Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams - face to face CK239 / C02

Start date
22 Apr 21
1 Day
Shenley Brook End School, Walbank Grove, Shenley Brook End, Milton Keynes MK5 7ZT View on Google Map



This evidence-based CPD aims to raise knowledge amongst teachers of how to achieve the most out of your students, whilst preparing for their GCSE exams in computer science. Whether you’re already teaching computer science or completely new to the subject, this course is designed to support your understanding of how to increase student attainment at GCSE level.

Within this course you’ll learn how examinations are designed and written, the key terminology used in exams and how this should be approached by students. Explore structured methods of teaching towards extended writing and programming exam questions, plus top tips from experienced teachers of how to pick up marks in exam papers.

You’ll also discover the importance and research behind retrieval and interleaved learning, throughout the session you’ll explore example strategies that can be easily embedded within your own teaching practice.

During this course you’ll discover threshold concepts and how the ordering and timing of these concepts can significantly improve student understanding. You’ll explore how progression maps can be used to map the curriculum throughout KS3 and 4, whilst embedding threshold concepts to maximise progress.

By the end of the course you’ll have the foundations of a variety of strategies that can be taken into the classroom, to support raising the attainment of students.

Who is it for?

This course is for current or prospective teachers of GCSE computer science with some understanding of the computing curriculum.

Prior Knowledge

No prior experience or knowledge of computing is expected before attending this course. It is advised that you become familiar with the National Curriculum in Computing before participating.

What does it cost?

This course is fully funded for participants from maintained schools in England. If you are from an independent school or from an organisation outside England, then the course fee is £220.

Course units

  • 01 | Understanding the assessment process - this session will outline the structure of how exams are created and marked, the wording of exam questions including how these should be approached by students, how to effectively use mark schemes and examiner reports to fully support students with common misconceptions.
  • 02 | Progression from Key Stage 3 to 4 - during this session you will explore threshold concepts and the importance of pin pointing these within the KS3 & 4 curriculum. Explore literacy strategies that can be used to support students around the use of appropriate technical vocabulary.
  • 03 | Student recall - with terminal exams it’s important students can recall knowledge to ensure they’re successful in the exams. In this session you’ll examine retrieval strategies and interleaving of teaching to better prepare students for examinations.
  • 04 | Picking up the marks in exams - this session will allow you to consider ways that can be used to support students answer different style questions on the exam papers, including extended writing and programming exam questions.

How will you learn?

  • Hands-on experiential learning with the collaborative support of your peers.
  • Expert advice and instruction on the GCSE curriculum and the expectations of a computer science teacher, from experienced classroom practitioners.
  • Time to reflect on your own needs, and to develop a plan to raise the attainment of students studying GCSE Computer Science.

How long is the course?

This course is a one-day course involving five hours of teaching time.


Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Develop a secure understanding of the assessment processes at GCSE level
  • Gain experience of threshold concepts and how these can be firmly embedded in the curriculum to support student understanding
  • Examine interleaving teaching and retrieval strategies that could be adopted within their own practice
  • Develop a secure understanding of how to structure different exam style questions to fully support the needs of all students


1 Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams22 April 202109:30-11:00Shenley Brook End School
2 Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams22 April 202111:15-12:30Shenley Brook End School
3 Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams22 April 202113:00-14:15Shenley Brook End School
4 Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams22 April 202114:15-15:30Shenley Brook End School

Share with your CPD booker

Additional information

If the course you would like to attend is fully booked, please contact enquiries@stem.org.uk to express your interest in being added to a waiting list. We will contact you when the course is due to run again.

Interested in this course?

Sign up to receive our emails to hear about the latest CPD available