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The Wavell School

Year 10 Computer Science

GCSE in Computer Science


The GCSE in Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students will cover a range of different topics from understanding the CPU, memory and storage, data representation and understanding key computational thinking concepts.  The course is made up two equally waited examinations which make up 100% of their overall mark. In addition students will undertake a programming project that will be carried out throughout the two years. 

Specification at a glance

Exam Board: OCR 

Specification Code: J277







Unit 1: Computer Systems




1 hour 30 minutes




Summer Term Year 11



This Unit is externally assessed by means of a written exam in June.


Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and






1 hour 30 minutes





Summer Term Year 11



This Unit is externally assessed by means of a written exam in June.


Practical Programming




Across year 10 and Year 11

Required, not formal assessment but feeds into the unit 2 examination.

What will my child study during Year 10?

Term 1

  • Impacts of Digital Technology- The Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact of Digital Technology
  • Memory and Storage - The different types of storage, their characteristics and advantages and disadvantages
  • Data Representation- Binary and Denary Conversions; Hexadecimal Conversions; and how data such as text, sound and images are represented using Binary


Term 2

  • Data Representation- Binary and Denary Conversions; Hexadecimal Conversions and how data such as text, sound and images are represented using Binary
  • Computer architecture - The function of the CPU and how it fetches and executes data
  • Computer Networks - The different types of networks, how they connect and the protocols that they use to communicate.


Term 3

  • Network Security- Different types of Security Threats and how computers can be protected.
  • Systems Software - The different types of software and their purpose.
  • Revision over previous topics


Throughout the year students will also take part in Python programming, where they will work towards the fundamental programming skills that will support their knowledge in the final exam. Students will learn  the three main programming constructs, sequence, selection and iteration and solve a range of different programming challenges.

How will my child be assessed and how will I know how well they are doing in Computing in Year 10?

  • At the end of each topic students will complete an end of topic assessment which will include past questions from GCSE Computer Science exams. These assessments will be assessed by the class teacher. Students will also have a dedicated lesson to respond to the feedback and make further improvements to their answers.
  • In the Summer term students will complete a Paper 1 Mock Assessment which will cover content from the entire year.
  • Students will also be asked to do Python Programming mini-challenges to continue to support their learning and development of the Python programming language in preparation for Year 11.

What homework will my child be expected to do in Year 10 in Computing?

Students will get homework every week, to help develop their subject knowledge on the topics that are covered that week. Students are also encouraged to do additional python programming at home to help with their understanding and problem-solving skills. Majority of homework will be set online using the same resources that we use in lessons. Students will be issued with their own copy of the exam practice workbook, which they will use periodically.

How can I support my child to do well in Computing during Year 10?

  • Encourage students to keep up to date with the news for developments in technology e.g. BBC News following reports on cyber security attacks or developments in AI etc.
  • Encourage students to attend afterschool sessions which will be weekly in A1.1
  • Encourage students to practice Python Programming at home
  • Encourage students to use additional resources e.g. BBC Computer Science (OCR); Seneca Learning and Craig ‘n’ Dave on Youtube to prepare for the exam

My child is struggling during the course, what additional help is available to help them keep up?

Speak to your class teacher in the first instance; but weekly catch-up sessions will be made available from the beginning of the school year if they feel they need additional support. In addition, the resources listed above can be accessed both at home and school so that they can continue to develop their understanding of the content.

Updated July 2023