Courses Followed

 Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 & 11)

GCSE OCR Computing

OCR GCSE Computing Specification

By following the GCSE Computing course, students will:

  • gain a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Pupils will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from their other subjects and elsewhere. However, this course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming using the MS Visual Basic environment.
  • have excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. Pupils who’ve taken a GCSE in Computing and who then progress to study the subject at A Level or university will have an advantage over their colleagues who are picking up the subject at these levels.
  • develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming. For many pupils, it’ll be a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-today life.

The GCSE Computing course will make an excellent preparation for our pupils to study or work in areas that rely on these skills. These areas include computing, mathematics, engineering, financial and resource management, sciences and medicine.

Course Overview

The GCSE Computer Science course consists of three components

Component 1 – Written exam (1 hour 30 minutes)

40% of the total GCSE

This unit covers the 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

No calculators are allowed in this exam

Component 2 - Written exam (1 hour 30 minutes)

40% of the total GCSE

This unit covers Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

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

* Algorithm questions are not exclusive to Component 02 and can be assessed in all components.

Component 3 - Programming Non-Exam Assessment** (NEA) (20 hours in class)

20% of the total GCSE

Students will demonstrate that they can apply:

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

**Indicates inclusion of synoptic assessment.

Exam Board: OCR Computing

For more information, please do not hesitate to speak to Mr Young in Room 2

 Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)

A Level AQA Computer Science

AQA A Level Computer Science Specification

The Computer Science specification for A Level:

  • prepare students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where a knowledge of Computing would be beneficial. Students who study Computing can go on to a career in medicine, law, business, politics or any type of science.
  • allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of the subject
  • You should have a GCSE (or equivalent) grade B in Maths and at least a grade B in GCSE Computing . If you do not have a GCSE in Computing, you will need programming experience to at least GCSE level


Subject Content

 The A-Level Computer Science specification covers 2 written paper and 1 Non-exam Assessment (coursework)

 Paper 1

 This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science

 Topic list

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms
  4. Theory of computation


  • On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level

 Question Style

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document provided by the exam board.

In prior to the terminal exam, students will be issued with the preliminary material, a skeleton program (in and, where appropriate, test data, for use in the exam.

 Paper 2

 This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions on Computer Science

 Topic list

  1. Fundamentals of data representation
  2. Fundamentals of computer systems
  3. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  4. Consequences of uses of computing
  5. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  6. Fundamentals of databases
  7. Big Data
  8. Fundamentals of functional programming


  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level

 Question Style

 Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.

 Paper 3 – Non-exam Assessment

The non-exam assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.

Topic list

  1. Systematic approach to problem solving
  2. Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project


  • 20% of A-level