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Supporting student attainment in GCSE computer science - residential

CP284 Face to face course

Explore strategies to support students with GCSE computer science subject knowledge during this two-day residential.

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Algorithmic thinking Computer networks Computer systems Data & information Programming Safety & Security Residential and Intensive Key stage 3 Key stage 4 Teach secondary computing certificate
Face to face course 2 days

  • York 20 August 10:00—21 August 2024
  • York 31 March 10:00—1 April 2025

Based upon evidence, this two-day residential aims to raise knowledge amongst teachers on how to achieve the most out of your students, whilst preparing them for their GCSE exams in computer science. 

During this residential, you’ll complete two courses:

Higher attainment in GCSE computer science – meeting the challenge of exams

Supporting GCSE computer science students at grades 1-3

You’ll explore a multitude of topics including how key terminology is used in exams and how to support students use this correctly; explore structured methods of teaching towards extending writing and programming exam questions; the importance of retrieval practice strategies; threshold concepts; supporting students with both literacy and mathematics; plus assessment and feedback strategies.

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

Residential information:

This is a residential course at the National STEM Learning Centre, York. Meals and overnight accommodation are included for participants for the duration of the course. 

If wish to extend your stay in York, bed and breakfast will be available at the centre’s on-site accommodation at a discounted rate of £45+VAT per night. You can email [email protected] to secure this rate, providing their course booking information and confirming the night(s) they would like to stay.

Who is it for?

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.

Topics covered

  • Higher attainment in GCSE computer science – meeting the challenge of exams – during 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; structured methods of teaching extended answered questions and programming questions; retrieval practice and the importance of threshold concepts.
  • Supporting GCSE computer science students at grades 1-3 – during this course you’ll explore how to support students working towards grades 1-3, including literacy skills and the use of technical vocab; mathematical understanding; knowledge and recall strategies; plus assessment and feedback.

How long is this course?

You’ll complete two courses counting towards the Teach Computing Secondary Certificate, totalling approximately 12 hours, split across two days. Online courses are also available free of charge, these are available to complete before, alongside or after the face to face courses.

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.


By the end of this CPD package you will be able to:

  • 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 your own practice
  • Develop a secure understanding of how to structure different exam style questions to fully support the needs of all students
  • Explore strategies to support students working towards grades 1-3 with literacy and mathematical skills

This course is part of Teach secondary computing

Teach secondary computing

Our nationally recognised qualification will give you confidence to take your computing teaching to the next level and to apply those skills in the classroom.

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This course is from the National Centre for Computing Education and is delivered by STEM Learning.

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