Stage 4 - Studying for GCSEs

GCSE Computer Science builds on what you have studied in the first three stages (from starting Primary School) to give you the grounding so that you can pass formal examinations at the end of Stage 4 (GCSEs). The content of this stage cover the current UK National Curriculum content for Computing. First, we start with a question ...


Ready to start?

Before you start studying for your GCSE in Computer Science, you need to get organised! You will need ...
  • Notebook / Exercise book
  • Access to a computer at home
  • Intrinsic motivation to learn (you can't get that from this website however ...)
Each section in the course has lots of activities for you to complete and an assessment which your teacher will give you after you have completed the section to measure how much you have understood.

Course structure

The Stage 4 course is not split into years - simply plan to cover all the topics in the time allocation you have. There are suggested splits for a 2 year and 3 year GCSE but this is by no means prescriptive. Each topic has a topic presentation, series of learning tasks, various revision activities and links to extension work.

TWO YEAR
              Year 1               
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Online Safety 1
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Online Safety 2
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Online Safety 3
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Online Safety 4
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Online Safety 5
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Online Safety 6
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Internal Exam
              Year 2              
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Online Safety 7
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Online Safety 8
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Online Safety 9
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Mocks/Revision
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Fundamentals
CS01 Computer Systems Introduction to computer systems
CS02 Dealing with Input How to get data into a computer system
CS03 Naming Data How data is stored in computers
CS04 Quantifying Data How we measure data quantity
CS05 Character Encoding Character encoding schemes
CS06 String Manipulation How to measure and manipulate strings
CS07 Building Data Structures
Lists, dictionaries and records
CS08 Mathematical Methods How computers to maths like us
CS09 Logical Methods How computers make logical decisions
CS10 Comparative Methods Computers are great at comparison
CS11 Making Choices Using selection routines in programming
CS12 Iteration, Iteration, Iteration Using looping routines in programming
CS13 Dealing with Output How to get data out of a computer system 
Data Handling
CS14 Keeping Data Safe Data security, secondary storage, files
CS15 Databases
Handling data using databases
CS16 Sorting and searching algorithms
Software Design
CS17 Modelling
Techniques for real world modelling
CS18 Validate and Verify
What they mean and how to do them
CS19 Authenticate Login systems
CS20 Representing Algorithms Flowcharts and pseudocode
CS21 Break it up
Functions and procedures
CS22 OOP (WJEC)
Programming with objects
CS23
Formal testing strategies
CS24 Algorithm practice
CS25 Programming Challenges Graded programming challenges
CS26
Techniques of system development
Data Representation
CS27 Number Bases How to count like a computer
CS28
How to do maths like a computer
CS29 Painting Pictures
How computers store images
CS30 Storing Sounds How computers store sound
CS31 Saving Space
Compression techniques
Hardware and Software
CS32 How Computers Remember
RAM and ROM
CS33 The CPU
Operation of the central processing unit
CS34 Computer Software System and utility software
CS35 Operating Systems
How operating systems work
Networking
CS36 Connecting Computers Networks, LANs and WANs
CS37 Communication Communication techniques
CS38 The TCP/IP Stack The 4-layer protocol stack
CS39 Cyber Security Threats Threats to networks
CS40 Cyber Security Solutions Keeping networks secure and safe
The Wider World
CS41 Wider Consequences Impact of computers on the world
THREE YEAR
              Year 1              
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Online Safety 1
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Online Safety 2
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Online Safety 3
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Internal Exam
              Year 2              
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Online Safety 4
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Online Safety 5
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Online Safety 6
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Online Safety 7
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Internal Exam
              Year 3              
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Online Safety 8
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Online Safety 9
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Mocks/Revision
     External Exam