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Computer Science

What are students studying in Computer Science this year?

In Year 10 students start their GCSE course. The course offered at Newstead Wood is the AQA GCSE in Computer Science, specification 8525.

In year Y0, we aim to finish all programming topics in Paper 1 and two theory topics from Paper 2.  Students use the high-level programming language, Python.

In Year 11 students continue with their GCSE course and we aim to finish the curriculum by March.

What are the major assessments this year?

Students are assessed on each topic building to a major assessment at the end of the academic year, which is based on past GCSE questions.

At the end of Year 11 students will sit the external assessment. The Year 11 formal external assessment structure is:

Paper 1 Written exam

Subject coverage:

  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Programming

➢ Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 2 hours

➢ 90 marks

➢ 50% of GCSE

Paper 2 Written exam

Subject coverage:

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer networks
  • Cyber security
  • Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)
  • Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

➢ Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

 ➢ 90 marks

➢ 50% of GCSE

What will the current performance grade be based on?

The current performance grades are based on all the work completed in the year by students, including classwork and homework as well as the end of topic assessments.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. She should try to identify specific areas of the subject which she is finding a challenge so that we can offer targeted support in the form of mentoring sessions with sixth form students.

How can I support my daughter?

The best way to provide general support to students is by talking to them about their work in the subject and how things are going. It’s also worth talking to your daughter about how you use IT in your everyday life, be it your smartphone, surfing the web or at work.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students receive regular independent homework, which is assigned and submitted via Microsoft Teams. Additionally, your daughter can use the software and programming languages taught in class, such as Python, to create her own projects. She should also stay informed about the latest developments in IT by subscribing to the MIT newsletter and BBC technology news.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the Head of Computer Science, Mrs Mehta, via email at with as much detailed information as possible.

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