 is 50% of the whole qualification and is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Central processing unit - the brain of the computer that processes program instructions. Also called a microprocessor.

Flash Memory

A form of memory in a computer that uses electronic transistors to store data.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM): Memory that is constantly being written to and read from. It does not retain its contents without a constant supply of power, eg when a computer is turned off, everything stored in its RAM is lost.

Virtual Memory

A section of a computer storage drive which is temporarily used as RAM.

Cache

A piece of temporary memory. It can refer to a part of the RAM, storage disk, CPU, or an area for storing web pages.

Core

A processing unit within a CPU. CPUs can have multiple cores.

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Term 2: Algorithms and Producing Robust Programs

In this unit students will learn about computational thinking where they need to use abstraction decomposition and algorithmic thinking They also look at the standard searching algorithms and sorting algorithms. They learn how to produce algorithms using pseudocode and flow diagrams.

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment and complete a programming challenge including a written report. This topic is part of Unit 2. Unit 2 is 50% of the whole qualification and is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination.

Decomposition

The breaking down of a system into smaller parts that are easier to understand, program and maintain.

Flowchart

Also known as a flow diagram. A diagram that shows the step-by-step flow of an algorithm

Pseudocode

Also written as pseudo-code. A method of writing up a set of instructions for a computer program using plain English. This is a good way of planning a program before coding.

Algorithm

A sequence of logical instructions for carrying out a task. In computing, algorithms are needed to design computer programs.

Programming language

A language used by a programmer to write a piece of software.

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Term 3: Storage and System Software

In this unit students will learn about the need for secondary storage where they need to look at data capacity and calculation of data capacity requirements They also learn about common types of storage, suitable storage devices and storage media for a given application, and the advantages and disadvantages of these, using characteristics.

In the System Software unit, they learn about the purpose and functionality of systems and utility system software

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topic is part of Unit 1. Unit 1 is 50% of the whole qualification and is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination.

Hard disk drive

A device used to store large amounts of data.

ROM

Read only memory. This is non-volatile memory or storage containing data that cannot be changed.

RAM

Random access memory. This is volatile memory that is constantly being written to and read from. It does not retain its contents without a constant supply of power. When a computer is turned off, everything stored in its RAM is lost.

non-volatile memory

A form of computer memory that stores data even when not powered.

Volatile memory

The memory used to store computer program data while it is being executed. RAM is the main type of volatile memory. It is volatile because when power is switched off it no longer retains any data.

Secondary storage

Non-volatile memory external to the computer and used for long-term storage of programs and data.

Embedded system

A special purpose computer built into another device.

Media

Physical devices that are used to transfer data.

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Term 4: Wired and Wireless Networks

In this unit students will learn about types of networks, factors that affect the performance of networks and the different roles of computers in a client-server and a peer-to-peer network. They also learn about the hardware needed to connect stand-alone computers into a Local Area Network and the internet as a worldwide collection of computer networks.

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topic is part of Unit 1. Unit 1 is 50% of the whole qualification and is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination.

Wi-Fi

A method of connecting to the internet wirelessly using radio waves.

WAN

Wide area network. A network that spans across a building, buildings or even countries, eg the internet.

LAN

Local area network. A network of computers that covers a small area, eg a school or college.

Hub

A piece of hardware used in computer networks used to connect multiple devices.

client-server

A form of computer networking where the data or web application is hosted on a server and accessed by client computers.

bandwidth

Bandwidth measures the amount of data that can transfer through a communications channel over a given period of time.

Network interface card

A circuit board that is installed in a computer so it can be connected to a network.

Peer-to-peer (P2P)

A type of network model where all computers on the network share responsibility and there is no one central server.

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Term 5: Network Topologies and Data Representation

In this unit students will learn about different network structures such as star and mesh network topologies, different protocols when sending and receiving data. They also learn how the computers stores different types of data in binary form and how the data compressed

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment. This topics are part of Unit 1 and Unit 2. Unit 1 and Unit 2 are 50% of the whole qualification and are 1 hour 30 minute written examinations.

bit

The smallest unit of data in computing represented by a 1 in binary.

byte

A unit of data containing 8 bits.

binary

A number system that contains two symbols, 0 and 1. Also known as base 2.

character set

A table of data that links a character to a number. This allows the computer system to convert text into binary. Examples are ASCII and Unicode

compression

A method of reducing file sizes, particularly in digital media such as photos, audio and video.

protocol

A set of rules for how messages are turned into data packets and sent across networks.

star topology

A network where each node is connected to a central switch

topology

The structure, or arrangement, of a network.

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Term 6: Programming Development

In this unit students will apply their knowledge and understanding using computational thinking. They will use algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational, logic translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation.

Students will sit a written End of Unit assessment and complete a programming challenge including a written report. This topic is part of Unit 2. Unit 2 is 50% of the whole qualification and is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community: