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Understanding algorithms for KS3 and GCSE computer science - residential

CP293 Face to face course

During this two day residential you'll go deep into understanding how algorithms are constructed and used.

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Algorithms Programming Residential and Intensive Computing Key stage 3 Key stage 4 CS Accelerator
Face to face course 2 days
  • Heslington 17 November 10:00—18 November 2022

Throughout this two day residential, you’ll go deep into understanding algorithms. During the first day you’ll explore how to accurately read and construct algorithms using flowcharts and pseudocode. You’ll explore the knowledge required up to and including GCSE; including how to use the core concepts of sequencing, selection and iteration to develop suitable algorithms.

During day 2, you’ll explore how different search and sort algorithms function and the efficiency of each algorithm. Finally, you’ll learn about trace tables including their purpose, how to construct them and use them to test an algorithm.

This CPD package will provide you the opportunity to develop your GCSE Computer Science knowledge leading towards recognised certification. 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 two days, you’ll explore in detail how algorithms are constructed and used by computer systems, linked to the GCSE specifications, you’ll complete the following courses:

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 you 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 £43+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?

This pathway is intended for teachers who have some basic knowledge of algorithms. We recommend that you attend the ‘Introduction to algorithms, programming and data in computer science’ course ahead of the residential if you’re new to understanding algorithms.

Topics covered

  • Representing algorithms using flowcharts and pseudocode – during this course you’ll learn how to read and write your own algorithms using both flowcharts and pseudocode.
  • Search and sort algorithms during this course you’ll explore how different search and sort algorithms function, including the efficiency of each algorithm. You’ll learn about the purpose of trace tables including how to construct and use them to test an algorithm.

How long is this course?

You’ll complete two courses from the Computer Science Accelerator programme, totalling approximately 10 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.


  • Learn the key building blocks of algorithms to be executed using a computer
  • Represent algorithms using pseudocode and flowcharts
  • Learn how algorithms manipulate data to achieve desired aims
  • Be able to hand-trace algorithms and debug them
  • Know the difference between different sort and search algorithms
  • Evaluate the suitability for different algorithms depending on the data to which they are applied

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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