This GCSE option follows the AQA Computer Science Specification 8520. This new and exciting specification (teaching from 2016) now has two final exam units and a much reduced coursework unit.

Paper one tests students on Computation thinking and problem solving, this is effectively the testing of student’s ability to read and interpret algorithms.

Paper 2 is the more traditional test on Computer Science theory consisting of binary, hardware, how components work, data representation and compression etc.

NEA (Non-Examined Assessment): In year 11 students will complete a fixed 20 hour programming assignment set by the exam board.  This unit is worth 20% of the final grade and completed over a series of lessons in the classroom under exam control.


Year 10

Students will start immediately in term 1 learning to program in Python and will gain the basics in programming techniques and structuring their code. They will re-use their programming skills and problem solving throughout the year applying them to the various topic areas.

  • Basic Programming Techniques – Introduction to Python programming.
  • Hardware fundamentals
  • Binary and Boolean logic.
  • Data representation.
  • Python programming
  • Standard Algorithms.
  • Errors and testing.


Year 11

Term 1

The start of the year will consist of reviewing programming skills and completing a practise assessment. Students will then complete a 20 hour controlled assessment set by the exam board. This will be done in the classroom in normal lessons but under controlled conditions.

Formal AQA Controlled Assessment – 20 hours.
Term 2

  • Data compression.
  • Cyber Security.
  • Computer Systems.

Term 3

Revision and practise for final exams.

Final GCSE Exams.

Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving

Paper 2: Computer Science Theory

Dates: June to be confirmed