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Computer Science (GCSE)

Head of Department: Dr W Grey

What is Computer Science GCSE?

This is a full GCSE which is graded from 9 to 1. On this course pupils will study how computers work, how to write programs and how data are represented and handled by applications. Pupils will have to design and write programs in the Python programming language.

What skills will I develop?

Pupils will develop analytical and problem-solving skills and gain experience of meeting particular end-user requirements. The content is highly mathematical and requires a high level of logical reasoning.

What syllabus will I follow?

The course is AQA GCSE Computer Science (8520).

What will the course look like?

There will be six lessons per fortnight. During the first two terms the main focus will be problem-solving techniques and learning the Python programming language. Pupils will complete a range of tasks to consolidate knowledge. Lessons will be a mix of practical (programming) and theory lessons. There will be regular exam-style practice assessments. The complete list of topics that pupils will learn are:

  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • Data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Computer networks
  • Cyber security
  • Impacts of digital technology on society
  • Software development

What homework will I get?

Homework will be of a variety of types:

  • Research of a topic
  • Initial design of a solution to a problem
  • Completing a programming task
  • Evaluation of work created in class

How will I be assessed?

The assessment for this GCSE has recently changed and is to be based entirely on two exam papers. This will cover programming and the different topics studied on the course. The exams will consist of short-answer and long-answer questions. The quality of written communication is also assessed.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

This course is an excellent basis for an A Level in computer science. This can open the door to a huge number of degrees and apprenticeships. Examples of these are cyber security and big data analytics which are massive areas of growth.

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

To succeed in this course, pupils should be very interested in how computers work. An interest in how to solve logic and maths puzzles are also desirable.  Pupils will need to be able to research topics effectively and to develop programming skills such that their products are suitable for the stated end user. They will also have to meet strict deadlines.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

Class resources, tutorials and useful links for this course will be made available electronically and can be accessed from school or home.

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