GCSE Computing

This is the GCSE for students who want a much more technical qualification, which is heavily mathematical and will require you to become a computer programmer.  This is for students who want to study computing in the future or want a career in computing from the technical side.  This is a much more of “Geeky” qualification.

“I literally coded Facebook in my dorm room and launched it from my dorm room. I rented a server for $85 a month, and I funded it by putting an ad on the side.” - Mark Zuckerberg

Course description

Computer Science (9-1) - J276 (from 2016)

You will be studying computer science which can run in parallel with GCSE in ICT.  The GCSE ICT course covers more general ICT skills and sets you up for the future job market.  The GCSE in computer science is a more specialist course and is for people who want to go into a job in the computing world.

It is a much more “technical” qualification and will require you to be more computer literate than the compulsory course.  It also has a large amount of Maths in it.

You can use it to go on to study IT in the Sixth Form by studying for a BTEC National L3 in IT.

Exam board

  • OCR

Course code

  • J276

Exam board website

Link to past papers


  • 40% of the assessment is based on a 1 hour 30 mins paper based exam entitled "Computer Systems" and covers Systems Architecture, Memory, Storage, Wired and wireless networks, Network topologies, protocols and layers, System security, System software, Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns.
  • 40% of the assessment is based on a 1 hour 30 mins paper based exam entitled "Computational thinking, algorithms and programming" and covers Algorithms, Programming techniques, Producing robust programs, Computational logic, Translators and facilities of languages and Data representation.
  • 30% of the assessment is based on a piece of programming coursework lasting 20 hours where you have to complete an exam board set computer programming task in an exam board approved programming language such as Python

 Ways to help my child succeed

  • Ask them about what they are doing in their ICT and Computing lessons.
  • Prompt them to attend in school support sessions and lunchtime homework sessions in the IT Hub and IT rooms.
  • NB: You don’t have to buy specialist equipment for home – we have plenty of computers in school that can be used at lunchtime or after school!

Useful websites

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