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ANNOUNCEMENT

We have adapted our programmes to enable you to participate from home:

Computer processors

CP431 Face to face course

Explore the core of a modern computer. Learn how the instructions that humans write in computer programs are translated into machine code that the computer can process.

Key stage 4
Face to face course 5 days

  • Remote delivered CPD 9 June 10:00—19 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 10 June 16:30—23 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 15 June 11:00—25 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 17 June 13:00—30 June 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 23 June 10:00—6 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 7 July 10:00—20 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 8 July 13:00—17 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 13 July 11:00—23 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 15 July 13:00—28 July 2020
  • Remote delivered CPD 21 July 10:00—3 August 2020

Overview

Computer programs are written in a language that humans understand, but what about the computer itself? Every piece of software, and the instructions and data it contains, is made up of 1’s and 0’s, handled by the central processing unit or CPU.

Explore the core of a modern computer - the processor. Learn how the instructions that humans write in computer programs are translated into machine code that the computer can process. Compare the differences between high-level and low-level programming languages, and how these can used in the classroom.

Computer scientists have developed different computer architectures to retrieve and process data at eye watering speeds – using your knowledge of the processor you’ll learn how and why their performance differs, at a level appropriate for GCSE students. 

Book now and you will be automatically registered for the scheduled sessions for the course. Remote CPD courses have live, facilitator-led sessions and are not available for instant access. Please refer to the schedule of dates publised for each course instance.

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 about the basic components of a computer system and how they work together. We recommend the course Computer systems: input, output and storage . 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 .

What does it cost?

This course is fully funded for participants from maintained schools in England. If you are from an independent school or from an organisation outside England, then the course fee is £220.

Course units

  • 01 | Program and instruction sets - learn how low and high level languages are used by computers and humans. Explore the characteristics of translators including assemblers, compilers and interpreters.
  • 02 | Little Man Computer & Assembly Language - explore how assembly language is used by the program Little Man Computer.
  • 03 | Inside the CPU - understanding the role of the CPU is key to knowing how a computer functions. In this session, you’ll explore the different components found inside the CPU and how they feature in the fetch, decode, execute cycle.
  • 04 | Cache Memory - explore how the computer uses cache memory and why it’s such a useful type of memory.
  • 05 | CPU Performance - The CPU plays a key part of the performance of a computer. Get to grips exploring how the cache size, clock speed and amount of cores can impact the performance of a CPU. You’ll also learn about embedded computer systems.

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.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Recognise that all computer instructions are executed in binary – and the different processes used to translate programming languages into computer-readable machine code
  • Recognise the Von Neumann architecture, and different instruction sets including RISC and CISC
  • Understand the fetch-decode-execute cycle in a computer processor, and the role of each CPU component
  • Write simple programs in low-level assembler language
  • Know the factors that can affect CPU performance

This course is part of the Teach GCSE computer science certificate.

Teach GCSE computer science

Our certified professional development programme will equip you with the subject knowledge and confidence to successfully teach and lead GCSE computer science.

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Also part of Teach GCSE computer science:

An Introduction to Computer Networking for Teachers

Build your knowledge and understanding of computer networks as a computer science teacher

Free online course

Design and Prototype Embedded Computer Systems

Discover embedded system design and work your way through the product design lifecycle.

Free online course

How Computers Work: Demystifying Computation

Explore the fundamentals of computing - computer architecture, binary logic, data processing, circuits, and more.

Free online course