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What are students studying in Computing this year?

In Year 10 students start their GCSE course. The course offered at Newstead Wood is the AQA GCSE in Computer Science, specification 8520. The course covers both theoretical and practical programming aspects of computer science, with programming being used to support the theory covered. Students use the high level programming language, Python.

In Year 11 students continue with their GCSE course. They complete the non-exam assessed (coursework) element of the course, which involves writing a complex program. The task varies year on year, and typical tasks are to develop games or write and encryption/ decryption program. The course offered at Newstead Wood is the AQA GCSE in Computer Science, specification 8520. 

What are the major assessments this year?

Students are assessed on each topic building to a major assessment at the end of the academic year, which is based on past GCSE questions.

The NEA element of their GCSE is worth 20% of the final GCSE grade.

What will the current performance grade be based on?

The current performance grades are based on all the work completed in the year by students, including classwork and homework as well as the end of topic assessments.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. She should try to identify specific areas of the subject which she is finding a challenge so that we can offer targeted support. The school offer specialised support for students who have English as an additional language or who have specific needs like dyslexia or ASD.

How can I support my daughter?

The best way to provide general support to Year 10 students is by talking to them about their work in the subject and how things are going. It’s also worth talking to your daughter about how you use IT in your everyday life, be it your smartphone, surfing the web or at work.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students are given regular independent homework to complete and this should be recorded in your daughter's planner. In addition, your daughter can use the software or programming languages used in class to create her own work, e.g. develop programs in python. Your daughter should also keep abreast of developments in IT.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the Head of Computing, Mr Hunt, via email at with as much detailed information as possible.

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