Computing – GCSE Computer Science

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What will students learn?

Pupils will gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer hardware and software. There is a strong emphasis on programming skills, which underpin the creation of software for a range of applications and digital environments.

How will students be assessed?

Summative Assessment

20% Controlled assessment

80% Terminal examination

Formative Assessment

Exam theory work is assessed internally as a written test at the end of each topic, lasting no more than 50 minutes. Questions are mostly composed of past exam questions. End of topic tests will normally take place approximately once every half term, varying with the topic length.

How are students taught?

Pupils work largely independently, though often discuss ideas and learn to solve problems collaboratively. Study is supported by online textbooks (accessed via the St. Joseph’s website) and other relevant websites.

Computer Science pupils will be expected to complete extensive programming homework assignments.

What abilities, skills and interest will students need?

A thorough grounding and interest in Computing at Key Stage 3 will give pupils a good idea of what to expect in the GCSE.

Computer Science pupils will be expected to have excellent English and Maths skills to write their own programs in a variety of languages. Homework programming tasks will be intensive and frequent.

What could this course lead to?

Computer Science is a specialised subject, allowing progression to A level Computing and a career in the industry. Common careers include Computer Programmer, Software Developer, Network Engineer, Web Developer, Database Administrator and Systems Analyst.


Exam boards require controlled assessment to be completed under teacher supervision. To this end, any homework set is research-based and focuses on topics that will be covered in forthcoming lessons, thus preparing pupils in advance of any classwork tasks set. See the Department of Computing Homework Policy for more details.

Supervised access to Computing resources is available at these times.

Full homework details (including hwk set/due dates) can be found in your Homework Diary.