GCSE Computer Science


This specification offers students the opportunity to develop their Computing and IT skills and knowledge through two externally assessed written theory examinations alongside a piece of non-examined coursework that covers a wide range of programming skills using programming software such as Python.  It offers a direct pathway for students who have previously studied our KS3 curriculum in IT and Computing and who would prefer to focus on the Computer Science strand.  Students will also be required to demonstrate analytical, decision making and problem solving skills as they work through the many non-examined coursework tasks.  These skills are also transferable for the theory examination, in particular the second examination paper that focuses heavily on computer programming and problem solving activities. This course offers flexibility to students and allows them to develop skills that are relevant for progression into the VI Form on a wide range of post-16 courses and are also much sought after skills and knowledge at Further and Higher Education establishments.


Students will study theory concepts and practical programming skills alongside each other so that they are best prepared for both examinations.   The theory and the practical programming skills will aim to complement each other wherever possible eg the creation of some programming code as part of an app could also involve the exploration of how an operating system would communicate with the app as part of its many functions.  Another example could be the use of Cyber Security techniques to examine the app for vulnerabilities.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment – Students will undertake two externally assessed written papers, one of which focuses on Computer Science theory and the other on Computer programming and coding techniques that are delivered through a practical, hands-on approach in the classroom.


J277/01: Computer systems

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes 50% of total GCSE 80 marks


J277/02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes 50% of total GCSE 80 marks

Homework and learning outside of the classroom

Students are provided with a white Computer Science revision book at the start of the course which include exam questions from all sections of the course. Students will be expected to work on this independently throughout the duration of the course. 


Students will be given weekly homework tasks from teachers delivering the course.


Option to involve themselves in after school Computing club 

Participate in potential competitions/visits throughout the year


KS3 Computing

KS5 Computing

Allerton High School
King Lane, Leeds
West Yorkshire LS17 7AG
ssat ssat Leading Edge Healthy Schools Ofsted