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GCSE Computer Science

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our Computing curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Computer Science for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mr Pieterse if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

We organise our classes by mixed ability. The students have five one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in Computer Science will be passionate about programming and enjoy solving problems.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles of Computer Science
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience, 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

What will students learn at this level?


Component 1: 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

Component 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

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

Component 3: Programming Project

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

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Practical (Programming)
  • Mathematical
  • Analytical
  • Logical
  • Problem Solving
  • Evaluative
  • Critical thinking

How will students learn at this level?

  • Practicing different programming skills
  • Frequent revision of topics
  • Paired learning in class
  • Exam question practice
  • Independent research
  • Note taking
  • Observing peers

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Component 1: Computer systems

Written exam – 1 hour 30 minutes

80 Marks

Accounts for 50% of the GCSE

Calculators are not allowed.

Component 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Written exam – 1 hour 30 minutes

80 Marks

Accounts for 50% of the GCSE

Calculators are not allowed.

Component 3: Programming Project

Non Exam Assessment (NEA) which is a formal requirement. It last for 20 timetabled hours.

It does not count towards the GCSE until 2022.

When do key assessments take place?

All exams take place at the end of Y11- please see the exam timetable for the exact dates.

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Ensure that the students work through past papers and mark schemes throughout Y10 and Y11 as part of the student’s personal revision plan. (Use link above for the past papers)
  • Students to attend after school revision sessions regularly, which will start in November 2018 for Y11.
  • Ensure that the students study for all tests/mock exams.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Essential school equipment, including pen, pencil, eraser, calculator.

Access to SMHW and Google Drive

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Maths: mathematical logic and calculations
  • Tech (Engineering): Boolean algebra and switching theory wrt electronic circuitry

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

OCR exam board information:


What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

Raspberry Pi / Programming club on Tuesday/Friday lunch in T13

Revision sessions 

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

Look at the following website for ideas about careers in Computer Science:


What does student work look like in this subject at this level?

Here are exemplar materials for the Non Exam Assessment (Component 3) which shows how the different assessment objectives can be laid out:


The NEA does not count towards the GCSE until 2022.

How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?


How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?