GCSE Computing: Two Year Overview

YEAR 11 A453


Topic 2.1.3


Topic 2.1.4

Representation of data in Computer Systems

Topic 2.1.5

The database concept;


Relational databases

Topic 2.1.6


The Internet

GCSE Computer Science


Topic 1.1 Systems

  • The Purpose of the CPU
  • Von Neumann Architecture
  • CPU Components

Topic 1.1 Systems

  • Function of the CPU
  • Characteristics of the CPU
Embedded Systems

Topic 2.2 Programming & Topic 2.3 Robust Programs

  • The use of variables, constants, operators, inputs and assignments
  • The use of basic programming constructs: Sequence, Selection, Iteration (count and condition controlled loops)
  • The use of basic string manipulation
  • The use of base file handling operations
  • The use of records to store data
  • The use of SQL to search for data
  • The use of arrays (or equivalent)
  • How to use sub programs (functions & procedures)
  • The use of data types
  • The common arithmetic operators
  • The common Boolean operators
  • Defensive design considerations
  • Maintainability
  • The purpose of testing
  • Types of testing
  • Syntax & Logic Errors
  • Selecting and using suitable test data

Topic 1.2 Memory

  • Difference between RAM and ROM
  • Purpose of ROM
  • Purpose of RAM
  • Virtual Memory
Flash Memory

Topic 1.4 Wired / Wireless

  • LAN & WAN
  • Factors that affect Network performance
  • Roles in Client-Server / Peer to Peer
  • Hardware needed for a LAN
  • The Internet
Virtual Network

Topic 2.1 Algorithms

  • Computational Thinking
  • Standard Searching Algorithms
  • Standard Sorting Algorithms

Topic 2.1 Algorithms

  • Producing Algorithms with flow diagrams
  • Producing Algorithms with Pseudocode
  • Interpreting, Correcting or Completing Algorithms

Topic 1.3 Storage

  • Data capacity
  • Calculations of data capacity requirements
  • Common types of storage
  • Suitable storage devices looking at the different characteristics

Topic 1.5 Network Topologies

  • Star & Mesh Topologies
  • Wifi
  • The uses of IP addressing, MAC addressing and Protocols
  • Concept of layers
  • Packet Switching

Topic 1.1 – 1.5 Recap

Topic 1.6 System Security

  • Forms of attack
  • Threats posed to networks
  • Identifying and preventing vulnerabilities

Topic 1.7 System Software

  • Purpose  and functionality of systems software
  • Operating systems
  • Utility system software

Topic 2.5 Translators and Facilities of Languages

  • Characteristics  and purpose of different levels of programming language
  • Purpose of translators
  • Characteristics of an assembler, a compiler and an interpreter
Practice NEA Practice NEA
Python Challenges Python Challenges

Topic 1.8 Ethical, Legal Cultural & Environmental Concerns

  • Ethical issues
  • Legal issues
  • Cultural issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Privacy issues
  • Key stakeholders affected by technologies
  • Open source vs proprietary issues
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988
  • Creative Commons Licensing
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000

Topic 2.4 Computational Logic  & Topic 2.6 Data Representation

  • Why data is in binary
  • Logic diagrams using AND, OR and NOT
  • Truth tables
  • Applying computing-related mathematics
  • Binary addition
  • Converting to Hex
  • Character sets
  • Images with data
  • Sound with data
  • Compression
Practice NEA Practice NEA

GCSE ICT: Three Year Overview


Unit 1 Topic 1: Personal Digital Devices

The purpose of and target audience for digital devices;

Features of digital devices;

How to select suitable devices/features to meet particular needs;

The impact of age, gender and disability on individuals’ choice/use of digital devices.

Unit 1 Topic 1: Personal Digital Devices

Methods of connecting devices;

Peripheral devices that can be used with digital devices;

The impact of the use of digital devices on the way organisations operate;

Health and safety risks associated with digital devices and how to reduce or contain them.

Unit 2 Topic 1: Research & Information Gathering

Understand the characteristics of data and information;

Understand how data and information can be organised and structured to facilitate effective use;

Understand that information can be represented in different forms;

Identify the data and information requirements of a task;

Understand the need for accuracy.

Unit 2 Topic 1: Research & Information Gathering

Select appropriate sources of information, e.g. online databases, websites, email;

Use appropriate search techniques to locate information;

Select relevant information by making informal judgements about its quality, relevance and fitness for purpose;

Recognise copyright and other constraints on the use of information.

Unit 2 Topic 1: Research & Information Gathering

Create original images and other assets;

Create original text and other information;

Create survey data.

Unit 2 Topic 1: Research & Information Gathering

Understand how data can be structured e.g. single table, linked table;

Enter and edit records;

Search for valid and meaningful information for a specified purpose;

Sort records using single and multiple fields in ascending and descending order;

Use reports to present information clearly.

Unit 2 Topic 2: Modelling

Adapt and enhance spreadsheet models;

Gather and validate data for use in a model;

Enter and organise numerical data;

Manipulate, process and analyse numerical data

Format numerical data and other information;

Use formulae, functions and variables

Use validation techniques;

Enhance clarity and presentation.

