While you will no doubt already have some knowledge of computers and related areas, the course will give you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on “behind the scenes”.

Through the study of computer programming, the course will help you to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills. It’ll be a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this way, the course will stimulate your interest and engagement with technology and technology-related careers.

Course Overview

Throughout the course students will learn to develop using the Python programming language. It is recommended students have a copy installed at home. This can be found here.

Aims and learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • build on their knowledge, understanding and skills established through the computer science elements of the programme of study for computing at Key Stage 3
  • meet the computer science elements of computing at Key Stage 4
  • enable students to progress into further learning and/or employment
  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • innovate and think creatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.


Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving

What is assessed?
Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from;

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of data representation
  4. Computer systems

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

Paper 2: Written assessment

What is assessed?

Theoretical knowledge from:

  1. Fundamentals of computer networks
  2. Fundamentals of cyber security
  3. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
  4. Aspects of software development

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.

NEA (Non-exam assessment)

What is assessed?
The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem-solving, consistent with the skills and approach taught.

Home Learning Policy

Revision Books

  ISBN:  9781910523094
    ISBN:  9780008162047
    ISBN:  9780008162061