GCSE Computer Science

Aims of the subject:

To provide pupils with a creative learning experience that will give them the confidence and enthusiasm to further their education in Computer Science and Computational Thinking.

GCSE Examination Board: AQA

Assessment Overview:

The course is assessed through two written examinations at the end of year 11. Paper 1, Computational Thinking, contributes 50% of the final grade, whilst Paper 2, Computer Science Theory, constitutes the other 50%. In addition there is a compulsory programming project that must be completed over 20 hours, although the results do not count towards the final grade.

Year What will I learn? Assessment
10 Term 1

Students will learn about how data is represented on a computer. This includes how to convert binary, decimal and hex digits as well as how computers represent text, images and sound

 

Students will learn how to write pseudocode in order to create advanced algorithms

 

Term 2

Students will build on the Python programming skills that they have learnt previously, and start to learn much more advanced programming techniques

 

Term 3

Students will be introduced to Boolean logic, and understand how different logic gates work, as well as searching and sorting algorithms

A range of common assessments based on past examination questions and marked using awarding body mark schemes.
11 Term 1

Students will learn about the different hardware and software used by a computer, as well as computer networking

 

Students will also learn how to write SQL in order to search, create, update and delete records in a database

 

Term 2

Students will learn about the ethical and legal issues involved in computing

 

Pupils will revisit Python and become more familiar with trace tables in order to test algorithms

 

Term 3

Revision and final exams

 

A range of common assessments based on past examination questions and marked using awarding body mark schemes.

Extra-curricular opportunities

The Computing & Business Faculty run additional sessions each week to give all GCSE students access to equipment and materials when doing homework tasks and/or catching up with work and meeting deadlines.  This is especially important with programming skills.

How you can support your child’s progress

Please be aware that students will be given homework tasks, all of which are an important element of the course. We would be grateful if you could support your child when completing these and bringing them into school on time for the deadlines. There will also be regular assessments and we would ask parents to ensure their child revises all work thoroughly for all assessments so that we can get an accurate picture of each pupil’s progress.  A minimal amount of equipment will be needed at home but it is important that pupils have access to a PC with Internet access.  The PC should also have the Python programming environment installed.  This is available free of charge from school.  Computer programming is a skill that needs developing and nurturing and pupils must practice at home.  There are not enough lessons during the course for them to leave all programming skill building to class