Two-day Theory Course for GCSE and A Level

We are running two separate workshops covering the theory aspects of the GCSE and A level Computer Science courses. We recommend that delegates have already attended the GCSE Theory course or have previous experience of teaching Computer Science to GCSE.

  • Date: 02/03/2019 09:30 - 03/03/2019 16:30
  • Location: 100 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2QB, UK (Map)
  • More Info: Bulstrode St Entrance

Price: £270

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Costs for this two-day course are £270. If booking for one day, the charge is £150 per day booked.
Delegates need to state which workshop they are planning to attend.
For each of the workshops, we request delegates bring their own laptop computer with the Python Programming Software 3.4 installed.

The GCSE course will focus on the computational and algorithmic skills which will give delegates the confidence to write algorithms and programs, accessing the questions that appear on the Computational Thinking paper common to all examination boards.

On the second day, we will focus on exam preparation and the theory topics of machine architecture and networking. There will be a practical session using the Littleman Computer simulation.

The A-Level workshop will focus on the teaching of algorithms, data structures and object-orientated programming, skills generic to all the leading exam boards. We will cover the theory related to these and develop ideas and teaching strategies.


DAY 1: Algorithms and Programming Paper
Session 1 - Generating Effective pseudocode
Session 2 - Effective algorithms using pseudocode and flowcharts, working through sequence, selection, iteration, use of functions, parameter passing, strings and arrays
Session 3 - Set searching and sorting algorithms; binary and linear searches; bubble, merge and insertion sorting
Session 4 - Review of examination-paper questions; new model questions; review of Paper 2 questions; review of questions including data representation and Boolean logic

DAY 2: Computer Systems Paper
Session 1 - Machine architecture; CPU and the Fetch-Execute Cycle; illustration of CPU operation; sequencing with the Little Man Computer
Session 2 - Networking; network topologies, protocols and layers
Session 3 - Review of examination paper questions; new model questions; review of Paper 1 questions including software and social / ethical implications
Session 4 - Preparing for the NEA


Session 1 - Fundamentals of programming and computational thinking; standard and complex algorithms; efficiency of different algorithms; Big O notation
Session 2 - Data structures; trees, stacks and queues; graphs, linked lists, intractable algorithms, Dijkstra/A*

Session 1 - Object Oriented Programming; classes, objects, attributes, methods; encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, aggregation, composition and overriding; Unified Modelling Language (UML); practical coding examples and exam questions
Session 2 - Review of standard algorithms; standard and complex algorithms; algorithms for Quick and Merge Sort; finite-state machines (FSMs); reverse Polish; Backus-Naur Form (BNF)/syntax diagrams
Session 3 - Review of OCR and AQA exam questions; a look at selected topics from various exam boards.

There are two teachers on these courses, both of whom are extensively involved in providing resources, training, assessment and examinations.

Darren Travi is Head of Computing at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and a CAS Master Teacher. He leads the South Buckinghamshire CAS Hub. He has been teaching A-Level Computer Science since the 1990s, and GCSE Computing since the course started in 2010.

Ilia Avroutine has taught A-Level Computer Science for over ten years, having previously taught Computing in Canada. He is Head of Computer Science at the Wetherby Senior School in London. He has wide experience of teaching Computing and has co-authored a number of popular resources and textbooks.

All materials and resources used on this course will be made available to all delegates after the course.