KS4-Computer Science (GCSE)

Welcome to Computer Science! 

Computer Science is a great subject, as it gives students the opportunity to be creative and build their own systems. To do this successfully, students need a blend of skills that includes logic and problem-solving along with a big dose of inspiration! 

We aim to help students build these skills throughout the lower school curriculum, where all students throughout Upper 3 and Lower 4 (Years 7 and 8) study Computer Science alongside ICT for one lesson weekly (1 hour). Following this, GCSE Computer Science is offered as an option and leads on to A Level Computer Science as building blocks towards university and a professional career.


In Lower 5 (Year 10), students can opt for GCSE Computer Science, following the OCR J276 specification. The aim of the course is for students to:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • analyse problems through practical programming and projects
  • think creatively, logically and critically
  • understand the components of digital systems and how they communicate
  • understand the impacts of digital technology
  • apply the relevant mathematical skills.

During the GCSE course students study practical programming tasks, as well as how to design and interpret algorithms, backing this up with Computing theory. 

GCSE Course Structure

Component 1: Computer Systems (50%)

  • Systems Architecture, Memory & Storage
  • Network topologies, protocols & layers
  • System Security
  • Software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural & environmental

Assessment: Written paper, 80 marks (90 minutes)

Component 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms & Programming (50%)

  • Algorithms
  • Programming Techniques
  • Computational Logic
  • Translators & Languages
  • Data Representation

Assessment: Written paper, 80 marks (90 minutes)

Component 3: Programming Project (N/A)

  • Programming in Python
  • Analysis, Design & Development
  • Testing, Evaluation & Conclusion

Assessment: N/A, but students complete a 20-hour project

A Level

Having completed the GCSE qualification, students can continue through to study the OCR H446 Computer Science A Level course to deepen their understanding. The course comprises three components:

  1. Computer Systems
  2. Algorithms and Programming
  3. Non Exam Assessment.

The Non Exam Assessment is a substantial, individually-led programming project that gives students the freedom to develop a system of their choice. This project must solve a real-life problem and include a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the transformation of data.