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The Wavell School

Year 11 Computer Science

GCSE in Computer Science


The GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students will cover a range of different topics from understanding the CPU, memory and storage, data representation and understanding key computational thinking concepts.  The course is made up two equally waited examinations which make up 100% of their overall mark. In addition students will undertake a programming project that will be carried out throughout the two years. 

Specification at a glance

Exam Board: OCR 

Specification Code: J277







Unit 1: Computer Systems




1 hour 30 minutes




Summer Term Year 11



This Unit is externally assessed by means of a written exam in June.


Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and






1 hour 30 minutes





Summer Term Year 11



This Unit is externally assessed by means of a written exam in June.


Practical Programming




Across year 10 and Year 11

Required, not formal assessment but feeds into the unit 2 examination.

What did my child study during Year 10?

Term 1

  • Impacts of Digital Technology- The Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact of Digital Technology
  • Memory and Storage - The different types of storage, their characteristics and advantages and disadvantages
  • Data Representation- Binary and Denary Conversions; Hexadecimal Conversions; and how data such as text, sound and images are represented using Binary


Term 2

  • Data Representation- Binary and Denary Conversions; Hexadecimal Conversions and how data such as text, sound and images are represented using Binary
  • Computer architecture - The function of the CPU and how it fetches and executes data
  • Computer Networks - The different types of networks, how they connect and the protocols that they use to communicate.


Term 3

  • Network Security- Different types of Security Threats and how computers can be protected.
  • Systems Software - The different types of software and their purpose.
  • Revision over previous topics


What will my child study during Year 11?

Term 1:

  • Logic Gates- How logic gates work to make logical decision. Including Truth Tables.
  • Producing Robust Programs- How we can keep code well maintained as well as looking at defensive design


Term 2:

  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)- Software used to implement code, looking at the differences between High-Level and Low-Level Programming languages
  • Revision
  • GCSE Exam Practice


Term 3:

  • Revision
  • GCSE Exam Practice


Students throughout the year will also take part in Python Programming, where they will work towards the fundamental programming skills which will support their knowledge in the final exam (Paper 2). Students will learn the three main programming constructs: Sequence, Selection and Iteration and solve a range of different programming challenges.

How will my child be assessed and how will I know how well they are doing in Computing in Year 11?

At the end of each topic students will complete an end of topic assessment which will contain past questions from GCSE Computer Science exams. These will be assessed by the teacher.
Students will have a dedicated lesson to respond to the feedback and make further improvements to their answers.

Each student will have access to their own tracking sheet where they can monitor their performance and confidence in each of the topics. In addition through Microsoft Teams and OneNote class Notebook students will be able to read their feedback and monitor their progress.

They will complete Mock Assessments which will cover both Paper 1- Computer Systems and Paper 2- Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming.

What homework will my child be expected to do in Year 11 in Computing?

Students will get homework weekly, to help develop their subject knowledge on the topics that are covered that week. Students are also encouraged to do additional python programming at home to help them with their understanding and problem skills. Majority of homework will be set online using the same resources that we use in lessons.
Students have been issued with their own copy of exam practice booklet, which they will use periodically.

How can I support my child to do well in Computing during Year 11?

  • Encourage students to attend after school sessions
  • Encourage students to practice their Python Programming at home
  • Encourage students to make effective use of the eRevision website and GCSE Pod, along with past papers and exam board mark schemes, to help them prepare for the written exam.
  • Encourage students to keep up to date with current developments in technology for example following news reports on the BBC, following reports on cyber security attacks etc.

My child is struggling during the course, what additional help is available to help them keep up?

All students have the option to arrange a catch-up session if they feel they need the additional support. In addition, a range of different online resources can be accessed from school and home, where students can practice their python skills as well as the theory content.

Updated July 2023