Computer Science

Head of Department: Mr A Scott

Students who studied general computing/IT in years 7 and 8 wanting to opt for an academic GCSE in this field can do so by taking Computer Science from years 9 to 11.   Students will learn the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, and logic, algorithms, and data representation. They will analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing and writing, showing resilience by debugging programs. Students will develop the ability to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically, whilst applying mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science. They will develop an understanding of the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. Students will develop an understanding of the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society.  

GCSE Computer Science will prepare students for further study of the subject at A-Level or progression onto a Level 3 Technical qualification in IT at our 6th form. This qualification will also support progression into other subject areas in higher education, such as mathematics, science and engineering, through the development of transferable skills. The course is ideal for anyone considering a career within the IT sector, such as computer programming and computer games development. It will help students to cope with real-world situations that incorporate computer science and proactively helps them to understand current issues that impact on modern society, preparing them for their next steps in today’s global world.

In Year 9

students will begin to build a foundation of skills, knowledge and understanding that supports each of the three components of the qualification these include developing skills in HTML, Java (using Greenfoot Programming Software), Python and Pseudo code.

In Year 10

students will further develop and practise programming skills, these include high level programming language, developing their understanding of a range of topics including hardware, networking and data security, to help prepare for the Component 2 and 3 assessments in Year 11.

In Year 11

students will start their final year of the course by completing their assessments for Component 3 (non-exam practical project). Focus will then turn towards final preparations for written examinations, with further coverage of content and revision activities for the Components 1 and 2. They will extend their knowledge on topics such as data representation, system software and ethical/environmental issues.

The subject content for GCSE Computer Science will be assessed across three components as indicated:

  • Component 1, Understanding Computer Science – the focus is on Computer Systems and is assessed in a theoretical way using a traditional written examination paper. (1 hour 45 minutes – 50%)
  • Component 2, Computational Thinking and Programming – assesses the ability to apply computational thinking through the development of programs and algorithms in an on-screen test. (2 hour on-screen examination – 30%)
  • Component 3, Software Development – requires students to produce a substantial piece of work, undertaken over an extended period of time, which demonstrates analysis of a computer-based problem, design of a solution to the problem, implement a solution, design a test strategy, test the solution and give suggestions for further development of the solution. (20 hour non-exam assessment – 20%)

The Oldershaw School
Valkyrie Road, Wallasey
Wirral CH45 4RJ
T: 0151 638 2800 E: Principal: Mr J Bush