Hartismere School

An outstanding coeducational secondary school and sixth form college

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Taking A Level Computer Science

Preparing for A Level Computer Science

Many students ask me if it is possible to study Computer Science at A Level if they have not studied it at GCSE. The answer is always ‘yes… as long as…’. Computer Science requires a lot of programming. If you don’t like programming, you will hate it. There is also quite a bit of complex theory and those who study at GCSE will have a basic understanding of most of it. If you want to be successful, it would be a good idea to prepare a little first, both in terms of programming and theory. This includes those who studied it for GCSE! The programming language we tend to use to create software is C#, with a bit of HTML and CSS for web development. Any work you can do in these would be very beneficial. Below are some links that will be useful: 
www.learncs.org  - For learning C#

www.hartismere.com - Essential C# knowledge required to be comfortable

www.hartismere.com - C# essential reference library

www.robmiles.com - C# Programming Yellow Book (guides, reference and challenges). Read and follow this if you want to be an amazing programmer

www.hartismere.com - Coding challenges
www.codecademy.com  - HTML and CSS
If you would like to install a programming environment for coding in C# on your computer, I suggest SharpDevlop as it is free. repl.it is an excellent browser based environment, but is console only.

For the theory, I would suggest have a quick read through the BBC Bitesize pages:
www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z34k7ty

A word of warning. The grade requirement for A Level Computer Science is a grade 6 in Maths (or at least a B grade in GCSE Computing). 

If you have any questions please come and talk to Mr Sorhaindo or Mr Waller and we will be happy to help you.