What is GCSE Computer Science?
This is a new course that puts emphasis on the understanding of computer technology and how computer systems work. It is a single award course that covers three units (one exam 40% and two controlled assessment 30% each).
It allows the student to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of computer systems and computer programming and provide the knowledge and skills suitable for participation in the creation of software applications in an ever-evolving computer technology. This course provides a focus to develop skills whilst ensuring that students acquire a sound knowledge of fundamental concepts around designing and developing software applications either for mobile devices, web enabled environment or simple computer games. Students are given the opportunity to develop interpersonal, academic and technical skills which will help them to meet career challenges in the future.
How is it assessed?
- Unit 1 – is assessed through a 1 hour 30 minute external examination paper. This unit is worth 40% of the total GCSE.
- Unit 2 and 3 – Two internally controlled and assessed tasks based on exam board set scenarios and consisting of a set of structured practical projects covering:
Practical investigative computing tasks assessing research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, evaluation and use of technical writing skills
Programming project tasks assessing standard programming techniques, designing and developing coded solutions to given problems, identifying and using successfully test procedures
These two units are worth 60% of the total GCSE.
Who can study it?
It is an option in Year 10 which is open to students who have completed the ICT National Curriculum course in KS3 to a high standard (Level 7a and above) and have been recommended by their ICT teacher. It provides highly motivated and committed students the opportunity to develop skills and understanding in computer systems programming and help them to prepare for further studies in that area.