A level

User guide

Some students studying A level Computer science may not have studied the subject at GCSE level. That means their only experience of programming will have been at Key Stage 3 at best. They will have a steep learning curve to attain A level standard quickly. This scheme provides the perfect learning journey for those students to undertake independently.

Even those students that did study GCSE Computer Science may lack confidence with programming, especially if they didn't follow the TIME 2 CODE scheme at Key Stage 4. This scheme provides excellent revision for those students too. The three-star programs in levels 7-9 offer a good level of challenge for A level.

If your students followed our TIME 2 CODE delivery strategy at Key Stage 4, this will mean they did not complete all the programs in every level because they were only aiming to achieve four or six stars. At A level they can go back and fill the gaps. Completing the programs that they did not attempt when they were younger. Starting with level 1 to refresh their knowledge, and quickly progressing to other programs.

Other than the introduction of GUI, object-oriented programming, JavaScript and functional programming (AQA), the programming skills at A level are no more difficult than GCSE. Students just need practice, practice, practice with using the same commands from levels 1-9 in different contexts.

Use TIME 2 CODE as a knowledge base to create the more advanced programs described below.

From level 5 students can implement the higher order data structures:

  • Stack: push, pop, peek operations.
  • Circular queue: enqueue, dequeue operations.

Students could explore algorithms such as the "shunting yard" to put the data structures into context.

From level 5 students can implement the searching algorithms:

  • Linear search.
  • Binary search.

It would be an excellent exercise for students to write both algorithms and then compare their performance with small and large data sets.

From level 6 students can begin to code the sorting algorithms:

  • Bubble sort.
  • Insertion sort.

These algorithms and data structures provide a good level of challenge and students are expected to be able to code them for A level examinations.

There are plans to extend this scheme to include:

Level 10: Turtle (for Pearson Edexcel GCSE)

Level 11: SQL (for GCSE & A level)

Level 12: Object-oriented programming (A level)

Level 13: GUI (A level)

At the moment we don't have a timeframe for this, but hope to continue development of this site during 2023-24.

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