Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise

"Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think"

Steve Jobs - Co-founder of Apple Inc

Computer Science is an important skill in the digital age that we live it. We want to enthuse our students to become the creators of new technology rather than to simply be the consumers. Skills learnt in this subject will help students develop their problem solving skills that will help them in various other subjects and walks of life even if our students do not end up being the next Bill Gates.  


Our aim is to teach students to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems. Understand several key algorithmsthat reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.

Students who take this subject will be able to use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems;

Please be aware that at GCSE and A-Level this is a rigorous subject that requires a good mathematical ability and willingness to work independently.



Examination Board: OCR

Course outline 

Component 01: Computer Systems. 

  • Written paper 1hr 30
  • 40% of the GCSE


The first component is an exam focused on computer systems covering the physical elements of computer science and the associated theory.  Component 02: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming. 

  • Written paper 1hr 30
  • 40% of the GCSE

This component is focused on the core theory of computer science and the application of computer science principles.  Component 03: Programming Project (non-exam assessment) 

  • 20hr Controlled Assessment
  • 20% of the GCSE

This component is the non-exam assessment where candidates will be challenged by a range of exciting and engaging tasks to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.  Topics / Skills Covered The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage learners and get them thinking about real world application. This will encourage learners to: 

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation 
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.
  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society.
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science