GCSE Computer Science

Qualification aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:
• Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
• Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
• Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
• Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
• Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
• Apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.

The course consists of 3 elements:
• 2 exams each worth 40%
• 1 programming project worth 20%

Component 1: Computer Systems (1 hr 30 min Written Exam)
The exam covers: Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of Fundamentals of algorithms, Programming, Fundamentals of data representation and Computer systems.

Component 2: Computational Thinking, algorithms and programming (1 hr 30 min Written Exam)
This exam covers theoretical knowledge of; Fundamentals of data representation, Computer systems, Fundamentals of computer networks, Fundamentals of cyber security, Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy.

Component 3: Project (20hrs Coursework)
The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem.
Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem-solving, consistent with the skills of software development.

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