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

Algorithms. Pupils should be able to look at algorithms and deduce their purpose as well as be able to draw flowcharts and write pseudo-code to represent algorithms.

Pupils should also be able to identify the inputs to algorithms, the processing being carried out and the outputs being generated.

Data representation including binary, hex, decimal, images, text and sound.

Data compression techniques including RLE and Huffman coding.

Term 2
Computer Programming skills building, validation and authentication routines, searching and sorting algorithms and a look at algorithm efficiency.

Term 3
Complete the Compulsory Programming Project.

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

End of year exam.

11 Term 1
Computer software classification, program translators, Operating Systems and computer hardware systems.  Boolean logic and cyber security.Term 2
Computer networks, topologies, protocols and security. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts.

Term 3
Revision and final exams.

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

Mock exams.

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