Cardinal Heenan

Cardinal Heenan

Catholic High School


ICT and Computing Courses

Curriculum Leader: Mr E Hartwell

Computer Science GCSE

Course Level: GCSE Exam Board: OCR Course code: J275

ICT Curriculum Intent

Computers are ubiquitous. Through ICT our students learn how they can use information technologies to efficiently and effectively function in the modern world. They learn about project management and the key skills required in a professional environment such as file management, presentation and spreadsheet skills and how to use technology for research. All of this is underpinned by a focus on e-safety and using technology appropriately. In Computer Science our students learn to take control of the technology and to make it work for them. They develop transferable skills such as logic, problem solving and analysis. In this way we are preparing our students for the world of work; both how to use technologies and how to advance technologies.


Computer Science is a very practical subject – students will be able to use the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom on real-world problems. It’s also a highly
creative subject that calls on learners to be inventive.

What the course covers
The GCSE in Computer Science will encourage learners 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.

Course components:
Component 01: Computer Systems (50%)
Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and
programming (50%)
Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in the Computer Systems Unit. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation.
The skills and knowledge developed within this
component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

Programming Project (0%)
Students will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the
success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future. Students will have 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards the final grade, but is a requirement of the course.

Two externally marked examinations (1hr 30mins each) and one programming project (20 hrs)

Where the course can lead
A Level Computer Science, Cambridge Technical in IT Level 3 or other ICT or Business Courses. There are many different careers that this qualification could help you move towards.