– Key Stage 4

KS4 GCSE Computer Science (9-1)

This GCSE gives students an excellent opportunity to investigate how computers work and how they are used to develop computer programming and problem-solving skills. Students will do some in-depth research and practical work.

The course will:

  • Give learners a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works
  • Provide excellent preparation for higher study and employment in Computer Science
  • Develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills

Students will:

  • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • Acquire and apply a knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies
  • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Develop the skills to work collaboratively
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of and issues related to the use of computer technology in society

How is the course organised?

The course consists of 3 units of work which are assessed by two written papers and one non-exam assessment.

Component 01 – Computer Systems (Written Paper—40% of total GCSE)

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Component 02 – Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Written Paper—40% of total GCSE)

  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Component 03 – Programming Project (Non-Exam Assessment—20 % of total GCSE)

The programming project will require students to design, code and test a solution to three tasks using a suitable programming language.



All KS4 pupils will be studying the European Computer Driving Licence. It is an internationally recognised qualification offered by British Computing Society.

How is the course organised:

  • Word Processing (Microsoft Word) – 45 minutes – Online Test – Pass Mark 75%
  • Presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint) – 45 minutes – Online Test – Pass Mark 75%
  • Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel) – 45 minutes – Online Test – Pass Mark 75%
  • Improving Productivity – 1 hour – Online Test – Pass Mark 55%

Overall Grades:

  • Distinction* – 85%
  • Distinction – 80%
  • Merit – 75%
  • Pass – 70%