Years 10 & 11 Curriculum - Computer Science

SYLLABUS: Computer Science GCSE                                 Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel



Why choose GCSE Computer Science?

A modern course for a modern world

This course is ideal for students choosing a career in Computer Science, Engineering or Programming. The course will give them an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on “behind the scenes”.  Alongside this, they will investigate computer programming using Python.

Through this study of Computer Science theory and programming, the course will help students develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills.

This course will appeal to students who are very able in Maths and Science, particularly Physics, who enjoy thinking logically, due to the challenge of solving problems independently.  A good standard of literacy is also essential.


Overview of GCSE Computer Science

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE in Computer Science is a linear qualification. It has TWO external examinations worth 50% each (Paper 1 is based on Computer Science theory, while Paper 2 examines students’ ability to design, read, write and debug programs).


Overview of content for the Paper 1 (theory) exam

This paper is worth 50% of the student’s final GCSE grade.

  • Understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.   
  • Understanding of binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases; ability to use SQL to insert, amend and extract data stored in a structured database.
  • Understanding of components of computer systems; ability to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret fragments of assembly code.
  • Understanding of computer networks, the internet and the world wide web.
  • Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.


Overview of content for the Paper 2 (practical) exam

This paper is worth 50% of the student’s final GCSE grade.

This is a practical programming exam that enables students to demonstrate their computational techniques using Python.

Students will:

  • Decompose problems or work with algorithms produced by others.
  • Design, write, test, and debug programs.
  • Identify and correct errors.

This paper will include questions that target Mathematics and computer-related Mathematics.


On completion of this course students will be awarded marks based on the grading system of (9-1).


Course Entry Requirements

Due to the complex content of this course, students must have achieved a grade 6 in their Year 9 Computer Science unit exam. They should have also completed all homework tasks in the Year 9 Computer Science unit. If students do not meet this criteria we will suggest the Creative iMedia course instead of the GCSE option.


Recommended Equipment:

  • Revision Guide
  • Access to a PC at home (desktop or laptop), with
    • a good internet connection.
    • the ability to download software.
    • Python 3 IDLE installed for homework and practise coding


Enquiries to: Mrs N Andrews – Learning Leader for Computing