Unit 2 Topic 2: Modelling

Use models to explore ideas;

Ask ‘what if’ questions;

Model different scenarios;

Try out alternatives and explore ideas;

Create and develop charts and graphs to display numerical data;

Verify results (accuracy, plausibility);

Interpret results and make recommendations based upon them.

Unit 2 Topic 3: Digital Publishing

Design digital products which are fit for purpose and audience;

Investigate requirements;

Analyse stages of a complex ICT task;

Use design tools (storyboarding, structure charts, flowcharts, templates);

Justify design decisions;

Make use of feedback from test users.

Unit 2 Topic 3: Digital Publishing

Develop digital products which are fit for purpose and audience;

Combine different types of digital content;

Use accepted layouts and conventions;

Apply editing, formatting and layout techniques;

Maximise clarity and enhance presentation;

Create a user interface;

Use automated features;

Sequence instructions;

Test for functionality and usability.

Unit 2 Topic 4: Evaluating Outcomes

Review outcomes;

Compare with requirements;

Identify strengths and weaknesses;

Suggest possible improvements;

Make modifications to improve the outcomes.

Unit 2 Topic 4: Evaluating Outcomes

Review own performance;

Identify strengths and weaknesses;

Evaluate the selection, use and effectiveness of ICT tools and facilities used.


Unit 2 Topic 5: Working Effectively & Safely

Save work regularly and keep information secure;

Use sensible filenames and formats

Create and manage files and folder structures;

Retrieve work efficiently;

Acknowledge sources;

Respect copyright.

Unit 1 Topic 2: Connectivity

Factors influencing the choice of digital

communication in a network;

Equipment needed to create a home network;

How different technologies can be used together;

Factors affecting speed and volume of data


The significance of bandwidth and latency, and their impact on the ‘user experience’;

Commonly used communication networks;

Commonly used communication protocols;

Security risks to data and how to reduce or contain them.

Unit 1 Topic 3: Operating Online

The widespread use of the internet;

The use of usernames, passwords and other security measures;

Control of access to and management of personal spaces;

Threats to and methods of preventing misuse of personal information;

The impact of relevant legislation.

Unit 1 Topic 4: Online Goods and Services

Advantages and disadvantages of shopping online rather than in the high street;

The impact on lifestyles and behaviour of the availability of goods and services online;

The value of transactional data;

How and why organisations operate online;

Consumer protection.


Unit 1 Topic 5: Online Communities

The features, functions and target audience of different forms of online communities;

The impact of the internet on employment and working practices; collaborative working;

Responsible use and acceptable behaviour.

Unit 1 Topic 6: Issues

Security issues that arise when information is transmitted and stored digitally;

Privacy issues associated with the use of ICT;

Ways in which ICT can be used to monitor individuals’ movements and communications;

health and safety issues that arise from individuals’ use of ICT;

The impact on society of the widespread use of networks and the ability of individuals to access networks anywhere;

Legislation relating to the use of ICT, including copyright and data protection;

Sustainability issues and ways of minimising/mitigating the environmental impact of ICT.
Unit 1 Revision  

KS3 Computing Overview


Computer Systems #1

  • What is a computer system?
  • Embedded system.
  • Computer components.
  • Input and output devices.
  • The human computer (hardware)


  • Head & Body tags
  • Text tags
  • Formatting tags
  • Colour tags
  • Image tags


  • Computational thinking
  • Writing algorithms in flowcharts.
  • Writing algorithms in flowcharts.
  • Search algorithms.
  • Sort algorithms.

Python #1

  • Data types
  • Operators
  • Constants and variables.
  • Strings
  • Program flow (IF THEN ELSE)

Data Representation

  • Logic
  • Units
  • Binary numbers
  • Hexadecimal numbers

Computer Hardware

  • The CPU
  • Fetch, decode, and execute cycle.
  • Memory – RAM/ROM
  • CPU Performance

Computer Systems #2

  • Hex
  • Logic Gates
  • Storage (RAM / ROM; Types of Storage & Characteristics)

Hardware & Software

  • Hardware Recap
  • Operating system
  • Application software
  • Utility software

(Take Entry Level Exams)

Python #2

  • Nested Ifs
  • Switch CASE
  • COUNT-controlled loops
  • Condition-controlled loops
  • Boolean in conditions
  • Arrays

Python Programming Project

(Entry Level Specimen Task)

Ethical & Cultural

  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Privacy
  • Energy Use
  • Legal

(Entry Level Specimen Task)


  • Lan
  • WAN
  • Topologies
  • Network Hardware
  • Client-Server
  • P2P


What qualifications will I get?

GCSE in Computing.

GCSE in Computer Science.


How will I be assessed?

KS3 Computing is Teacher assessed at the end of each unit; as well as self and peer reviewed through-out. This is all recorded in your Learning Diary.

GCSE Computing is formally assessed at the end of Year 11 by the submitting of Controlled Assessment (60%) and a written Exam (40%). During the duration of the course, you are assessed on a fortnightly basis about what you have learnt.

GCSE ICT is formally assessed at the end of Yr 11 by the sumitting of Controlled Assessment (60%) and a written Exam (40%). During the duration of the course, you are assessed on a fortnightly basis about what you have learnt.

What can these courses lead to?

These courses provide a good foundation to continue studying ICT related subjects at either A-Level or BTEC Level 3.