Examination Board: AQA

Specification: 8520


Description of Course

Our GCSE Computer Science course gets students working with real-world, practical programming techniques that give them a good understanding of what makes technology work. The subject matter is taught within a range a realistic contexts that are based around major themes such as gaming, web, mobile and more traditional programming systems.

The qualification is split into two components:

  • Component 1 - Practical programming - is examined by controlled assessment. (20%)
  • Component 2 – Computational Thinking & Problem Solving - is exam based. (40%)
  • Component 3 – Written Assessment – is exam based (40%)


GCSE Computer Science counts towards the English Baccalaureate science measure, offering students a new option that achieves maximum recognition.


How Will You Learn

The AQA Computer Science GCSE will equip learners with an understanding of the principles of how a computer works and explore the use of programming languages to create a number of programs.

Key topics will include: Fundamentals of algorithms, programming, data representation, computer systems, computer networks, cyber security, software development and the ethical, legal and environmental impact of digital technology.

Teaching and learning will make use of a variety of textbooks, online resources and the Python 3 programming language.


Method of Assessment

There will be a controlled assessments (20%) that is performed during the course and two formal written examination (40% each, 80% combined) at the end of the two years course.


Pathways after Year 11

Further Study

Pupils who complete this qualification will have excellent preparation for higher study and employment in Computer Science.

Career Routes

The AQA Computer Science GCSE will provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to enter employment into the Computing and IT Industry.

Possible career paths:

  • Programmer
  • Web designer
  • IT Technician
  • Software Developer




Examination Board: Edexcel


Description of Course

The Edexcel GCSE ICT Comprises 2 Units:

Unit 1 – Living in a Digital World – 40% of the total GCSE

In this unit students explore how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. They learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts (learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and wellbeing and on the move). They develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice.

Unit 2 – Using Digital Tools – 60% of the total GCSE

This is a practical unit. Students broaden and enhance their ICT skills and capability. They work with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts. They learn to reflect critically on their own and others’ use of ICT and to adopt safe, secure and responsible practice.


How Will You Learn

The GCSE in ICT and GCSE in ICT (Double Award) qualifications enable students to:

  • become independent and discerning users of ICT, able to make informed decisions about its use and aware of its implications for individuals, organisations and society
  • acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts
  • develop ICT-based solutions to solve problems
  • develop understanding of current and emerging technologies and their social and commercial impact
  • develop understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental issues raised by ICT
  • recognise potential risks when using ICT, and develop safe, secure and responsible practice
  • develop the skills to work collaboratively
  • evaluate ICT-based solutions.


Method of Assessment

Unit 1 is assessed through a 1 hour 30 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel. The total number of marks available for the examination paper is 80.

Unit 2 is internally assessed under controlled conditions.

  • Students must complete a controlled assessment task, provided by Edexcel.
  • Students must complete their task within 40 hours.
  • Marking of the task will be carried out by teachers and moderated by Edexcel against the set Assessment criteria. The total number of marks available for the controlled assessment task is 80.


Pathways after Year 11

Further Study

Pupils who complete this qualification will be in a good position to continue their studies into a wide range of other ICT qualifications (including A Level ICT offered here at Liskeard). The useful skills that students will have acquired will also assist them in many other subject areas.

Career Routes

Programmer, Developer (Application, Game), Administrator (Systems, Network, Database), Managers (Information, IT, Project, Security), Data Modeller, Analyst (Software Implementation, Computer System), Engineer (Computer, Software, Software Support, Technicians (Tech Support), Consultant, Designer (Web, Graphic).



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Head Teacher: Mr Alex Lingard

Liskeard School & Community College
PL14 3EA

How to find us

Tel: +44(0)1579 342344

School Attendance Line (24 hours): +44(0)1579 325730

Fax: +44(0)1579 343350




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