Year 10 and 11

GCSE Computer Science

The Computer Science course is an exciting opportunity for students eager to develop or showcase their existing computing skills. This GCSE focuses on the technical aspects of software development and the optimal use of hardware for a variety of applications. Students who have completed this course will be more likely to follow a career in software development and modification. The coding aspect of the course means that students will be spending about 50% of the course learning, designing and developing software for a particular purpose.

They should have high performance within Maths and English to be able to cope with the demands of the course. It is important to note that the course is technical and will require students to have a desire to delve deeper into the digital world around us.

The course comprises 3 parts:

Section 1 – Computer systems

These includes topics such as; Systems Architecture, Memory, Storage, System security, System software and Wired and wireless networks.

Section 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This includes topics such as; Algorithms, Programming techniques, Producing robust programmes, Data representation, Computational logic and Translators and facilities of language.

Section 3 – Programming project

This will require learners to design, analyse and fully evaluate at least one programming technique in a 20 hour project.

This course is essential for any student looking for a career in the digital world; it will give any students who complete this course all the required skills required to study A-Level Computer Science in their post 16 education.

The GCSE in Computer Science is recognised as one of the science courses which form part of the English Baccalaureate qualification.


Topic map KS4 – GCSE Computer Science
10 Computer systems Computational Thinking Computer systems Computational Thinking Computer systems Programming
Boolean Logic
Units of Data
Data Storage
Networks and Topologies
Wired and Wireless Networks, Protocols and Layers
Practical Programming
Designing, creating and refining algorithms
Data Types
Programming Techniques
Architecture of the CPU
CPU Performance
Embedded Systems
Primary Memory
Secondary Storage
Threats to Computer Systems
Operating Systems
Utility Software
Programming Techniques
String Manipulation
File Handling
11 Computer systems Computational Thinking Computational Thinking REVISION

Threats to Computer Systems

Operating Systems
Utility Software

Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Impact of Computing.


Defensive Design


Integrated Development Environments

Programming Revision
Searching and Sorting Algorithms
Practical Programming of Searching and Sorting Algorithms

Useful resources

Seneca Learning, Isaac Computer Science website,


Exam information


GCSE Computer Science

Exam board/Specification

OCR Syllabus J276



Assessment Route

Exam 1 – 1hr 30mins (40%) – Computer systems

Exam 2 – 1hr 30mins (40%) – Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming

Coursework (20%) – Programming project (20 hours)


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