Year 11

Year 11 – J276

At KS4 students opt to take computer science at GCSE. They will follow the OCR (9-1) J276 specification (download here). Below is a breakdown of the overall assessment for the GCSE course.

Assessment Overview





Computer Systems (01)


90 Mins


Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02) *


90 Mins


 * Algorithm questions are not exclusive to component 02 and can be assessed in all components.

Component 01: Computer systems: (50%)

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Unit 1 Systems Architecture:

In this unit you will learn about: The purpose of the CPU, The Von Neumann architecture, Common CPU components and their function, How common characteristics of CPUs affect their performance & Embedded systems

In addition you will learn about: The purpose of Memory: What is meant by RAM, Virtual Memory & ROM. You will also look at various storage devices and in what situation is best to use each type.

Unit 2: Wired & Wireless Networks:

In this unit you will look at Network topologies such as MESH, star, LAN & WAN. In addition you will look at network protocols & layers.

Unit 3: Systems Software & Security:

In this unit you will look at various security threats and measure you can put into place to prevent these by using techniques such as: Encryption, Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware software etc.

Unit 4: Ethical, Legal & Cultural Issues:

In this unit we explore the evolution of computers over time and how this has had an impact on us, the laws that protect us and the different impact in relation to the Social & moral issues.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming: (50%)

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.

Unit 5: Algorithms:

In this unit you learn to think about problems in terms of their parts. The parts can be understood, solved and developed to come up with a solution. You will also look at different searching and sorting algorithms

Unit 6: Programming:

In this unit you will explore programming concepts such as sequence, selection & iteration. You will look at using procedures & functions in your created programs along with file handling such as reading/writing to a CVS/txt file.

Unit 7: Logic & LanguagesP:

In this unit you will explore how computers use binary to represent binary. In addition you will look at logic gates and logic circuits including AND, NOT & OR gates along with truth tables and how to interpret logic circuits

Unit 8: Data Representation:

In this unit you will explore how computers use binary to represent binary. You will perform some conversions from Denary to Binary & Hexadecimal and look at how images & sound are represented in binary. You will also look at how images and sound are represented in binary form.

Component 03 Programming Project:

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.

Students should be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade, but is a requirement of the course.

J276 KS4 Curriculum Map


Review Week - Making Learning Memorable

As part of marking learning memorable, student will spend review week undertaking a project based on Cycle 1, 2 and 3 during review week 1, and then cycle 4, 5 & 6 as part of review week 2

Students are given access to google classroom where they can view resources used in lesson and also ask questions about particular topics should they need to do so out of learning hours. - they should speak to their computer science teacher for their login details

KS4: Recommended text book:

OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science, PG Online, PM Heathcote, 2016

Other useful links: - Promoting the safe and responsible use of technology for young people - Python version 3.5 (free)

Youtube – GCSE Computer Science Revision Videos for Full Specification - Programming Challenges