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 of realistic contexts that are based around major themes such as gaming, web, mobile and more traditional programming systems.

The Computer Science specification consists of the following units:

Computer systems

Introduces the central processing unit, memory and storage, networks, security and system software, as well as ethical, legal, cultural and environmental factors.


Computational thinking, algorithms and programming




Programming Project

Develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation.


Develop practical skills developed in components

Computer Science involves mathematical reasoning and an engaging with applied mathematics is important to both enjoy and access the course.


How Will You Learn

The 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 programming language.


Method of Assessment

At the end of the course you will be formally assessed by sitting 2 separate 90 minute/80-mark exam papers:

  • Paper 1 – Computer Systems
  • Paper 2 – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Each paper is worth 50% of the overall GCSE grade.


Pathways after Year 11

Further Study

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

Career Routes

The OCR Computer Science GCSE will provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to enter employment in the Computing and IT Industry, in areas such as:

  • Programming
  • Web design
  • IT Technician
  • Software Development
  • App Development

Pupil comments

“I really enjoy the opportunity to invent new programmes.”

“I enjoy doing a subject which is part of the future and which will help me onto my chosen career path.”



Examination Board: OCR                     Specification: J808


Description of Course

Data Manipulation and Project Management are vital skills for success in employment and higher education and are among the key transferable skills required by employers.

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of different hardware and software applications and the tools and techniques used to select, store, manipulate and present data. They will also explore the various risks associated with the collections, storage and use of data, including legal, moral, ethical and security issues, and how such risks can be mitigated.

Students will also create a technological solution that processes data and communicates information, following the phases of the project life cycle using different hardware and software technologies to create an integrated technological solution. They develop practical skills such as carrying out a SWOT analysis, creating GANTT charts, developing online surveys, and presenting data through web-based technologies.


How Will You Learn

The course will include skills and knowledge to prepare students for a data driven future; the topics and areas covered throughout the course will include:

  • Knowledge of hardware and software applications.
  • Data Manipulation tools and techniques.
  • Project Life Cycle – phases, interaction, inputs and outputs.
  • Risks, legal moral, ethical and security issues.
  • Focus on the use of skills to develop a creative technological solution to a real-world problem.
  • Follow a project life cycle and demonstrate skills such as SWOT analysis, GANTT charts, data collection and presenting data.
  • Use hardware and software to create an integrated technological solution for data processing and communication of information.


Method of Assessment

The course contains two methods of assessment that will count towards the overall grade at the end of the course:

  1. Centre assessed coursework in developing technological solutions (20 Hours).
  2. 1hr 45min externally marked exam paper that focuses on understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions.


Pathways after Year 11

Further Study

Students who complete this qualification will have excellent preparation for higher study in a Level 3 IT or Digital Media Course, A Level in Computer Science or an Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing or Business Administration.

Career Routes

The OCR Cambridge Nationals in Information Technologies will provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to enter employment in the Business and IT Industry, in areas such as:

  • Business Administration
  • Digital Marketing
  • Data Analyst
  • Project Management



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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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