Leeds East Academy


Year 9 Options Process - Computer Science


At Leeds East Academy we want our students to be digitally prepared and confident with evolving technology. Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students' lives, therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. Our knowledge-rich curriculum allows our students to apply their knowledge creatively, which will in turn help our pupils become skillful computer scientists. Computers can advance pupils learning in creative ways. We encourage staff to embed computing across the whole curriculum to make learning creative and accessible. 

Computer Science will challenge student thinking, application of skills and their knowledge of this wide ranging subject. A suitable student for this subject will have a keen interest in Computing, be a strong logical thinker and have a good grasp of skills used in Maths which become very useful for approaching algorithms, problem solving and programming.

Course Details

At Leeds East academy we will deliver an OCR Computer Science GCSE Course which will entail two exams making up 100% of the course.  

Pupils will get the opportunity to learn a wide range of topics from what a computer system consists of, the different types of system security to the ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns. In addition, pupils will also learn computational thinking which includes algorithm design and programming using a text-based programming language. If they have a passion for computers and want to know more, then this is the subject for them. 

Component 01: Computer systems 

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, 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. 

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming 

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 and translators. 

Practical programming 

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02 (section B). 

Where will the course take you?

Computer science helps enhance your computational thinking skills and problem-solving ability; it could be useful for a whole bunch of careers. In job applications, you can use your Computer Science GCSE to demonstrate these skills. These skills are transferrable and bring many opportunities in an industry depending on technology. Some of careers that are suitable for students with a computer science background are:  

  • Application analyst.
  • Applications developer.
  • Cyber security analyst.
  • Data analyst.
  • Database administrator.
  • Forensic computer analyst.
  • Game designer.
  • Games developer. 

Course structure and assessment

OCR’s GCSE Computer Science consists of two compulsory components that are assessed.  

J277/01 Computer systems:

This is a compulsory component. It is worth 80 marks, representing 50% of the total marks for the GCSE (9–1).

This component is an externally assessed written examination testing AO1 and AO2. The examination lasts 1 hour 30 minutes. All the questions are mandatory.

The question paper will consist of short and medium answer questions. There will also be one 8-mark extended response question. This question will enable students to demonstrate the ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning.


J277/02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming:

This is a compulsory component. It is worth 80 marks, representing 50% of the total marks for the GCSE (9–1).

This component is an externally assessed written examination testing AO1, AO2 and AO3. 

The examination lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is formed of two sections.

Section A is worth 50 marks, and assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts of Computer Science. Students then apply these to problems in computational terms, where they may use an algorithmic approach

Section B is worth 30 marks, and assesses students’ Practical Programming skills and their ability to design, write, test and refine programs 

Further information

  • Curriculum Leader (Sport & Vocational): Miss Moss 
  • Contact e mail address: moss.s@whiteroseacademies.org
  • Online links to resources or course documents: 

Computer Science GCSE Specification 

Computer Science BBC Bitesize

Code Academy