Year 11 / ks4

Computer Science

Within the Computing department we pride ourselves in giving students a variety of KS4 qualification choices to best meet their interests and needs. To prepare students for the different computing pathways available to them we ensure that the KS3 curriculum meets not only the national curriculum requirements but gives students the key skills they will need for success at KS4.

We have three qualifications at KS4 that lead directly on from KS3 Computing; BTEC Creative Media, BTEC Digital Information Technology and GCSE Computer Science. Careful identification of key topics from each course has been identified and these are covered at KS3. Further to this you will see that where a key topic forms a large part of assessment at KS4 or the skill is needed across more than one of the KS4 subjects, then more time and practice has been given to that key skill at KS3.

GCSE Computer Science – Curriculum Intent:

GCSE Computer Science, is an English Baccalaureate subject, therefore the level of challenge is reflected in our curriculum content.

This subject offers a fantastic opportunity for those with a strong interest in science and technology to understand how computers work and think. Furthermore GCSE Computer Science can be a springboard towards further education and a future career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics industries (STEM).

In year 9 students are taught to develop algorithms using written description, flowchart, pseudo-code and programming language techniques. Students will also be taught how to convert, add, subtract and multiply binary numbers, which is the code made up of 0s and 1s that computers process.

In year 10 students will further develop their theoretical knowledge, studying topics including hardware, software, computer networks, cyber-security, legal issues, ethics and more. Furthermore students will undertake a mandatory programming project, following the project lifecycle, with the aim of designing, implementing, testing and evaluating a programmed solution to a problem that they have analysed.

In year 11 students will further develop their ability to problem solve and develop algorithms, in addition we will continue to revisit learning from year 9 and 10, focusing on the techniques and tools required for exam success.


There are two externally assessed written exams, which are taken at the end of the course in year 11, each paper contributes 50% of the final overall grade.

  • Paper 1 – Principles of Computer Science (1hrs 40mins) – This exam is designed to test a student’s theoretical understanding of Computer Science, with content from a range of topic areas including data, computers, communication and networks, and the legal, moral and ethical impact of computing.
  • Paper 2 – Application of Computational Thinking (2hrs) – this exam is designed to test a student’s practical understanding of algorithms and programming.