Python programming: working with data - face to face CP233

In this course you’ll learn about data types, and how data structures are manipulated in Python programs.


As you progress beyond the basics of Python programming, this course will help you develop the level of programming skill required for GCSE computer science. You’ll go further through the fundamentals of programming, with lots of hands-on experience under the guidance of highly successful teachers of computer science.

During the course you’ll learn about data types, and how data structures are manipulated in Python programs. You’ll create and edit files that can store data for later use, as you begin to develop simple software applications.

New program code almost always contains errors; you’ll become adept at debugging - testing the functionality of your code then identifying and correcting errors.

Mapped closely to the specifications of GCSE computer science, the course will provide you with deepened knowledge and confidence that your students are equipped for assessments.

Prior knowledge:

You’ll need to be confident in the essentials of sequence, selection and iteration programming constructs to access this course. We recommend the course: Python programming constructs – sequencing, selection and iteration

Do you prefer to learn remotely? If so, take a look at: Python programming: working with data

Recommended next steps:

This course forms part of the Computer Science Accelerator Programme. To develop your programming skills further we recommend Programming 101: An Introduction to Python for Educators or Programming 102: Think like a Computer Scientist online.

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

Who is it for?

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

What topics are covered?

  • 01 | Subroutines and functions – explore the purpose of functions in programming. Learn how local and global variables are used when defining and calling functions in Python.
  • 02 | Lists / arrays – discover how lists are used in Python to store data values. Interact with lists using commands such as append & remove. Learn how to create and access a two-dimensional list in Python.
  • 03 | Reading and writing using files – learn how to read and display content from a text file to a user, understand the difference and construct code that will write or append to a text file.

How will you learn?

You’ll engage with active learning in groups including direct instruction, hands-on activities and challenge-based learning. Examination practice with guidance will be linked to the specific requirements of the main awarding bodies. The course will model teaching approaches that can be taken back to the classroom.

How long is this course?

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


You will:

  • Understand why modular programs are easier to understand, build and maintain
  • Include user-written and built-in functions in programs, passing data between functions and main programs
  • Learn about variable scope and how it affects subroutines and functions
  • Understand the need for structured data, and manipulate simple data in Python lists
  • Explain the differences between commonly used file formats, and manipulate their contents using Python code
  • Develop confidence in leading your students as they develop their programming skills
Interested in this course?

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