GCSE Computing
This course is for students who want to explore and investigate how computers work, and how they are used. Students will enjoy the course more if they have a real interest in how computers work, like problem solving and are logical thinkers. The course is designed to encourage students to:
  • 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
  • Think creatively, innovatively, 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

Why Choose This Subject at GCSE?

Computer Science is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in Computer Science will enable you to follow one of a wide variety of career paths. Well qualified and skilled programmers are in great demand as shown in numerous surveys. Further specialised study can lead to employment in the gaming industries. A computer science qualification is a good basis for work as an IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator, software applications developer, programmer and development. The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on skills you will develop, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

Summary of the Course

The Computer Science course is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. The new GCSE course has a focus on programming and emphasises the importance of computational thinking as a discipline, it has an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded in the course. It puts computational thinking at its core, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence. This allows students to apply the academic principles they learn in the classroom to real-world systems in an exciting and engaging way.  The assessment is split into three components:

 Computer systems

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Programming project

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions
computing GCSE

How is This Subject Assessed?

2 x 1.5 hr exams at the end of the course

Paper 1: Computer Systems

Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

80 marks on each paper – equally weighted.

There is also a coursework element

Programming project: 20 hours    

40 marks

computer programming