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Preparing to teach GCSE computer science – residential

CP289 Face to face course

New to teaching GCSE computer science? This CPD residential will support you with the computer science knowledge required up to GCSE level.

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Algorithms Computer networks Programming Safety & Security Residential and Intensive Computing Key stage 3 Key stage 4 CS Accelerator
Face to face course 3 days

Designed for teachers who have already taught some computing, including at key stage 3. This ‘preparing to teach GCSE computer science’ pathway, will support you with the development of subject knowledge to meet the requirements of GCSE computer science. 

Completing this pathway will contribute towards recognised certification through the Computer Science Accelerator programme. You'll be supported along the way by experienced teaching professionals, among a group of your peers. 

You'll participate in live face-to-face CPD, with the opportunity to access on-demand online CPD. You'll take-away ready-to-use and successful teaching approaches from experienced teachers, supported by the latest research and evidence. 

Over the three days, you’ll explore a broad range of topics from across the GCSE specifications, you’ll complete the following courses:

•    Python programming constructs: sequencing, selection & iteration

•    The internet and cyber-security

•    Higher attainment in GCSE computer science – meeting the challenges of the exams

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. Bursaries are also available for teachers from state-funded schools and colleges which can be used towards travel, supply cover, teaching equipment or further local CPD.

For any of our residential courses in York, we are currently offering free of charge additional night's stay to all participants at the Centre's on-site accommodation, which can be taken outside of the residential period on a date of your choice up until 31 July 2022, subject to availability. To enquire about availability and to book, please contact [email protected], providing your course booking information, course code and confirming the date you would like to stay.

CSA Graduation Events:

Upon completion of the CSA programme, all participants are invited to attend one of our Graduation Events. During this residential we'll support you through the journey to completing the whole CSA programme. We're pleased to announce that we'll be hosting a CSA Graduation Event at the National STEM Learning Centre, York, on the final evening of the residential (30th June 2022, 4:30 - 6:30pm). These events provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate your achievement, receive your certificate and hear from guest speakers. We'll reserve your space on the York Graduation Event, simply from booking the residential. 

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

  • Python programming constructs: sequencing, selection & iteration – during this course you learn how to program using the text based programming language, Python. You’ll learn how to use programming constructs sequencing, selection and iteration.
  • The internet and cyber security – during this course you’ll learn how the internet works; how data is sent between devices; and potential network threats and how to prevent against these. 
  • 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.

How long is this course?

You’ll complete three courses from the Computer Science Accelerator programme, totalling approximately 15 hours, split across three 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 some basic program constructs using variables, handling user input and output to the screen
  • Follow the flow of a program, identifying values held in variables at different stages of execution
  • Create and control indefinite loop structures in programs
  • Become familiar with the Python programming language
  • Learn the key building blocks of algorithms to be executed using a computer
  • Represent algorithms using pseudocode and flowcharts
  • Understand the IP address system, MAC addressing, and how both allow effective networking of hardware devices
  • Learn how the Domain Name System (DNS) helps humans to interact with the internet devices. Develop a conceptual understanding of the TCP/IP stack, and the protocols that support frictionless communication between machines
  • Develop an understanding of the main internet security threats, including those that manipulate machines and those that manipulate humans.

This course is part of the Subject knowledge certificate

Subject knowledge certificate

Our professional development programme, Computer Science Accelerator, is designed to help you develop or refresh your subject knowledge and leads to a nationally recognised certificate.

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