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Higher attainment in computer science - meeting the challenges of the exams - remote

CP439 Live remote training course

Explore how to improve attainment in Computer Science, look at how students should tackle exam questions and use key resources such as moderator reports, how retrieval and interleaving can be used and mapping progression from KS3 to KS4.

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Leadership Algorithmic thinking Computer systems Programming Key stage 4 CS Accelerator
Live remote training course 5 hours

  • Live remote training 29 March 09:30—29 March 2023
  • Live remote training 17 April 14:30—20 April 2023
  • Live remote training 27 April 09:00—28 April 2023
  • Live remote training 4 May 09:00—4 May 2023
  • Live remote training 15 May 14:30—18 May 2023
  • Live remote training 20 June 13:30—21 June 2023
  • Live remote training 19 July 09:30—19 July 2023

This evidence-based CPD aims to raise knowledge amongst teachers of how to achieve the most out of your students, whilst preparing for their GCSE exams in computer science. Whether you’re already teaching computer science or completely new to the subject, this course is designed to support your understanding of how to increase student attainment at GCSE level.Within this course you’ll receive insights into accurate assessment to aid centre assessed grading, explore the key terminology used in exams and how this should be approached by students. Explore structured methods of teaching towards extended writing and programming exam questions, plus top tips from experienced teachers of how to pick up marks in exam papers.You’ll also discover the importance and research behind retrieval and interleaved learning. Throughout the session you’ll explore example strategies, with the opportunity to discuss how to use these with GCSE students, on the lead up to the 2021 centre assessed grades.During this course you’ll discover threshold concepts and how the ordering and timing of these concepts can significantly improve student understanding. You’ll explore how progression maps can be used to map the curriculum throughout KS3 and 4, whilst embedding threshold concepts to maximise progress.By the end of the course you’ll have the foundations of a variety of strategies that can be taken into the classroom, to support raising the attainment of students.

Do you prefer to learn in a classroom? If so, take a look at: Higher attainment in GCSE computer science - meeting the challenge of exams

Who is it for?

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

Topics covered

  • 01 | Understanding the assessment process - This session will outline the structure of how exams are created and marked, the wording of exam questions including how these should be approached by students, how to effectively use mark schemes and examiner reports to fully support students on the lead up to centre assessed grades this summer.
  • 02 | Student performance - During this session you’ll look closer at the research into the performance of students studying GCSE computer science.
  • 03 | Progression from Key Stage 3 to 4 - During this session you will explore threshold concepts and the importance of pin pointing these within the KS3 & 4 curriculum. Explore literacy strategies that can be used to support students around the use of appropriate technical vocabulary.
  • 04 | Retrieval practice – During this session you’ll learn about retrieval practice and how it can be applied within the classroom, including on the run up to the summer assessments.
  • 05 | Student recall - with terminal exams it’s important students can recall knowledge to ensure they’re successful in the exams. In this session you’ll examine retrieval strategies further plus interleaving of teaching to better prepare students for examinations.
  • 06 | Picking up the marks in exams - this session will allow you to consider ways that can be used to support students answer different style questions on the exam papers, including extended writing and programming exam questions.

How long is this course?

This course is approximately five hours in duration, split across several days.

How will you learn?

Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner. Flexible Professional Development Leader-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content.


By the end of this course 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 their own practice

  • Develop a secure understanding of how to structure different exam style questions to fully support the needs of all students

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

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