Curriculum Vision

Curriculum Journey

Curriculum SMSC & British Values

Options Information

Qualification Name Computer Science (J277 specification)
Exam Board OCR
Type (e.g. GCSE/BTEC Certificate) GCSE
Level (1,2 or both) 1 and 2
GLH (Guided Learning Hours)
Course Content Outline

(What will I study?)

Unit 1 – Written assessment

This unit is assessed through a written examination. Students learn more about data representation and computer hardware and software as well as how computer networks, including the internet, work. They also learn what cyber security threats are and how to detect and prevent them as well as the ethical, legal and environmental impacts digital technology has on all of our lives.

Paper 2 – Computational Thinking and Problem Solving

Although the Computational Thinking and Problem Solving unit is assessed through a written examination, learning takes place through practical computer work as well as written theory. Students learn to read and write algorithms, how to develop computer programs, how data is represented in computer systems and the hardware and software computers use.

Unit 3 – Non-exam assessment

This is a practical programming unit. Throughout Year 10, students build upon the Python programming skills they started developing in Key Stage 3 as they learn more advanced programming techniques and develop their ability to write programs for specific purposes. In Year 11, they are given a practical programming problem to solve which is set by the exam board. They have to design, write and test a computer program to solve the problem as well as writing a report explaining how they solved it.

Typical Lesson/Homework Activities

(How will I study?)

In computing (especially the programming aspects) it is learning through trial and error in many of the units of work. It is important that learners understand that they will tend to get the work wrong several times before getting it right. They need to develop their growth mindset of learning from the mistakes made.
Success Criteria

(How will I be assessed?)

The course comprises of three assessment elements:

Paper 1 – Written assessment

This written examination is worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

Unit 2 – Computational Thinking and Problem Solving

This written examination is also worth 50% of the overall GCSE

Unit 3 – Non-exam assessment

All of the programming and report writing has to be done during lessons. Students have 20 hours to do this, which is a time limit set by the exam board.

Succession Paths Post-16

(What can I do with this qualification?)

Once pupils finish at St Michael’s they can go into higher education in the following areas:

  • IT
  • Computer gaming technology
  • Creative computing (Animation)
  • Computer science
  • Creative media
  • Business information technology
  • Architectural technology
  • Computer science with business management
  • Software engineering

Equally, if more institutional education is not for them they may want to explore an apprenticeship in IT or HND courses in Network Management where they can learn on the job. The above areas will ultimately help pupils to enter jobs like the following:

  • Application analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Games developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia programmer
  • SEO specialist
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems developer
  • UX analyst
  • Web designer
  • Web developer

Exam Specification