Computer systems: input, output and storage - remote CE421 / H01

Start date
14 Jan 21
5 Hours
Learning Method
Remote Delivered CPD


Computers take many forms, from the smart watch on your wrist to the powerful machines used to predict the weather. They all share some key features and GCSE computer science students need to have a solid understanding of what makes a computer.

Take your first steps to opening up the computer, exploring the main components, their role and how they work together in computer systems. Learn about input and output devices, how memory is used for rapid storage and retrieval, and how data is stored elsewhere for long term use. You’ll explore different types of software, including the operating system and its critical role in managing all these resources.

Who is it for?

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

Prior Knowledge:

You’ll need to know some basic concepts and terminology to access this GCSE-level subject knowledge enhancement. If you are entirely new to computer science, we recommend first participating in our one-day course: An introduction to computer systems, networking and security in GCSE computer science

Course units:

  • 01 | Hardware, input, process and output model – Explore the roles and characteristics of different hardware components found inside the computer and how these work together.
  • 02 | Software – During this session explore the characteristics between different types of software.
  • 03 | RAM, ROM and virtual memory – Learn how different types of memory are used by a computer system including the need for, and characteristics of, virtual memory.
  • 04 | Memory – Extend your knowledge further on the different types of memory that exist whilst linking your knowledge into an exam context.
  • 05 | Storage – Explore how data is stored using different storage methods, including optical, magnetic and solid state storage. Learn how to calculate different file sizes and how to suggest suitable storage mediums based upon user requirements.

How will you learn?

Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner. Flexible facilitator-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content.

How long is the course?

This course is approximately five hours in duration, split across several days.

Recommended next steps:

To compliment this course we also have Computer processors available - This course explores the CPU in greater detail.

Do you prefer to learn in a classroom?

If so, take a look at:

Computer systems: input, output and storage - face to face

This course is delivered as part of the National Centre for Computing Education.


You will:

  • Develop knowledge of the key hardware and software components of a computer system
  • Understand main memory, and the need for virtual memory
  • Recognise the different technologies used to store large amounts of data persistently
  • Calculate data storage requirements for different contexts and applications
  • Confidently tackle GCSE-level exam questions
  • Take-away learning activities and methods for use in your classroom


1 Computer systems - input, output and storage - remote14 January 202112:30-13:30
3 Computer systems - input, output and storage - remote14 January 202114:30-15:30
5 Computer systems - input, output and storage - remote14 January 202115:30-16:30

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Additional information

Our remote CPD courses for teachers are delivered across a series of sessions run at specific times and dates. Information on all course sessions can be found under the description of each course. To complete a course, all sessions are mandatory.

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