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KS4 - Computer Science

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Curriculum Year 10 / Year 11


Supporting your child

Extended learning


Exam Board and Course Code

AQA GCSE Computer Science 8525



What students will learn

How it builds on learning


Data representation

  • Binary and Hexadecimal number systems, conversions, and calculations
  • Sound and image representation and storage
  • Data compression

Sets up the foundation for understanding how computers work and the basis for all logic and constraints for designing storage, and programming computers.


  • How data is stored in the main mediums of magnetic and optical storage, and SSDs.

Uses the knowledge about data representation to understand how data is stored for long term use, the mediums that can be used, and how they are used.

Memory, the CPU, and programming languages

  • How memory is used within a computer system
  • How processes occur within the fetch execute cycle using the von Neumann architecture
  • Hierarchy of high- and low-level programming languages, and translation into machine code

Further extended knowledge on data and storage, extends knowledge to the understanding of computer memory, and how data and instructions form processes carried out by computers.


Boolean logic

Logic gates and circuits

Brings together the knowledge of binary representation and Boolean logic to lead into computational thinking.


  • Principals of computational thinking and algorithm creation
  • Data types and structures
  • Programming constructs

Following on from the knowledge of logic circuits, and work done throughout KS3, algorithms are examined, and the basis of computational thinking is reinforced and extended.

Python Programming

  • Creating simple algorithms in the Python programming language
  • Writing extended programs that require the use of subroutines through structured programming

The Python programming language is revisited (having learnt its basics in Years 7 and 9) and extended to incorporate a fuller understanding of algorithmic solutions, data structures, and structured programming.

Networks and Cyber Security

  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network protocols
  • Security of Networks
  • Cyber security threats and prevention/damage limitation

Networks, their benefits, and security issues are introduced.


What students will learn

How it builds on learning



  • Relational databases
  • SQL

Relational databases are introduced, and the SQL language is learnt, drawing on understanding of data types and structures from algorithms and Python programming.

Further Python Programming

  • Consolidation and enhancing of Python programming



  • System software
  • Application software

Different types of software are introduced, drawing on knowledge of the workings of a computer system.

Legal, ethical, and environmental issues

  • The law surrounding computer and data usage
  • Ethical issues that arise around computers
  • The environmental impact of computers

The legal, ethical, and environmental issues surrounding computer and data usage are explored, drawing on knowledge of the workings and issues surrounding computer systems and networks.


Year 10

Pupils sit three formal, written assessments:

November – Formal Assessment 1 (autumn term’s curriculum content)

February – Formal Assessment 2 (autumn term’s and first spring half term’s curriculum content)

July – Year 10 Mock (Year 10 curriculum content)


Year 11

Pupils sit two formal, written assessments and three exam content assessments:

November/December – Year 11 Mock (Past paper containing curriculum content covered)

February – Year 11 Mock (all course material)

March/April – three written papers covering different areas of the course content

Supporting your child

What you can do at home:

The most meaningful thing you can do to support your child in Computer Science is simply to take an interest and ask them to show you what they have been doing in lessons. We will teach everything in class and ensure suitable support is in place for those who may be struggling.


No additional equipment is required for Computer Science lessons.

Extended learning

Homework policy:

Homework is usually set weekly. Some homework tasks consolidate and practise work done within lessons, others prepare pupils for the content of subsequent lessons.

Clubs/ Enrichment opportunities:

For those keen to go beyond the classroom and do more in the Computing department we run several clubs at lunchtime and after school, including programming and revision of GCSE topics.

Extended study suggestions and reading lists:

All required programming skills will be taught in lessons, but for those wanting to go further we suggest the following ‘teach yourself’ websites:

Codecademy – free and paid courses covering a wide range of languages.
Khan Academy – free introductory and advanced courses for a wide range of languages.
Replit Learn and Replit Curriculum – free lessons and tutorials in the online IDE we use each year. – free courses and activities exploring computing concepts.

The CraigNDave YouTube channel is a good resource for all aspects of the course.

Possible trips and visits:

While we do not have any fixed trips in the Computing Department, we have previously visited the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge. We would welcome any suggestions for potential trips.