“Coding is the language of the future, and every girl should learn it. As I’ve learned from watching girls grow and learn in our classrooms, coding is fun, collaborative and creative.”

– Reshma Saujani


“Everyone in this country should learn how to program because it teaches you how to think”

– Steve Jobs


“All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school – my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

Why study Computing?

Computing is now part of everything we do and is here to stay for the future.  Regardless of what careers students might embark on when they have finished their education, a base understanding of Computing will prove useful.  Computing supports learning in creativity and innovativeness alongside teaching mathematical thinking for solving complex and challenging problems.  Computing is a foundation subject and therefore is compulsory at KS3 with an option to continue studying GCSE Computer Science at KS4.

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Computing curriculum aims to provide students with a rounded knowledge of Computing as a subject in the 3 main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.

There is a focus on computational thinking and creativity, as well as opportunities for creative work in programming and digital media.

The aims for the subject as a whole reflect this distinction. [All pupils] can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. (CS) [All pupils] can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. (CS) [All pupils] can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems. (IT) [All pupils] are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. (DL)



GCSE Course structure

The OCR GCSE in Computer Science encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

The course is made up of two components which assess students at the end of the GCSE course.

J277/01: Computer systems

This component will assess:

  • 1.1 Systems architecture
  • 1.2 Memory and storage
  • 1.3 Computer networks, connections and protocols
  • 1.4 Network security
  • 1.5 Systems software
  • 1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes 50% of total GCSE 80 marks This is a non-calculator paper. All questions are mandatory. This paper consists of multiple choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.

J277/02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This component will assess:

  • 2.1 Algorithms
  • 2.2 Programming fundamentals
  • 2.3 Producing robust programs
  • 2.4 Boolean logic
  • 2.5 Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes 50% of total GCSE 80 marks This is a non-calculator paper. This paper has two sections: Section A and Section B. Students must answer both sections. All questions are mandatory. In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high-level programming language they are familiar with.

Practical Programming

Alongside this all students must be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s), either to a specification or
to solve a problem (or problems), during their course of study. Students may draw on some of the content
in both components when engaged in Practical Programming.