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GCSE in Computer Science

Course outline:

The course provides opportunities for pupils to learn and develop

1. Fundamentals of algorithms
2. Programming
3. Fundamentals of data representation
4. Computer systems
5. Fundamentals of computer networks
6. Fundamentals of cyber security
7. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
8. Aspects of software development
9. Programming project

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving

What's assessed?

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes (80 marks, 50% of GCSE) Questions

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's assessed

Theoretical knowledge from subject content 3–7 above.

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.

Programming project


The programming project develops a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content.

The skills developed can be applied to exam questions on computational thinking.

For further information please see Mr O Hara Curriculum Leader of IT and Business.