Years 7 & 8

Basic Computing concepts and ICT skills are taught as a combined subject, called Digital Literacy, throughout years 7 and 8.

Computing is a National Curriculum subject and it is therefore compulsory for all students.  We devise projects that are suitable for a wide ability range, developing a variety of skills in the programmes available.

More information about the National Curriculum requirements for Computing can be found at:


Computing is an options subject at GCSE.

OCR GCSE in Computing

The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. 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.

The specification has been redeveloped to improve upon the strengths of OCR’s legacy Computing GCSE. The new specification will enable learners to develop computational thinking skills built on a sound base of conceptual learning and understanding.

 Aims and learning outcomes

• 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.

The Structure

There are 3 units:

Computer systems

This component will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It is expected that learners will become familiar with the impact of Computer Science in a global context through the study of the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science. It is expected that learners will draw on this underpinning content when completing the Programming Project.

This written, non-calculator, examined unit is worth 50% of the overall mark.

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

This component incorporates and builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Component 01, encouraging learners to apply this knowledge and understanding using computational thinking. Learners will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Learners will become familiar with computing related mathematics. It is expected that learners will draw on this underpinning content when completing the Programming Project component.

This written, non-calculator, examined unit is worth 50% of the overall mark.

Programming project

OCR will issue three assessment tasks. The tasks will provide opportunities for the learners to demonstrate their practical ability in the skills outlined in the specification. Learners will need to create suitable algorithms which will provide a solution to the problems identified in the task. They will then code their solution in a suitable programming language. The solution must be tested at each stage to ensure they solve the stated problem and learners must use a suitable test plan with appropriate test data. The code must be suitably annotated to describe the process. Test results should be annotated to show how these relate to the code, the test plan and the original problem. Learners will need to provide an evaluation of their solution based on the test evidence. Learners should be encouraged to be innovative and creative in how they approach solving the tasks.

There is a formal requirement to complete 20 supervised hours in year 11 working on these tasks.  The tasks are designed to consolidate the learning across the specification through practical activity.  There is no requirement to submit grades to the exam board, however a sample of the student work is submitted for monitoring purposes.

Exam Board Website:

To view A-Level course content, please click here.