GCSE Computer Science

At Sydenham High, we enable students to be up to date with current and emerging technologies. Computer Science is a rapidly growing ‘underpinning’ subject across Science and Engineering. It is an exciting subject that combines logic, problem solving and creativity. Computer Science is the study of computational thinking. At GCSE this covers a wide variety of topics. Primarily these include programming and problem solving – developing computer based solutions to real life problems. In addition we look at how computers work, computer arithmetic, the logic behind the computers, the representation of data, how computers work across networks, and systems development. Pupils also investigate and discuss the ethical, legal, cultural, environmental issues and privacy issues related to the use of technology. Skills gained in GCSE Computer Science help pupils with other subjects.

Course content

Paper 1:

Computer Systems: Systems architecture, Memory and storage, Computer networks, connections and
protocols, Network security, Systems software, Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental
impacts of digital technology

Assessment:
Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes (non-calculator paper)

50% of total GCSE
80 marks

Paper 2:

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming: Algorithms, Programming fundamentals, Producing robust programs, Boolean logic, Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Assessment:
Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes (non-calculator paper)

50% of total GCSE
80 marks

Pupils will also undertake a 20 hours practical programming project which will help them gain the knowledge needed to do well in paper 2.

Co-curricular
Pupils have the opportunity to attend:

  • Lunchtime support workshops for year 10 and Wednesday for year 11
  • Coding club run by year 13
  • Game design club
  • Robotics club

Next steps
If you take a GCSE in Computer Science and then go on to study the subject at A Level or university, you’ll have an advantage over fellow pupils who are picking up the subject at these higher levels. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this field. The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you’ll develop, especially where they’re applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

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