Manor Academy

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KS4 GCSE Computer Science


Weblink to exam specification


This course gives the students the opportunity to discover how computer technology works. It allows them to become computational thinkers, developing skills creating computer programs for complex problems.

Units studied and a brief description of their content

Students will work on a four topics which cover a variety of skills and techniques. Throughout the two years students will develop an :

  • 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; ability to use HTML and CSS to construct web pages.
  • Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.


Students are assessed in the following ways:

Controlled Assessment

The Controlled Assessment is worth 20% of the total grade. Students are allowed 20 hours to complete a scenario based project which students will design, test, refine a program and produce a written report. The Controlled Assessment will be completed in Year 11.

External Assessments

The external assessment is paper based and consists of two papers:

Component 1 - Principals of Computer Science, duration 1 hour 40 minutes, worth 40%. This paper consists of multiple choice, short and extended open response questions.

Component 2 - Application of Computational Thinking, duration 2 hours, worth 40% of the total mark. This paper is based on a scenario and consists of short and extended open response questions.