Welcome to the Computer Science Department at Reigate College.
My name is Julie Heard and I’m the Head of Department for Computer Science. We’re looking forward to welcoming you in person at the beginning of the academic year, but in the meantime, we’d like you to do a series of tasks and activities in preparation for starting on the course.
All the tasks should be carried out on your own, and there’ll be the chance to review and discuss what you’ve learnt when we meet together in September.
The tasks will be released here, in three phases (see table below) and should be completed by Choices Day on 1 September 2021. Please throw yourself into them and above all enjoy them!
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
New Starters Course Tasks and Activities
To be completed by
Explore your Subject
Explore your Subject
Throughout the Computer Science A Level course, you will need to code programs to solve various problems. This activity challenges you to code sections of a game to destroy the enemy ships by shooting the closest enemy on each turn.
Understanding how Computer Science links with other subjects
Computer Scientists have well-developed problem solving and logical thinking skills that help us understand various complex elements of a problem; we can then break that problem down into parts in order to produce solutions.
Task 2: Use the below websites to investigate the links between Computer Science and other subjects like Physics, Medicine and Robotics.
Task 4: Have a look at all the information on the website. If you already have your own log-in, also try some of the challenges. If you’re not already registered, go to https://go.joincyberdiscovery.com/ to do the introductory activities. Be warned, they are quite addictive and quite challenging!
There are also many interesting videos on the YouTube channel below about different areas of Computer Science, for example hardware, video game programming, data analysis and more.
Paid-for Udemy Java Masterclass (this is usually between £12.99 and £17.99 – if you wish to purchase it, DO NOT pay over £20 as it goes on offer on a regular basis)
spend some time learning more about Java, using the above tutorials and/or
other websites. Any progress you make on this now will give you good footing
for when we start programming together in class.
As we’ve already seen, because Computer Science has such a
broad scope, there are many fascinating aspects of the subject to explore, as
well as opportunities to expand your knowledge.
For this next series of tasks, I’d like you to investigate some
more of these different areas.
TASK 1: Read the
following questions, thinking about the issues involved in each one:
Is it possible to make a program that has a
large user base and is completely error free?
When I press a button on my keyboard, how does
the computer know which button I pushed?
Is it possible to make a modern mobile phone
which will work, without slowing down, for longer than ten years?
What is the difference between these jobs:
Security Manager / Ethical Hacker
You should think about what each job
typically entails, pay, job availability etc.
You may find the following websites useful as you explore